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, January 23, 2012

Lunch in Capetown and we check out the Beach Club

Saturday it was still hot and humid, the past two weeks have seen a debilitating heatwave over the western cape, heat that saps your energy and keeps you continously damp and bad tempered. We saw temperatures in the high 30's celsius but I believe further north and inland there were recordings of close to 50!
We are lucky in Saldanha Bay in that the southerly wind blows in off the sea and over the bay itself, this tends to keep temperatures down slightly, but move away from the bay and you soon feel the temperature rise.
Luckily Sunday was forcast as the beginning of a slight relief from the heat as we were going to Capetown to meet up with Janet's sister Lesley and Leon for lunch and I desparately did not want to drive down, I wanted to ride! Sure enough Sunday morning it was considerably cooler as we saddled up, some 8 degrees cooler than the same time the previous Sunday.
It was a happy boy who guided the big red machine onto the R27 and powered south into the light south easterly which went some way to keeping things cool. It took us just about an hour to get to "Ons huisie" (Our house) restaurant in Blauwbergstrand and the weather was so pleasant that we found a nice table outside where we enjoyed a good lunch and two hours of pleasant company and conversation.
Before heading home I wanted to check in at the Viper lounge to see what was new in the "Victory" line of motorcycles they are selling;
This very nice looking Victory Vegas Jackpot was priced at R220,000, Janet wasn't too keen on the tiny little pad that she would have to perch on though.
This was a bit more to Janet's liking, priced at R269,000 - talk about a big red machine!
I liked the look of this one, priced at nearly R300,000 it has a lot of Arlen Ness custom parts as well as diamond cut engine fins and a really good looking paint job, but there was no top case/ back rest for Janet so I didn't buy it. Nice looking machines though.
The ride home was fast, enjoyable and uneventful with the BMW performing perfectly as usual, we both really enjoyed it and as we cruised into Saldanha the welcome cool breeze over the bay made us feel at home.
I had heard about a new pub that had opened up called the Beach Club so of course I wanted to check it out;
Our friend Ryno, who quite a few years ago started the "Captain's Cabin" has taken over the old beach sailing club which had never been very successful, and has made it into a casual beach pub/restaurant and I must say there is a lot of potential here.
There is a limited, light meal menu with items such as burgers, pizzas, fish and chips and calamari and chips etc., all at very reasonable prices.
Ryno's plan is to build a wooden deck outside in an "L" shape around the front of the building with shade, even though the facilities are quite casual at the moment, there were a good few people there.
Water sports are encouraged and the bay and the lagoon are popular areas for kite surfing in particular,
I'm not much into water sports but I'll certainly be back!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Breakfast run

I was free on Sunday, Janet had plans for things that she wanted to do around the house and I knew that if I didn't get away I would get roped into moving heavy things around. As luck would have it the Meeulanders had a breakfast run organised so I happily saddled up after kissing the little woman goodbye and thundered off to the meeting point at the Engen one stop.
It turned out to be a small group, we stood around drinking famous Wimpy restaurant coffee while we waited for others to arrive. Nearby a group of Harley riders had gathered and I went over to chat to them, they turned out to be a friendly bunch even though.................
They were six people on four bikes and they were going to have breakfast in Riebeek, man I was glad we weren't going there, the temperature was already in the high twenties and in that Riebeek valley it would be getting a lot hotter.
If ever I was to get a Harley, which is very unlikely, it would be this one. This cool dude was still smoking his pipe as he rode out.
You see, Harley people do wave! It was 09h30 and it didn't look like anyone else was coming, we were about ten people on six motorbikes and Frank was in his car (I'll explain why a bit later), time to get going.
It's not a long ride along the R27 to Velddrif, about twenty kilometres but it was a nice ride and I found myself shouting the lyrics to "Born to be wild" into my helmet. Div set up a fair pace on his Honda, I was behind him and I could see the others in my mirrors as we sped along through the warm summer morning, our destination growing closer in the shimmering heat haze, Man it was going to be a hot one!
Through Velddrif and along the road towards Dwaarskersbos and our breakfast destination was the "Soverby Lapa" which we had coincidentally visited the previous weekend;
It was still a bit early in the day and the place was not yet open as we lined the bikes up outside, but we didn't have long to wait.
It's a really picturesque spot and what was also good was that there was a gentle breeze coming in off the sea that kept the temperature down, it turned out to be a very pleasant morning. We got beers in hand, placed our breakfast orders and stood around talking crap, as bikers are often wont to do.
I mentioned that Frank was in his car and the reason is that two weeks ago returning home from the Snoek festival at Yzerfontein his beloved FJR high-sided him!
Apparently as he was approaching the R27 and luckily not going very fast his front wheel hit something slippery, the handle bars suddenly went into full lock and as the wheel hit dry tar again he was flipped over the bars to land rather ignominiously in front of an oncoming car.
The people in the car helped Frank up, he was more worried about his baby and they helped him pick her up as well. The damage did not seem too severe, luckily he did not have the panniers and top case on, there was a scrape on the front fairing, the wing mirror was bent and the rubber boot which was designed to protect the side of the bike had done its job.
We decided then and there to re-enact the accident scene with the help of a plastic motorbike, because none of us wanted to lay our bikes down in the sand!
 Frank always wears full leathers when riding and they were scuffed on the one elbow quite badly which would definitely have resulted in severe skin loss, his helmet was also grazed in two places. He got away with a few bruises, a cracked rib, a damaged ego and a scraped motorbike, his bruises are fading, his ego is rebounding and the insurance will fix the bike but it goes to show the value of ATGATT! The rib will heal eventually.
He is eagerly awaiting the return of his bike so that he can get back out on the road, we are going to the "Freedom Road Rally" in Stillbay in early February so it must be ready by then.
There was much light hearted banter and Frank is the kind of guy who can take a ribbing, we had a very pleasant morning and the breakfast was very good;
This is a word to all of the restaurant owners out there; you need to give bikers a good breakfast, if you do that they will come back and they will bring their friends and bikers often do breakfast runs, much more so than the poor people who have nothing to do with motorbikes, they stay at home and eat toast and have boring lives.
This breakfast was good and it only cost R38, we will be back.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Thanks for the mammaries

