Welcome to my blog, these are the ramblings and musings of an (upper) middle aged biker and if you enjoy braais, (barbeques) beers and motorbikes then hopefully you will enjoy what Janet and I do; we do lots of braais, we drink lots of beer and we tour South Africa on our motorbike, which at the moment is a BMW R1200RT. Join us, read about what we do and please leave us your comments.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

First official breakfast run for 2019

This past Sunday was the first Sunday in January 2019 and therefor scheduled as a breakfast run day. I posted the details on the whatsapp group but didn't expect many people to be able to attend because many were still on holiday or still had visitors etc., but I did get a few takers so the ride was on.
As has become usual we gathered at Juffoushoogte, this time Janet and I made it just before time, got delayed for some reason and I was extremely gratified to see that there were already eight bikes parked outside and then Daan and Bev arrived just after us, ten bikes - lovely.
What was also particularly good to see was that there were five "visitors" riding with ten of  us, this was going to be a good one after all.

We set out onto the R27 and headed south just after 09h00, we were keeping the run "coastal" due to the heat so we were going to the small seaside town of Yzerfontein which is approximately half way to Capetown. I settled into a relaxed, grin-inducing cruise around 120 to 130kmh as one of our visitors was on a smaller bike and hasn't been on many breakfast runs. Janet also loves cruising at a sedate pace, says she can enjoy the scenery better. 
Just before the West Coast National Park there is a nice long layby and I led the group into it for our traditional "tea break". 

When I told our guests we had stopped for a tea break some of them were quite confused, "Who has the tea?"
David, who hadn't been on our breakfast runs before looked quite perplexed until he saw Janet pouring, then he caught on.
Etienne moves in
Janet pouring the tea

Johan, one of our visitors, made sure there was no waste.
On the left, Flip a new rider looking for a club

From there a short ride down to "Die Stal", a restaurant and biker friendly pub on the outskirts of the town, we parked up and went into the shaded garden area.

Guys were being a bit cautious with drinking, we had passed a breathalyzer roadblock on the R27 on the way down and plans were being made as to how to by-pass it on the way back, it looked like if we all turned into the service station we would be alright because they were set up just after the entrance.
Don't know if that would work but we also discussed hitting it in a big group, all stick together.

There were already quite a few other bikers at the place when we arrived and a large group of Megaforce riders came in just after us.
 Megaforce, a great bunch of hard riders who seem to have attracted quite a lot of new young members. Going from strength to strength.
A pretty smile from an attractive woman

The buffet breakfast wasn't that great, the best was the "miellie pap", I'll try menu items next time. From there a few of us rode through to "Oliphantskop" in Langebaan for a drink with the Megaforce guys. Thankfully the roadblock had either packed up or moved somewhere else, we didn't see it on the way home either.
It had been a very nice morning out, it's just so good to get out on the bike for whatever reason. I'll have to call another Book Club meeting soon. Stay safe out there and let's all have some good riding this year.
(Remember to click on the pics to see them full size.)

Monday, January 7, 2019

Quiet Christmas and New Year with the Browns

Man I remember 2018 like it was just last week!
Happy New year everyone, may 2019 be an especially good year for us all - and may I say especially for those of us living here in South Africa, the elections are in May and may sanity prevail.
It has been a busy time and it has been a hot time! We had a heatwave over the Christmas period so Janet and I decided to stay home and just park off on our back veranda, which is one of our favourite places anyway.
We started the day off with a bottle of bubbly in our spa bath at around 07h30 which was really very pleasant, that is another of our favourite places.
 Christmas lunch was a simple affair just for the two of us, I did a whole chicken on our gas rotisserie, of which I ate half (the chicken, not the rotisserie!) and Janet did her famous potato salad with beetroot and tomato, sometimes the simple meals are by far the best.
Boxing day again, just the two of us and again a meal in the gas braai; a lovely roast pork with vegetables;

The sweet potatoes went in early with the pork and then about halfway through the ordinary potatoes and the butternut squash went in, this all took quite a while so I started early.
The meal was exceptional; roasted vegetables with the pork, rice and gravy and just look at that crackling! We ate left over pork for the rest of the week. Saturday we would be traveling through to Tulbagh to meet up with good friends Alan and Gill who were coming from Mossel Bay to spend New Year and a couple of days with us.

