The big red machine was due for its 80,000km service and I managed to get it booked in with the agents for today (Monday), we both arranged for the day off work and rode down to Capetown on Sunday evening. It was a bit of a cold and windy ride and it was getting dark as we arrived at Linda's house but a lovely curry meal and a couple of drinks soon sorted us out.
Early this morning we battled with Capetown's rush hour traffic and eventually found the BMW agent just after 08h00, they have moved from their old premises at the V & A Waterfront into the Culemborg area but they arranged transport for us to the Waterfront where we had decided to spend the day.
In spite of the fact that it was a monday, virtually in the middle of the month, the place was crowded. We had a light breakfast, watched a movie; "Safe House" which was filmed recently in Capetown and which we really enjoyed and then wandered around in search of a beer or two.
We settled on "Quay Four" however the beer, Castle lager, was R19 a bottle when we normally pay anything between R11 to R15. I didn't complain, after all they were bitterly cold and delicious but the Waterfront prices were later to become an issue.
After relaxing over our beers we walked around a bit more and decided to find a bit of lunch, I was in the mood for a bit of Portuguese seafood so we went into one of the big well established places there but after reading through the menu I was seriously put off. Local wines which are produced on estates in the Western Cape, all within a 200km radius, were priced between R90 and R150! Their starter courses were around R65 and the mains were exorbitant, we got up and walked out.
It's all very well if they want to fleece the tourists, fine, but us locals? I think they should ask when you walk in; "Where are you from?" - "Oh you're local, ok here's your cheaper menu, enjoy."
The Waterfront is a rip-off!
We ended up back at Quay Four where we had chicken wings and chips and a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc at a more manageable R85. Been there, done that - I don't think I will go back there again in a hurry.
While we waited for our transport to take us back to the BMW agents I noticed that there were a large number of scooters parked around, many more scooters than motorbikes and some, like this very neat blue and white one were very good looking, not for me but I can appreciate a nice one.
We collected the big red machine, paid for the service and got out on the road after 16h30, which was quite late. I had to fight with hometime traffic again and Janet is quite nervous when I thread through the traffic lanes, but when you're on a motorbike you have to do that rather than stay in the queues, otherwise what's the point of being on a bike?
Once we got onto the R27 I was able to open up and we settled down to a brisk 150kmh, at just under 4,000 rpm the bike felt absolutely fantastic and we thundered along with the sun gradually setting to our left. We were both quite cold by the time we got home but we agreed that it had been a lovely ride and I was really impressed with how good the bike had felt.
We have our own "Sword of Damocles" hanging over our head though, I was informed that my rear suspension unit is slowly leaking oil and will need to be replaced, this is no normal shock absorber as it is part of the ESA; Electronic Suspension Adjustment, and as such a new rear suspension will cost in the region of R20,000! A re-conditioned unit may be available and I am going to investigate, but do I really want to put a second hand part into my bike?
We have a long weekend ahead of us, here in South Africa Friday 27th is a public holiday and Tuesday 1st of May is "Worker's day", we have both taken Monday 30th as a day's leave so there's a five day break coming up! We will definitely get out on the bike, we'll speak later.