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, May 21, 2012

Winter - pros and cons

Winter is upon us! It has been pretty cold these past two weeks and we have had some of our first rain, we get winter rains on the Cape west coast so riding days are cut down a bit. Fortunately it is a relatively short winter and there are often wonderful balmy days right in the middle of the worst weather so we have to choose our riding days, you can't count on good weekends so planning a ride is difficult.
Having said that, our fifth annual Polar Bear run is booked for the last weekend in July! If you have been reading my stuff you will have seen that every Polar Bear run up until now has been held in the most wonderful weather even though they have been right in the middle of winter, let's hope the luck holds.
This year the run is to the Porterville Hotel which is only some 100kms from home but the idea is to do a long loop arriving at the hotel in the mid afternoon. That way it is only a short ride home after the party! I am going to plan the route and my buddy Dave has agreed to set up the cheese and wine stop on the way, we'll make it a good one and you can bet I'll tell you all about it.
I have had a couple of short local rides including a trip down to Capetown to get the new battery fitted, I enjoyed the ride so I'm not going to mention how much the battery cost!
A lot of our short rides take place around the Western Cape area, and particularly the area where we live so I thought I would show you how beautiful our area really is;
This view (over the fresh oysters) is of the Langebaan Lagoon stretching down towards Church Haven, this is a very popular tourist area and is always crowded in summer and the holiday season, the lagoon and the bay is a particularly popular area for kite surfers and wind surfers and some international events take place here. Langebaan is twenty minutes from home around the bay.
Behind the happy looking rider is the resort and restaurant "Weskus Plek" (West Coast Place) at Jacob's Bay, a very picturesque spot on the planet and only ten minutes from home. Other nearby coastal resorts which are often included in our rides are Paternoster, Saint Helena Bay and Velddrif on the banks of the Berg River where my friend Des has his rustic little shop the "Ek en Jy Visserye" which is a tongue-in-cheek take on the I & J Fishing Company.

Saldanha Bay is in its self a picturesque and pleasant little town but it loses out as far as tourism is concerned to the nearby places like Langebaan and Paternoster but perhaps that is better for us residents anyway. If you are interested check out Google Earth to get a look at the "Lie of the land" to see where we are, Saldanha is pretty much a fishing town with a couple of big industries like the Sea Harvest Factory and the Rock Lobster processing factory. It is also home to the mussel farm in which I am involved and also a large oyster growing area.
We have also got the export terminal for the iron ore which comes down from the Sishen area and which is loaded onto bulk ore carriers right here so we have quite a busy harbour.
At the moment the small subsistence fishermen are very busy with the shoals of Snoek (Thyrsites Atun) which are running and some beautiful specimens are being offloaded at Pepper Bay, the price seems to have come down to about R25 per fish so I think I'll get myself a lovely fresh one for the weekend.
The word soon spreads that the Snoek are running and the crowds come down to the jetty to buy some fresh fish direct from the boats, there's not a hell of a lot better than that.
From then it almost becomes a race for the boats to come in, tie up and sell their catches, most of the early boats sell the entire load to individual buyers,

Some of the later ones sell to the public, either in the local area or they park next to the road down in Capetown and sell them down there.
Look at those big fish, now at the start of the winter they start having a lovely fat stomach lining (much like mine actually!) which is absolutely delicious on the braai, I'm gonna buy me one. I love a Snoek braai with a bunch of freinds, Janet makes some garlic or creamy Aromat potatoes and a salad, not a hell of a lot better than that!
Maybe my next story will be about the Snoek braai - stay on two wheels and stay safe! 


Richard said...

Very nice! Would love to travel there to see it in person. We are getting ready for summer here. Been riding my bikes to work every day.


the rider said...

Thanks for the comment Richard, your profile doesn't give any info, where do you live?