My old buddy Alan Brown was coming over from Qatar where he works, for a couple of weeks and had phoned me saying that they would like to do a bike trip from Mossel Bay where they live when in South Africa, could I find some accommodation about halfway for one night because they were not "bike fit" and would like a stopover and perhaps we could meet them on the way.
Halfway between them and us is around Robertson/Bonnievale so I got online and began searching but accommodation for that period (30th December) and only for one night was just not available. I told Alan this and he said he would also look, coming back the next day he said jubilantly; "I found a place, all booked." When I asked where he replied "Tulbagh!"  When I pointed out that the place was only about an hour and a quarter from us and that they could have ridden through he just laughed.
We decided to make a break of it so I managed to extend our room for two nights and in spite of the heat we rode through on Saturday, stopping off for a lovely lunch in Riebeek Kasteel with our friends Peter and Amanda at the Pleasant Pheasant on the "Allesverloren" wine estate.
The road into Tulbagh in the afternoon, our accommodation at "HomeAway" cottages was just a little further on the left hand side.
We settled in to our room and then rode "light" (no heavy jackets and boots) downtown to get some supplies and then went to the "bush pub" for a couple of beers and a light meal. Very pleasant and a comfortable evening in our chalet.

On Sunday we took it easy, we got a message from Alan so we knew when they left home, we rode through on the R45 past Wolseley and to a "Spur" diner on the N1 near Worcester for a very mediocre breakfast. We cruised through to Robertson where I had planned to meet up.

It was good to see our friends again, we met way back in the early '90s when we both worked for the Sea Harvest Corporation and had remained in contact even though they have been in Qatar for the past nine years. We led them back to Tulbagh where I had cold beers waiting in the fridge and we set up for an early braai.
No they are not lighting a joint!
Eventually we get it going

We ran into a bit of a problem when it came time to light the fire, none of us smoked and we couldn't find matches! Janet eventually found some loose matches but nothing to strike them on, Alan managed to light some tissue paper in the toaster and eventually we got the fire going. A South African will always "make a plan" when a braai is at stake.

After a bit of a fight over who was going to braai we had a good meal of lamb chops and local boerewors and then we sat drinking and chatting late into the night as only good mates can. Tomorrow the short ride home, a very nice New Year's eve with our friends, we stayed up long enough to wish each other "Happy New Year!" and then we turned in.
They stayed with us until Thursday, we had another braai, some good meals and then we rode halfway down the R27 with them for a breakfast at "Beulah Farm Deli", said our goodbyes and went our separate ways.
Good people, good friends - a front veranda full of motorbikes, see you two soon again I hope.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Christmas cheer and a Christmas wish for you all

Sunday, a lovely calm day started out with a very moderate temperature, an ideal day for riding a motorbike. We met up with other club members at Juffroushoogte for a trip through to Lambert's Bay to visit the good ladies at "Cool Kidz" safe home. The group ended up being seven members and four visitors and as we headed out onto the R27 the only downside to the whole day was that we were in our bakkie! (pick-up, ute)
The reason for this unfortunate situation was that through the kindness and generosity of biker friends and family there was quite a load of groceries and clothing to be delivered, some Christmas cheer for the hard working people at the home.
We met up with the riders at around the halfway point just before Eland's Bay for the traditional "tea break".
Floors pulling in
Anton and Rinette on the Indian and Koos

Sampie and Kathy
Heine and Gerda

Gerda pours the tea
Cheers, nothing like a nice cuppa!

We spent about an hour with Tanya and Irene and the babies at "Cool Kidz", a huge thank you to all of you who so generously donated the food, clothing and cash and helped make their Christmas just that little bit better. 
As restaurants in Lambert's Bay were fully booked we went back to Vensterklip just outside of Eland's Bay for a beer or two and something to eat. We've stopped there many times, it is a pleasant, rustic place and welcoming to bikers. The food prices are reasonable and the food is good, perhaps because it was busy we had to wait for over an hour for our food but nobody had any trains to catch so we were relaxed.
Anton and Rinette making me jealous
Riding through Dwaarskersbos

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas (and if you don't celebrate Christmas, don't take offense have a great weekend), peace love and prosperity and may the coming year bring everything that you wish for yourselves.
I sincerely thank you for supporting this blog, stay safe out there and keep the shiny side up LH&R

Saturday, December 22, 2018

A backyard braai and the fourth Book Club

This past Sunday was a typical summer's day, hot and calm with very little wind to cool things down. I had contemplated taking Janet out for a ride but just the thought of getting into the riding gear gave me pause, then I thought "What about a braai?" Janet was already getting into her comfy clothes, "Bring me a beer while you're at it." - decision made. Plenty of time for the meat to defrost while I got things ready.
We both really enjoy our backyard area and have made it into a comfy refuge which promotes a feeling of "being on holiday" when we're out there relaxing or braaiing, both of which we do pretty often.

