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.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Wellington for lunch

It's Tuesday evening, the weather yesterday and today has been absolute crap, the southerly wind has been howling non stop since late Sunday night and with my job; out on the mussel farm that is the absolute pits! I spend the entire day staggering around on a heaving deck and the constant buffeting from the wind makes me seriously bad tempered. Don't get me started!
The weekend, however, was absolutely fantastic! Friday afternoon was the usual pool get together with Frank and Danny at the "Rooikrans" pub, made all the more enjoyable because I won most of the games.
Saturday after a local cruise we met Joe and Annie at the "Voorstrand" restaurant in Paternoster for a disapointingly mediocre and overpriced lunch, I've now got that place out of my system, it is a fabulous setting, right on the beach but the last time I was there, which was admittedly quite a long time ago, the fish was fantastic - not so this time.
Sunday; after the spa bath with the chilled bottle of sparkling Sauvignon Blanc which really gets the day started, it was time to do some shopping.
Women love shopping. We went early to get it over with and I drive the trolley, following Janet down the aisles while she picks up an item, compares it with another, looks at it again and puts the first one in the trolley. I share a sympathetic smile with other guys leaning on their trolley handles while their wives scan shelves comparing prices and choosing things that weren't on the shopping list.
I consider it a personal triumph if I can steer Janet past one of the aisles, either by deliberately nudging her with the trolley or by saying blatantly "We don't need anything from this aisle dear."
Usually she shoves the trolley aside or says "You shut up!" and sets off happily to study shelves of stock. I managed to get her out of there in time to meet Frank at the Engen One Stop by 11h00 but it was a close call!
There were quite a lot of bikers around, homeward bound after a rally in Saldanha. We had a cup of famous Wimpy coffee while we waited for Frank to join us.
It was a fantastic morning, just a gentle breeze and a lazy sun, not too hot but by the time we got out on the road it was 20 degrees. I had decided on a ride to Wellington for lunch at the "Gecko Lounge", Frank and I had eaten there when we sussed out the route for the last Polar Bear run but Janet hadn't been there yet.
The R45 to Malmesbury, as I've told you before, is quite a boring road and it is one that we normally do fast, this time we did it at about 140kmh, no particular rush we were just enjoying the lovely weather and the clean, powerful feeling of the big red machine eating up the kilometres.
After about 70kms of virtually straight road through flat farmlands you come to the first interesting corners just before the N7, you can't help opening up and plunging happily into those last ten kilometres, sheer biker bliss.
We rode down the N7 and then through Malmesbury to take the R302 towards Durbanville, a much nicer road through more verdant farmlands with signs of the wineyards to come and at the turnoff I found a place to stop for a leg-stretch and a place for Frank to have a smoke.
Me and my old riding buddy, where would I be without him? By then the temperature was in the high twenties and we were having an absolute jol!
On the road again, Frank bringing up the rear and the weather was fantastic - my words are not good enough to tell you how much I was enjoying that ride; the big red machine was performing flawlessly, there was a song in my head and there was the promise of a good lunch. Many more miles to ride with my lady behind me, life is good.
That is not a fast road, it is particularly rough especially around the "Perdeberg" wine estate, but it is a seriously picturesque road and is therefore best travelled at a steady cruise, we were not in any hurry but by then I was feeling some hunger pangs and it was with a sense of anticipation that we rode into the small Boland town of Wellington, the town which has the dubious distinction of having the highest incidence of foetal alcohol syndrome in the country!
We parked our steeds in the parking area of the "Gecko Lounge", Janet's big smile is because she saw that the doors behind her were the entrance to the "Slots gaming area" from which we immediately banned her! We didn't have that kind of time available although she is very good with those infuriating money gobbling machines.
I can recommend the Gecko Lounge to you in all good faith, it is not a fine dining restaurant but more of a diner or even a "dive" in the good sense, I had a wonderful Sirloin steak, perfectly medium rare as I ordered it, unfortunately it was basted/sloshed in the same sweet sauce as Janet and Frank's chicken wings and also my fabulous roasted mushrooms, I suspect that everything from the ribs to the burgers suffer that same basting sauce.
Frank paid R440 for the meal which included the gratuity, not at all bad for three meals, one beer, a bottle of wine and two double Cane and coke - R147 per person, I'll go again but next time I will remember to ask them to ditch the sauce.
We took the short route home, I refuelled in Malmesbury and still the weather was sublime. My thermometer registered 30celsius while Frank's measured 35, Janet had a rude comment for Frank about the difference between BMW and other makes when we pondered the discrepancy.
We hit the R45 homeward at speed and pulled into the farmstall after Hopefield for a delicious cup of coffee in the bush, genuine "moer-coffee" out of an enamel pot.
Coffee in the bush, in retrospect we rode home from the farmstall in a steadily increasing wind, a precursor of that wind that has bothered me since. What a memorable day though, 302,5kms of sheer blissful enjoyment - if you don't ride than you don't know.

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