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.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Two days in Bonnievale and lots of wine

Ok so it's the last few days of our holiday, Monday 4th February we go back to work. This past week was supposed to have been spent touring around on the motorbike but if you've been reading my crap you'll know what has happened, we are still driving around in an Avis rental!
On Tuesday we decided to head off into the winelands for a couple of days just to get away and I figured that if I'm driving a car I've got space for wine, our family decimated my wine collection so I needed to re-stock - the wine was for them and my son, my daughter and my son-in-law managed to drink the whole lot, about forty bottles of good red wine before they left, (with a little help from me!).
The driver - normally I'm "The rider". It's been such a long time since we have traveled by car, (apart from the recent trip with the family to Wilderness) that I can't even remember when it might have been, probably three years ago when they last visited. We are so used to travelling light and carrying only what can be packed in the bikes panniers and topcase that we didn't know what to take and ended up with far too many clothes for a two night stay. Conveniently though we were able to carry food and booze although that fact alone would not convert me, during the trip Janet said; "It's so boring in a car!" - I loved her for that comment and definitely agreed with her - we miss our motorbike.
Man it was hot! The temperature was hovering around the forty degree mark in that valley, we'd stopped for a pleasant lunch in Worcester where the restaurant's air conditioner was only just coping and unfortunately our car did not have one so we drove with the window open to circulate the hot air. (It would have been very hot in biking gear!)
Our chalet was great, right on the bank of the Breede River and it was air-conditioned! We made use of the air-con the whole time we were there and it was wonderful.
We relaxed until the late afternoon when it wasn't quite so hot, "Toy Cottages" (of which there are three) are situated on a working fruit farm and we were told that we could pick what we could eat,
Janet was in her element, she would be a "forager", she loves being able to pick and eat, the yellow cling peaches were ripe, sweet and delicious,
and I think it brought out the "hunter-gatherer" in her.
This beautiful big dog, "Magnum" lives on the farm and visited us a lot over the three days.
On Wednesday it was partly cloudy and a lot more comfortable for our wine estate tour which we started at De Wetshoff;
where we tasted a few wines and I ended up buying two bottles of their "Naissance" 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon at R105 each, lovely stuff! From there we went to Van Loveren, more tasting and I bought six bottles of their 2012 Merlot at only R45 each.
Don't leave the wine unattended next to old biker trash! I'm trying to look like I know what I'm doing here. It was lunch time and there is a really nice bistro, I had a wonderful piece of sirloin steak with wedges and onion rings, absolutely delicious;
Janet had the "Hawaiian" pizza which she declared to be the best pizza she has ever had! She managed to eat two-thirds of it but we didn't doggy-bag the left overs because I don't eat that stuff and she wouldn't eat it later because we had planned to burn some ribs that evening.
Much later! We finished off our day with a visit to Van Zhylshoff which is in Bonnievale itself, we tasted a couple of reds and whites - or was that whites and reds? I bought some really nice Sauvignon blanc and some Chenin blanc and from there it was only four and a half k's to our chalet.
Magnum spent the evening with us, a lovely relaxing time.
The next day was homeward bound with a stop for lunch and some more red wine at Rooiberg where I bought an assorted case of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz and from there through to Darling Cellars where I bought some of our favourite "Black Granite Shiraz" arriving at home in the mid afternoon.
What this all means is that if you were planning to come and visit, now's the time, we've got plenty of wine!
Now we take the weekend to prepare ourselves for work on Monday.

I would thoroughly recommend "Toy Cottages" to you for a stayover, we had the luxury cottage which is rather pricey at R400 per person per night but it has everything there; bedding, towels, even a bag of charcoal for your braai, very comfortable beds with two en-suite rooms both with large corner baths and showers and the air conditioner was the kicker, it more than made up for it. The other two chalets which are not as expensive are not air conditioned. Each chalet has a paddle-ski for use on the river although we didn't have the energy to make use of ours!
We'll definitely be back, speak to Carla on 0236162735 and tell her I sent you.

An update on the big red machine; a phone call from the workshop manager to inform me that they would not be able to repair the diff., - I'm really going off this guy! - It would have to be replaced at a cost of R19,000! I have no choice but to go ahead, so now I still have a dilemma; replace the diff. and keep the bike forever or take a loss on the sale and buy another bike - which definitely will NOT be a BMW!


Chillertek said...

I've never owned a shaft drive bike and seeing that you don't get oil flinging from the chain going over the fairings and rims etc I can see the appeal for a lot of riders.

Now I also see that at R19K or $2K Aus that is a big repair bill. Makes my chain and sprocket repair at $320 Aus or R3000 look really cheap. I think i'll just do what I always do and just spend a little more time cleaning the oil from my bike. Shaft drive no thanks.

Hopefully your back on the road soon Andrew.

the rider said...

Hi Brother, conversely I have only ever owned one chain drive bike and that was my Suzuki GT750 way back in the early 70's - I used to ride the Brit bikes back in Rhodesia when I was in the Police force which were of course chain drive; Matchless 500 and BSA 650 but since then all my bikes have been shaft drive and I have never had any problems - generally they are maintenance and problem-free, just not the bloody R1200RT!