I prepared some sweetcorn miellies and hasselback potatoes which went on as soon as I lit the fire so that they would have time to cook properly, I get major comeback from Janet if my potatoes are hard or glassy! Then my chicken leg and thigh portions went on and when they were close to ready I banked up the coals and put my Karoo lamb chops on. 
If you've been reading this stuff you'll know that I love Karoo lamb chops!
Everyone knows that the fat on the lamb chops has to be caramelized and crispy so I lowered the grid and built up the coals some more. What a lekker lunch that was! My potatoes passed with flying colours too!

Wednesday saw the fourth meeting of the Book Club and I met up with Willie at the Pirate's Bar in Langebaan, actually just outside of the town and this time it was only the two of us and as Willie was on his third run he qualified for the coveted "Book Club" breast flash.
While we were there chatting I started getting Whatsapp messages from Anton and Heine asking where we were, they were on their way back from Capetown and would join us.
I heard the deep throb of an unfamiliar sounding motorcycle arriving and went outside to have a look and there was Anton with his latest acquisition;
A beautiful pearl white Indian Chieftain that he had just bought and ridden back, the photos don't do it justice, there is an iridescent gold sparkle in the paint that flickers in the sunlight, truly an amazing looking machine.
There's a lot of chrome to polish there on that big 1800cc mill!  Congratulations Anton may you enjoy many hundreds of happy miles on that lovely bike.
 Willie (left) with Heine and Gerda enjoying a drink with us at Pirate's before they all headed for home.
You can see Anton's Book Club badge on his jacket, Willie and I moved on to "Zizi's" in Langebaan for an A.B.F., I try to stay away from Langebaan in December because it is crazy crowded with tourists. I enjoyed a nice cruise home around the bay, happy after a day out on the bike with my friends.
We have a trip out to Lambert's Bay planned for Sunday where we will visit the "Cool Kidz" safe house with some supplies and a bit of Christmas cheer and I'll tell you all about that, I don't expect that many of the Club members will be going with now as it is family time.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Christmas "Bring 'n braai" at my house

Sunday we attended the biker church service at Lighuis in Vredenburg and then club members were invited to bring and braai at our house in Saldanha. For my overseas readers who might not know the concept, the "bring 'n braai" is quite popular here when large groups get together and the host doesn't have to bear the cost of supplying food and booze for everyone, they bring their own meat and drinks. Janet made two salads and Kathy brought a dish of her lovely miellie pap tert, one of my favourites made with miellie meal, cheese and bacon. (How can it be bad with ingredients like that?!)
I went down to the harbour on Friday and collected a bag of fresh mussels from Blue Ocean Mussels to give my guests a lovely starter, I lit the fires at 10h00 and they started to gather.
As host it's my duty to check quality!
They soon gathered around

The mussels were lovely, I still enjoy eating them and the fact that I can get them fresh whenever I want is one of the advantages of living in Saldanha.

After the mussels it was time to start braaing, it was a very hot day but everyone got stuck in.
Everyone braais their own meat
Sampie and Metjie

Laureen braais for Murray
Stefanie and Elsje

Nearly ready
Seeking shelter from the heat Metjie and Daan retreated into the forrest.

Henrico chatting Janet up
Festive group

Afterwards everyone sat on the verandah and we enjoyed the  comfortable banter that usually follows a good meal.
Frank, Henrico, Metjie and Gerrie
Adrie, Bev and Daan

Gerrie and Monika demonstrate the bug
and everyone has a go at it

We ended off with Janet's very popular "Millionaire's shortbread" which didn't last for very long at all. It was a great party, a happy and festive group. People started leaving after that except for Frank, I eventually kicked him out at 18h00!
Remember to click on the photos to see them full size, and if you feel so inclined don't forget to vote for this blog, just click on the button on the right. We'll speak again soon, stay safe.