Sunny, warm and calm; three of my favourite adjectives when preparing for a ride and that's the kind of day we started with as we geared up for a nice cruise. No doubt the wind would come up later, this is after all the western cape!
I had suggested to Janet that we needed to re-stock our wine racks which were looking decidedly bare and that the best way to do that would be to take a ride out to Waverley Hills wine estate, do some wine tasting and then have lunch in their excellent restaurant. Janet thought that was great idea so by 09h00 on Sunday morning we were ready to go, the plan was to take it nice and easy and arrive there by 11h00.
As we roared out of our little fishing town the temperature was a cool eighteen degrees, not quite so warm but it would definitely warm up later. So there we were heading inland, four "Stop/go" roadworks to negotiate on the R45 but we had plenty of time, the big red machine was running smooth, I settled into it, shoulders relaxed and enjoying the freedom of the open road.
There was quite a queue at the first "Stop/go" but I cruised up to the front of the line. Janet asked me "What are you doing? They'll get pissed off at you." As the sign was turned to "Go." I blasted out of there before the cager behind me had even selected first gear and I never saw him again. Oh the sheer pleasure of being on two wheels, it's difficult to explain.
The next two roadblocks were open as we arrived and the fourth one was only a brief stop, by then it had warmed up, the R45 is going to be a great road when it is finished, that's for sure. Through Malmesbury and the winelands we stopped at the top of the pass overlooking the Riebeek Valley where my old BSAPolice buddy Paul Weinel's ashes are scattered;
lovely fast sweeps down into the valley, a popular area for bikers on Sunday breakfast runs and there were plenty about. From Riebeek, Hermon, the Nuwekloof Pass, past Tulbagh is a wonderful ride, the road has been widened and repaired and is now fast. Even though we weren't in a hurry I couldn't help but wind it up a bit. Soon we were riding slowly up the narrow tar road to the wine estate nestled in the slopes of the "Witsenberge" mountains.
We were quite early so the car park was empty, if you can park it and walk away without looking back then you bought the wrong one!
We went into the wine tasting room and were the first ones there so we had the young lady's undivided attention, we tasted a variety of their red wines and I bought eighteen bottles of assorted delicious wines, that is all that I can carry in the bike's luggage. Then it was time for lunch.
We both had the starter of spicy chicken livers on a bed of coleslaw and mash with homemade bread which I had had before, Janet enthused over it, it was delicious. We asked the waitress to delay our mains for a while and just sat enjoying the view and the wine.
Sliced Sirloin beef, chicken pie, mashed potatoes, vegetables, pumpkin fritters and gravy for R75! We really enjoyed it, I managed to finish mine but we had a doggy/Andrew bag of Janet's leftovers for my Monday work sandwich.Time to hit the road, loaded up and ready to go and this little beauty was parked next to my bike;
As I expected Janet was falling asleep within ten minutes, I could feel her helmet pushing against the back of mine. I was in my element though, thoroughly enjoying the ride and the totally responsive feel of the big red machine. As we pulled into Riebeek I was a bit low on petrol, my range was reading 25kms and I knew that Moorreesburg was 35kms away.
In the forecourt I blew my hooter but there was no response and then I saw the sign, the next time the garage would be open was 16h00 and it was only 14h00! Press on slowly. we sat for 35kms at 80kmh and rode into the town with my range reading zero, I would have hated to have to walk for petrol. (Done that before!)
The rest of the ride home was good but we still had to negotiate the "Stop/go" sections and as I expected the wind was an issue, as soon as we turned onto the R45 it hammered us from the side, we arrived just before 15h00 after a very enjoyable day and now my wine rack looks a lot better, still some spaces there and in the pub which we will have to attend to but that's for later.
If you are looking for a nice ride and a good lunch then give the Waverley Hills restaurant a try, we'll definitely go back, their wines are great and the food is delicious but you should book if you want to eat there, we have been disappointed before when just arriving without a booking. 023 2310002.