This came through my email the other day and I produce it here with absolutely no apologies because I love it, it's a guy thing;

When I was 13 I hoped that one day I would have a girlfriend with big tits.

When I was 16 I got a girlfriend with big tits but there was no passion, so I decided I needed a passionate girl with a zest for life.

In college I dated a passionate girl but she was too emotional. Everything was an emergency. she was a drama queen, cried all the time and threatened to commit suicide, so I decided I needed a girl with stability.

When I was 25 I found a very stable girl but she was boring, she was totally predictable and never got excited about anything. Life became so dull that I decided I needed a girl with some excitement.

When I was 28 I found an exciting girl but I couldn't keep up with her, she rushed from one thing to another, never settlled on anything. She did mad impetuous things and made me miserable as often as I was happy. She was great fun initially and very energetic but directionless, so I decided to find a girl with some real ambition.

When I turned 30 I found a smart ambitious girl with her feet planted firmly on the ground so I married her, she was so ambitious that she divorced me and took everything that I owned.

I am older and much wiser now and I am looking once again for a girl with big tits.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Thali Thali restaurant and Nature reserve

Tomorrow it is back to work, the silly season is over but summer is here with a vengeance and the weather is beautiful. Today we went out to lunch with our friends Tony and Laura who have just moved into the area and as they spent some forty years in Kenya we decided to take them into the bush for lunch.
We took them to the "Thali thali" restaurant which is in a nature reserve just off the R27 quite close to the Langebaan turn off. As it is a 3km rough and sandy dirt road we were not able to go on the big red machine so we travelled in Tony's car.
After travelling along the road to the restaurant people are usually quite surprised at how neat and tidy, almost "upmarket" the buildings and chalets are, the restaurant is very pleasantly appointed with both inside and veranda seating areas. There is also a huge bonfire area where outside pots are prepared for specific occasions;
 We were there one evening just before Christmas with Janet's work collegues for their end of year function and the food was all prepared in cast iron pots outside; lamb, beef and mutton pots with rice and vegetables, all very nice.
Plunge pool, dining hall for large groups and accommodation.
We settled down at our table on the shaded veranda and studied the menu over a couple of cold beers, it is quite a small menu but with interesting items such as "Skilpaatjies", (lamb's liver wrapped in spleen fat), "Pofadders" (blood sausage wrapped in bacon) and other quite unusual delectable and very tempting items apart from the more regular, Lamb chops, Crumbed Pork chops, Eisbein etc.
I eventually chose the "Afval potjie" (Offal pot) as I hadn't had that for quite some time.
 It was very nicely presented in a cast iron pot which served very well to keep the meal hot, with samp (miellies and beans) which was delicious and authentic African, sweet potatoes and rice, the small cup on the left contained chutney, altogether a very good meal.
Let me just tell you a bit about Offal or as it is known in isiXhosa; "Nqweme" (the Q is a hard click with the tongue at the back of the palate.) English people make tripe out of the sheep's stomach and I remember my dear old Mom used to scrub it with a brush for so long before cooking it that it was absolutely tasteless, nevertheless I used to eat it regularly and quite enjoyed it.
Then we were transferred to the Transkei in the eastern Cape in 1976 where we lived for ten years, there I learned to speak isiXhosa and there we were introduced to Nqweme! The main secret to this delicious traditional dish is that it is not cleaned too rigorously and it is made with all of the guts not just the stomach lining, the amaXhosa literally just flap it under a tap and flush the pipes and tubes out and then cook it, usually outside because it smells pretty bad!
It is usually simmered for quite a long time to get it tender, then potatoes are added to the pot and some vegetables and it is often served on rice. Janet and I both love eating this traditional African dish and at one festival a couple of years back we were wandering around the usual assortment of food stalls when I spotted a stall at the end crowded with black customers, we went over and saw a hand written sign advertising "Nqweme." - I immediately ordered two portions much to the amazement of the other customers who were definitely not expecting white customers, let alone one who could order it in their language! We stood there eating delicious authentic nqweme out of styrofoam containers and even ordered more later to take home. 
My Offal pot was good and tasty although not completely authentic as this had a curry flavour, nice all the same but I miss the slightly bitter aftertaste of the real thing.
Laura had Ox tongue with sweet mustard and vegetables while Janet went for the other end of the beast and had an Oxtail pot which she said was delicious.
The helpings were very generous and there was certainly enough to eat.
Just look at the size of Tony's Eisbein with sauerkraut!
Get stuck in folks! We all agreed that the food was excellent, that it was nice being out in the bush and we will certainly go back there again. There was no need for starters and there was no room for dessert at that stage. The bill came to R550 with gratuity which included six beers and a bottle of wine, excellent value as far as I am concerned.

