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.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Enduring memories

I was going through my old photo albums and came across one of my favourite pictures taken on a holiday in 1984, Janet insists that this was the best holiday she has ever had and I must say I do think I agree with her.
It is a story that I need to tell here, but it is a long story and will need to be serialised. In September 1984 the two of us on the two year old Yamaha 1.1 and two friends; Eddie and Althea on a Honda Silverwing spent a full month on the road and did 8,760kms around the entire country and right up into the then South West Africa (now Namibia), through Windhoek, Okahandja, Walvis Bay and Swakopmund.
We travelled back down the West Coast to Capetown and then back up to the Eastern Cape where we were then living.
This picture was taken on one of the days, about halfway through the trip, when we had been travelling for 660kms through the heat of the Northern Cape. We had just crossed into South West Africa and arrived at the little cross-roads village of Grunau, we negotiated a rough dirt road to get to the hotel and Janet climbed off the bike and said "That's it, I'm staying here tonight!"
Eddie went in to find out if we could get accommodation and came back out with two rooms secured and four bitterly cold Windhoek Lagers! Eddie took this happy photograph.
I have many enduring memories of the trip but that Tuesday night at the Grunau Hotel is a really happy memory, the dinner was wonderful consisting of Karoo lamb and vegetables and afterwards we were siting in the bar having a nightcap when all of a sudden the car park was full of the sound of arriving vehicles, khaki clad farmers and their wives and children piled into the bar and set chairs around the television and amidst the calls for "Double brandy and coke" the familiar theme tune of the series "Dallas" filled the now crowded room.
By chance we had arrived on the one night that the place got busy, indeed the whole of South Africa shut down on a Tuesday night in those days - unbelievable but everybody watched Dallas!
At ten o'clock when the episode was finished the hotel generator was switched off and we had to find our way to our rooms in the dark! Wonderful stuff and as I said; enduring memories.
This coming weekend we are going to the "Slangkop" (Snake's head) rally in the Cape, it will be my fifth rally there and I am looking forward to it, I'm riding through with Frank on Friday at about midday. The only thing that could ruin it would be wind, when the southerlies blow strong they blow extremely strong in that area - we shall see, I will obviously tell you all about it.


Geoff James said...

Lovely photo Andrew! Big road trip, meeting new people, experiencing all sorts of cool stuff. Really doesn't get any better, does it?

Look forward to the rest of the trip!

motoroz said...

Hope your trip continues to be a great adventure. Road trips are awesome.

the rider said...

Yes Geoff it was a great trip and although we have done many more road trips, that one stands out. Perhaps because it was such a long one and a whole month - wonderful!

Thanks motoroz, I will have to write up the whole trip.

SonjaM said...

Great picture. Time at hand, a bike, a companion and an open road, what more can you ask for? Can't wait to read more.

Anonymous said...

Andrew, at present the weather predictions are for strong SE winds- so i have gone and bought some longer stronger pegs for that sand - anyway lets hope they wrong - see you there when we not on duty
Ride safe

the rider said...

Hi Sonja, as I said this trip took place in 1984 so I think I will write it up bit by bit - but you're right, the open road is wonderful.

Dick I hope the wind is not going to be too bad damn it, it really ruined the rally one year - I think I will go and buy some of those long tent pegs too. See you there.