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.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Day Three - the ride home

Saturday morning, time to leave the Breede River resort and head for home and we had all day to do it. We decided to skip the breakfast in favour of getting an early start with a tentative plan to have breakfast at the "Country Pumpkin" in Barrydale.
The sky was slightly overcast and the wind was blowing again, quite lightly out of the South but there was no doubt that it would be picking up. The 35km stretch up to the N2 was a far better ride than when we arrived on Thursday! We turned North onto the N2 which was already busy and headed through to Riversdale 30kms away where I stopped to refuel and to consult the map again.
The R323 is not very well signposted and we found ourselves out on a road through the farmlands which was very pleasant and very picturesque but I had the nagging suspicion that it was not the right road, I waited for a signpost to confirm my suspicions but none came up and I eventually had to stop and ask for directions!
We had to retrace our route back to Riversdale and eventually found the right road, Janet spotted the sign, just a small black word on a large white board that almost appeared to have been hand painted; "Ladismith" almost as an after thought, no route number but at least we were soon thundering out of town on the R323.
It is only 29kms to the Garcia's Pass which we had not ridden through before and it was fantastic, a good road surface with lovely twisties up through the mountains in the early morning mist.
To make things even better, as we headed away from the coast we soon left the clouds and the wind behind and it started getting pretty hot.
Another thing we left behind was the bloody traffic! We hardly saw another vehicle on the road and it was sublime cruising, we just sat relaxed and happy enjoying the wonderful scenery and the solitude. It was a fantastic feeling being out in the middle of nowhere, a mere speck in the landscape.
From the pass to the R62 is only another 40kms and it flattens out somewhat, but it is typical Karoo landscape and a joy to ride, the road is in excellent condition and there was virtually no other traffic.
We joined the R62 and from there it is just about 60kms to Barrydale, that road is a little busier but cages don't hold us back and we made good time to the Country Pumpkin where we settled in to the famous breakfast, bikers get a free glass of port on arrival and a discount on the breakfast because the owner; Dereck is also a biker.We were quite early and almost the first people there, but it is a very popular place and it wasn't long before more bikers arrived and then a tour bus full of foreigners.
After that superb breakfast I was ready for the road again and the 62km stretch from there to the little village of Montague, which is famous for it's hot springs resort, is an absolute joy to ride with a pass thrown in just after the biker friendly "Karoo Saloon" which was the scene of our last Polar Bear run. It's a long left hand downhill sweep past the Saloon and it looked deserted at that time of the day, I resisted the temptation to pull in and flicked the bike to the right to begin the tight uphill sweeps through the pass.
What a wonderful ride! I was a happy man as I flicked down through the gears and cruised into Montague, we had already agreed that we would stop for our first beer in Robertson but we made a roadside stop between Montague and Ashton so that I could photograph the hole in the rock; It's a beautifully rugged area and we had a bit of a leg/bum stretch there, on the way through I started getting that familiar feeling that all of us bikers get every now and then; that feeling of being all stunning and macho so we decided to take some photos of me before we carried on; See what I mean?!We made the obligatory beer stop in Robertson and then carried on home, and after a really enjoyable ride we pulled into the Phoenix Bar in the early afternoon where Danny managed to get himself into the photograph! It was a 480km ride home and the big red machine just ate it up, the whole round trip with a couple of wrong direction detours was just under 1000kms and in spite of the horrendous conditions on day one it was a great outing. When's the next one?

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