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.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Buffalo Rally 2014 - part two - the mass ride, lunch and a quiet afternoon

I stumbled out of my tent and headed to the ablution block just after 07h30, I had had a bit of a sleep but I'm not sure for how long, anyway it was too noisy and by then too bright. There are some who just love to rev their bikes to the limiter and make them backfire and this goes on all through the night from different parts of the camp, as soon as one stops another takes over and so it goes. It's not easy to sleep when the air inside your mattress is vibrating!
I joined many other happy campers at the coffee tent and then wandered back to our camp, I had a couple of hours before the mass ride so I just relaxed. I was meeting Chelee, my friend Alan's daughter who was going to ride pillion with me at the gate so I had to be on my best behaviour. After another couple of cups of coffee I was as right as rain.
Our friends were a bit concerned about Frank, he hadn't returned to his tent but I had an idea where he might be so on my way to the gate I stopped off at the main tent and sure enough;
there he was, on his way back to the camp to go and get some sleep! I'm telling you there are not too many younger people who can keep up with this guy at a party, I'm pretty good but I have trouble keeping up with him.
The weather was great, the mass ride was crowded and it's a lot of clutch and brake riding but the roads were lined with other bikers and members of the public all waving and cheering which made it a very festive spectacle. After dropping the young lady at her car I went off to have some lunch and ended up at the "Anchor Restaurant" at Viking Fishing.
What I liked about this place was the casual atmosphere and that the food was braaiied over the coals to order, I ordered a piece of Marlin and this was braaiied to perfection.
 Lovely fresh Marlin steak washed down with a glass of cold Sauvignon Blanc, I felt much better after that and headed back to the campsite, from then on it was going to be a quiet afternoon preparing for the ride home the next day, no more party!
By then Frank was up and about having had a sleep in one of the chairs, everyone was taking it easy for the afternoon before going down to the main tent for the lucky prize draw in the evening.
 Later on Steve braaiied some meat for the people at what must be the braai with the best view ever. I didn't stay long at the main tent, the prizes were won by other people anyway and by 21h00 I was dog tired, I climbed into my tent and dozed off but there was still a lot of noise and it was difficult to sleep, perhaps I could get enough sleep to feel good for the ride home the next day.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Buffalo Rally 2014, part one - the journey and the party

The long awaited day finally arrived, the weather forecast was favourable, I had packed all of my gear excitedly the previous afternoon and by 06h00 I was ready to roll. I left home at 06h30 and rode through to the Engen One Stop to meet up with Frank.
Our friend 'Cois (short for Fancois, pronounced "Soy") and his good lady were also there, and over a cup of Wimpy's famous coffee we discussed our route. Frank and I had decided to make a day of it and take a bit of a longer route, we were heading for breakfast at the Wimpy in Ceres while 'Cois was going to turn off at Wolseley and head through to Worcester for breakfast, we would ride together until then.
By 07h15 we were thundering along the R45 towards the rising sun, I consciously relaxed my shoulders and took a few deep breaths, I was happy. I was in front, setting up a fairly relaxed 140kmh pace which ate up the kilometres through Mooreesberg and Riebeek and before long we had left the straight roads behind and were enjoying well known winding roads through the mountains and valleys of the Swartland.

I waved farewell to 'Cois and his lady as they turned off towards Wolseley and the two of us blasted up the beautiful Mitchell's Pass towards Ceres and our now well anticipated breakfast.
Janet and I always like to eat breakfast at a Wimpy, the food is always consistent and always good value so I see no reason to go anywhere else.
That was just about two hours on the road so it was good to stop and stretch saddle-sore muscles.

After a hearty breakfast and some more coffee we were ready to roll, out along the R46 up the "Saalberg" Pass and by then it was getting pretty hot. We joined the N1 and turned south and almost immediately came up to a "Stop/Go" road block, oh well at least they are doing something about the roads!

Actually it wasn't too bad because it gave me a chance to stand up while we waited for the other traffic to come through, there was another fairly long section under repair before we got to the R318 turnoff to the Koo Valley and Montagu.
Frank needed petrol there and also a smoke so we stopped for a while, man it was hot. I had been riding with my cut on but I took it off there as it was restricting the air flow through my "Cortex" jacket, I would put it on again at the rally.

