Now I know you guys are all thinking that I'm a seriously ruff and tuff biker scum so what the hell am I doing taking my goose on a merantic weekend away? Well I believe that you have to do things like this so that the next time you say "I'm going on a rally with the okes this weekend." she still has that warm and fuzzy feeling and she will say "Ok my darling, what can I pack for you?"
Anyway we both finished work early on Friday and got our packing done, I again managed to get all of my stuff into one pannier so that Janet could use the other one and the topcase, she didn't know where we were going but I did tell her that she would need to wear something nice for going out on two nights, that of course means the hair dryer and high heel shoes!
We left home at 14h20 and already the bloody wind was pumping out of the south, we had the choice of using the bakkie but to me that was no choice really and we pressed on hoping that by the time we got futher away from the coast it would calm down.
No such bloody luck, the R45 is always a fast ride for me but the wind kept the bike at an angle all the way to the R311 heading through Mooreesburg. It buffetted us unmercifully and I was rather disappointed having been eagerly anticipating the trip for a week. We stopped in Mooreesburg and had a beer at "Gutto's Pub and Restaurant" but soon got tired of the music and the stink of cigarette smoke, back out on the road and we powered along the R311 which carries on through to Riebeek West and Riebeek Kasteel.
Still the wind hammered us and it wasn't until we turned left onto the R44 at Hermon that the wind was behind us and we had a brief 17km respite until the "Nuwekloof Pass", however the big red machine doesn't take long to cover 17kms and on the other side of the pass the wind picked us up again.
It started getting very hot in that area and there was a lot of traffic held up behind heavy vehicles but as I have told you they do not hold us up and I love sweeping past them, it is about 80kms to Worcester from there and I really enjoyed that part of the ride and was happy that we had not travelled in the bakkie, in spite of the wind I was enjoying myself.
We arrived in Worcester just after 16h00 and I found the Cumberland Protea Hotel without any trouble, we booked in to our very comfortable room and after a really good dinner and a quiet whisky or two we had an early night.
On Saturday morning we had a typically excellent Protea hotel buffet breakfast and then went for a short walk around the town, it was starting to get hot as it does in that area so we took a short ride to the casino to try our luck. Janet is normally very good on the machines but not that day, she lost R200 and I very quickly lost R120 so we decided to call it quits and go for a ride.
We drove out along the R60 and then did some exploring, we have travelled that road often but always with an agenda and no time to ride down the inviting side roads, this time we turned down into the Nuy Valley and what a lovely colourful area it is, the narrow winding road is lined on both sides with bougainvillea in various vibrant colours and the "Keeromberge" make a very dramatic background.
We cruised the area for about 18 very enjoyable kilometres before the tar road changed into dirt, did a U turn and headed back to the R60. From there we rode into Robertson for a cold beer and then had a relaxed cruise back to the hotel, there we found that our bed was covered with rose petals and there was a box of Belgian chocolates on the pillow, those went down very well with a couple of glasses of whisky later that night!
Janet decided she wanted to visit the "Slots bar" and there her talent came to the fore, she quickly changed R20 back into R281 before cashing in and heading for a nap, relieved that she hadn't lost her touch.
The meal that evening was really good, well presented and quite delicious and we spent a pleasant evening relaxing with a couple of bottles of wine.
Another excellent buffet breakfast on Sunday morning and we were on the road by about 0830, the weather didn't appear too bad and I was eagerly anticipating a pleasant morning on the bike.
The route home was the same as the ride out and one that we have done many times before, it is good riding country but unfortunately it wasn't long before the wind was pounding us again! On that same 17km stretch of the R44 from the Nuwekloof Pass to Hermon we were riding at a steep left angle and on a couple of occasions I thought I was going to be pushed across the road, however it wasn't long after that when the wind seemed to ease off and were able to enjoy the rest of the ride.This amazing scenery is on the R46 near Riebeek Kasteel, we just had to stop for a couple of photos, from there it is an hour to Saldanha and what a pleasant hour that was! As previously arranged we pulled into "Juffroeshoogte" and were happy to find a good crowd of bikers in the pub, we had a couple of cold ones and then headed home after a very good weekend.