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.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Witsand ride, day one - wet and windy

Had I known beforehand what the weather was going to be like, if I had bothered to check the weather reports for the Southern Cape for Thursday 16th December I might have cancelled the trip! Thankfully I didn't do that because then we would have missed out on day three; the ride home which was absolutely fantastic!
We got going at about 07h20 and it was raining gently, it had rained all through the night and I thought that it couldn't rain for much longer, it looked like it was clearing up. We didn't care, we pulled our rain suits on and headed off on another adventure and by the time we were halfway to Capetown the rain had stopped. It actually became quite pleasant as we rode through town and onto the N2 heading towards Somerset West and the Strand.
The N2 was very busy as usual and it was as we neared Somerset West that it started to rain again, but far worse was the fact that the Southerly wind started blowing in earnest. We turned off the N2, where the cages were starting to crowd me on the wet surface, onto the beautifully picturesque Clarence drive which hugs the coast around to Rooiels and Betty's Bay. The wind was literally gale force here (just look at my hair!) and it was really punishing me in the corners, we pulled over to phone John and Tina about our breakfast meeting and then pushed on. I did not enjoy that ride very much, the wind would surprise me by slamming into us from a different direction in each corner and by the time we reached Hermanus we were feeling pretty tired, my shoulders were aching with the effort.
We spent a very pleasant hour or so in Hermanus chatting with our friends over a delicious breakfast and then it was time to press on, the wind was still at gale force, stronger even than when we had arrived and on the ride through to rejoin the N2 it was pretty much permanently hammering us from the side so that we were riding leant over at an angle.
We turned onto the National road and had about 120kms to go to Heidelberg where we were to turn off and I was able to open up to 140 - 150kmh, we hadn't done even 30kms when it suddenly started to rain and within minutes it was hammering down. I was happy to travel at 140kmh but it was dangerous when we caught up with lines of cars and trucks travelling in a convoy, then the drivers started to do dangerous things like bunch up around me!
It was tense travelling until we eventually reached the turnoff to Witsand and I was able to get out of the traffic. We were extremely relieved to pull into the parking area of the Breede River Lodge and get ourselves sorted out.
Later that evening after a couple of beers in the bar we went into the restaurant for dinner and the food was really good. I had three wild oysters as a starter and I was very impressed with how delicious they are, it had been many years since I had last had them in Knysna and I had forgotten how good they were.The dining room has a lovely view over the Breede River and we sat sipping our wine as the sun went down, by then totally relaxed after our hectic ride.
My main course was a seafood platter which I really enjoyed, Janet had a prawn special and it was quite late by then time we went to our room to settle down for the night.
The wind was still blowing very hard and we had not made up our minds what we were going to do the next day, we would decide when we woke up but by then I was already feeling that the day's ride hadn't been all that bad and I would not rather have been in a car.


Geoff James said...

Nice write-up Andrew and well done for handling the wind. Of all types of weather, it's the wind which I hate most. Your last comment about still preferring to be on a bike (despite the weather)is the hallmark of a true motorcyclist. Respect!!

Merry Xmas and have a wonderful 2011

George F said...

Oh, those prawns are making me hungry, shrimp in America are not the same. I still remember the Mozambican Tiger Prawns ;-) I was born in Mozambique.

the rider said...

Thanks Geoff, yes the wind is also the worst for us, especially when the gusts threaten to blow you across the road!

Hi George, yes I remember those prawns in Moz. I used to holiday at Ponta Do Ouro when it was still Portuguese territory - fantastic!

SonjaM said...

Mouthwatering pics. There's nothing wrong with rain if the gear is right, but wind is nasty. Besides slush it is the only thing I really hate while riding. Happy holidays!

the rider said...

Hi Sonja, at least slush is something that we don't have to worry about here! Even when it rains hard it doesn't usually take long for the roads to dry up and generally our road system is pretty good, we have to be on the look out for potholes though.