From Montagu we were on the wonderful R62, it's a fast road so we treated it as such and after about forty kms we pulled off into the dusty parking area of the Karoo Saloon, there were several motorbikes parked outside which is always a good sign for me;
those of you who do read this will know that I am not an HD fan but occasionally I see one that I like and this was one of them, a lovely custom job. Inside we met up with friends and I had the first two bitterly cold Castle lagers of the day.
After a brief stop, just enough time to absorb two beers we were on our way again, through Barrydale and past the (in)famous "Ronnie's Sex Shop" where many bikes were parked, and then down the R323 through the Karoo and the fantastic "Garcia's Pass" into Riversdale.
Onto the N2 and by then my bum was sore, 85kms to go, I needed to stop and later found out that Frank was sending me messages; "Andrew stop somewhere for fuck's sake!" So I did,
this restaurant and bar is only about 35kms from Mosselbay and by the time I pulled in I definitely needed to stop, my concentration was not as good as it should have been on a big powerful machine and it had been quite a long haul from the last stop. More beer and a chat with other bikers, there is usually a Police road block close to Mosselbay so I didn't want to overdo it.
We did get stopped by the traffic cops but they just wanted to see licenses and discs, no problem and it wasn't long before we were cruising into Mosselbay, heading for the rally site. We had ridden 625kms and by the time we arrived I was feeling it!
The gate was crowded, here my friend Chris Hamer rides in on his Can-am Spyder, I didn't get a chance to greet him and didn't see him again as the site was absolutely crowded. I had pre-entered so I was through quickly, we found the Meeulanders camp and discovered that they had already erected our tents, which we had sent down with a bakkie, what a pleasure! That is always a chore at a rally.
Divi, the Meeulanders President here in discussion with Frank just before we set off to find out what was happening in the main tent.
Two old biker scums getting ready to party, it was in full swing in the main tent and we were just in time to see the wet teeshirt competition finale and actually meet the (worthy) winner.
Steve invited her over to join us, good man that!
Her tee shirt was still wet, a pretty and friendly girl with a dirty old man.
 Lots of fun, and as I said - a worthy winner.
The party raged on through the night, the band played excellent biker rock music and then suddenly we were joined by "Shooters girls",
 pretty girls can easily talk old bikers into drinking pretty much anything, what a party!
 For some reason I took a photo of these nice people, I hope they read this!
And then Frank was dancing on the table. I made it back to my tent because I woke up at about 04h00 with a dry mouth and feeling cold, I pulled my sleeping bag out of its cover and pulled it over me, I took a few slugs of my water bottle and tried to get back to sleep over the noise of people talking and motorbike engines reving. Ahh rally!
I think I slept again, at least for a little bit - I had to be on my best behaviour for the mass ride because my friend Alan's daughter was riding with me, still a few hours to go.
Plenty more rally to come.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

A lovely K1200S

This very nice looking K1200S was parked outside the pub on Friday afternoon when I went to play pool, I met the owner inside, I'm afraid I don't recall his name right now but I had seen him around before. I wish him many happy miles on that lovely machine.
Janet and I went for a local cruise on Saturday morning just to blow the cobwebs out of the zorst pipe, it was a really nice early ride through to Velddrif then a blast down the R27 to the Langebaan turnoff and then over the bypass road and around the bay back to Saldanha. Not a very long ride but just enough to get it out of my system. Today the wind is pumping out of the south so I think we'll go to lunch in Chevy, I'll tell you about the restaurant later though if you're interested.
Two weeks time we are off to the Buffalo Rally in Mossel Bay again, looking forward to that big time! The dates have been very sensibly changed to include Friday 21st which is a public holiday and whilst many of the guys will be going through on Thursday morning, Frank and I will leave at sparrows on Friday - two nights at the rally is enough for me, my liver couldn't handle three nights!
Many friends are going to this iconic rally so I'm looking forward to meeting and greeting them, several I only get to see once a year but the brotherhood is strong - you can bet I'll tell you all about it.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Seafood day in Saldanha

We recently had a group of friends up for a Sunday lunch, I had a hankering to do another seafood day and in the spa bath with a bottle of bubbly JC LeRoux Sauvignon Blanc I managed to convince Janet that it was a good idea.
Our regular weekend spa bath sessions is where I have learnt that Janet is much more open to some of my ideas so I wait until we have settled in and I have poured the first glass of bubbly before I broach the subject; "How about we do another seafood day babe? We haven't done one for a long time."
She thinks about it for a while, "Yes we could do.............." and so it begins.
As it turned out only fourteen of the twenty people we invited could make it but it was a lovely day filled with good food and much light banter and laughter, just what you want.
The first item on the menu; delicious, fresh Saldanha Bay oysters and they were quickly cleaned up.
Those were followed by fresh mussels and barnacles steamed in wine, lemon juice and garlic, also demolished in short order. The barnacles are not always available but at the moment there are plenty on the ropes down in the southern end of the farm so I took advantage. Not many people have eaten them before but they are creamy and delicious with a taste very close to that of crab.
Some of the mob tucking into the mussels and barnacles, there was very little left by the time I brought the "harders" (mullet) off the braai.
I got a bit busy/had too much to drink (please delete inapplicable) so I forgot to take photos of my friends enjoying them selves, but they assured me that they did.
These fish balls which I made out of a combination of fresh Jacopever and Yellowtail were delicious, even if I do say so myself and I will certainly be doing them again. By the time I had done the smoked Angel fish a little bit later which we served with potatoes and salad my friends were replete and were not interested in the White Stumpnose - these will make very good fish cakes for next time!
Dessert and coffee with cheese and biscuits completed the meal. Sorry for those of you who couldn't make it, remember it is difficult to get back on the list!
Let me know if you want a seven course seafood meal on the west coast, we'll do a good one for twenty people.