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.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Spring flower ride

On Friday, which was incidentally the last day of August, the weather was absolutely horrendous which resulted in Patrick and Patricia (affectionately known to all their friends as "The Pats") bringing Janet up from Capetown in their car. It was most definitely not a motorcycle day with lashing rain and gale force winds and we were desparately hoping that things would improve for our flower trip the next day.
Frank came around that evening, in his car, and we had a good get together and a seafood meal, we also decided that we would still go out even if it meant travelling by car.
This picture was taken later on Saturday at the West Coast Hacienda where we were supposed to be staying over; Janet, me, the Pats, Janet (another one, affectionately known as "dh" - darling heart) and Frank - the happy group.
Frank arrived just after 09h00 and we got organised for the ride, it wasn't warm and it had already been raining but we were optimistic that it was going to clear up. It was to be a day out on the bikes with the Pats following in their car, ending back at home for the evening as our accommodation bookings hadn't worked out but we all felt it would be better this way anyway.
We set out under a pale wintry sky with ominous clumps of heavy grey clouds dotting the horizon to the north and west, just where we were headed. My thermometer showed me that it was a cool 14,5 celsius as we roared through Vredenburg and on to Velddrif. We had a small amount of rain while riding through Dwaarskersbos but after that it cleared and the ride to Eland's Bay was enjoyable, especially where the previously very badly pot-holed road had been repaired.
We kept to a fairly sedate 120kmh, the road is narrow with no run off so it doesn't really lend itself to high speed and anyway we had the car travelling with us. The sky gradually cleared and the sun came out but there were no flowers! We had a very enjoyable ride through to Eland's Bay where we stopped at the hotel for a beer.
Just one beer and a bit of a chat in the sun, starting to warm up and then it was time to move on, next stop the town of Clanwilliam for a bit of lunch.
Only 70km to Clanwilliam, a very nice road in lovely weather but still no flowers, Janet managed to spot some but they either had their backs to us or they were clenched up in the patchy cloud shadows, oh well just enjoy the ride. It was lunchtime when we arrived in the town and I was hungry, Pat knew of a little restaurant which served very nice light meals and beers.
Janet asked Frank to get her handbag out of the bike and he felt the need to pose with it; "Getting in touch with his feminine side!" he said, I left him to it, I didn't want anyone to think we were together!
A nice lunch in a shady garden with a bottle of wine, I had a very tasty chicken schnitzel with a mushroom sauce that set me up for the rest of the day.
Saddle up time. Neither Frank or the Pats had seen the Pakhuis Pass so that was next, I can't get enough of it so I had no trouble going up there again.
A couple of nice group photos with one of the group missing from each, the usual story unless you can get a passer-by to take a photo or you can balance the camera on a convenient fence post, neither of which was available to us at that time. A fun time.
Just look at that beautiful scenery, the Pats left just a bit ahead of us and stopped on the side of the road to get some photos. (I've never been in so many photos before, it's a whole new experience!)

Cool cruising, me and Janet on the big red machine just loving it!

Cool cruising, Frank and Janet on the FJR and also loving it!
By the time we got back down into Clanwilliam it was mid afternoon and a bit late to take the long way home so I suggested we retrace our route, we still had some partying to do at home that night, Frank suggested we pull into the West Coast Hacienda on the way home to say "Hello" to Marius, hence the opening photograph.
From the Hacienda it is only about 140km back to Saldanha, a very nice ride but definitely quite cold and that same rain cloud was waiting for us at Dwaarskersbos, we got rained on again just a little, not enough to make us put rain suits on though, a lovely day with a great bunch of people and even though we didn't see any wild flowers it was a worthwhile ride.
The wild flower season is not going to last much longer but definitely the best place to see them is between the Engen One-stop and Langebaan and between Langebaan and Saldanha, I have heard that the flowers in the nature reserve are spectacular as well, but I am not going to sit in a five kilometre long queue just to go and look at the sex organs of vegetables!
Sunday morning we accompanied our friends down to Capetown where we all had a good breakfast at the Viper Lounge, we said our goodbyes and then Janet and I roared up the N7 to Malmesbury and back home, what a good weekend on the bike!

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