 They have two different types of chalets for rent and from what I saw the prices, even in peak season, were very reasonable. Apparently the restaurant is open every day and for large groups they will do the potjies. It was a very pleasant couple of hours and it was good to be out in the bush even though we were only about ten to fifteen kilometres from the sea as the crow flies.
There is a lot of game, Antelope and Giraffe in the nature reserve and they do game drives by appointment, give them a call on 022 7661626 and arrange a visit, the turn off is directly opposite the Engen One-stop off the R27, tell them I sent you.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

January 1st 2012, Teyana's Restaurant

So here it is; 2012 - dammit the last one seems to have flown by, or that just me? I can clearly remember the last new year's eve party at the Viper Lounge with Linda and Janet and that doesn't seem so long ago!
No party for us this year, we had a quiet night at home opting rather for a ride out for lunch today. It was a nice hot day with a gentle breeze and we took the R27 route through to Velddrif where we popped into the "Ek en Jy Visserye" to wish Des, Marina, Leon and Christine all of the best for the coming year.
Des got raided by the Police who caught him selling beer without a liquor license so he was a bit "down in the dumps", someone in the same road had complained - he claims - out of jealousy, so now he is going to go through the legal channels to get a license. We sat for a while chatting, drank a beer (which we had taken there with us of course!) out of a styrfoam cup.
We had tentative plans for lunch so we said our goodbyes and saddled up, there is a little restaurant and bar; "Teyana's" on the banks of the Berg River just to the left of the bridge as you enter Velddrif, we had been there before some time ago and had enjoyed it so we decided to go there again;
 Perhaps it doesn't look like much from the outside, it is in amongst some factories but you can clearly see the colourful flags and umbrellas as you approach the town.
Sort of "Shabby chic." but the food is good and from the veranda you can sit and watch the boats going up and down the river.
We were able to park the big red machine right outside the front of the place, which I like. I'm not too happy when the bike is out of sight, but that's just a biker thing isn't it?
Right on the banks of the Berg River.
The place is casual, wooden tables and benches out on the veranda with an inside eating area if the weather is bad and also a bar area. It was fairly busy with groups of people coming and going throughout the time we were there. I ordered a Hake and Prawn Combo with chips;
It was delicious! The Hake was fresh, soft and succulent with a very light batter and the prawns were nice and firm, it came with a garlic butter sauce and a mayonnaise, I really enyoyed my meal and will certainly have it again.
Janet went for home made Steak and Kidney pie with chips and gravy;
A decent sized pie which she declared to be delicious, indeed she managed to eat it all herself, I didn't get anything off that plate!
We finished our meals and then sat for a while over a glass of wine enjoying the atmosphere and the sheer pleasure of summer on the cape West Coast.
Teyana's does not have an extensive menu and it is casual, it is not fine dining but it is value for money and good wholesome food such as the pies, burgers, light lunches and breakfasts and we will certainly be back.
Just look at that account, with the gratuity for the service which was certainly attentive and friendly it came to just over R200, that's R100 per person which we don't often get - you do the math.
We had a pleasant ride home, it's only about 60kms from Saldanha to Velddrif so no big deal but we did take a longer way round in the morning on the way out, a very pleasant outing and a lovely start to the new year.
Tomorrow we are having lunch with friends Tony and Laura at "Thali-thali", a restaurant in a nature reserve not far from here, we will have to go in the bakkie (ute/pick-up/van) though because it is a 3km rough dirt road into the bush to get there, I'll tell you all about it.