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, December 15, 2016

A very long time ago

Nothing much happening around here as far as rides are concerned, we had the club's year end party and we were out of town when the last breakfast run for the year took place. I take the bike out and go for a run every now and then to blow the cobwebs out of the zorst pipe but we have no plans for any trips for a while. Also it is so bloody hot here at the moment, quite debilitating but that doesn't mean we won't ride.
Christmas is just around the corner, I am going to help out on the mussel farm for thirteen days from Monday while the boat skipper goes on leave so our next ride will probably only be sometime in January.
Janet and I were reminiscing over what she calls the best holiday she has ever had; our 1984 bike trip around South Africa during which we did 8,631kms in a month on the road. Thirty two years ago now, I find it hard to believe it was that long ago because the memories are still fresh.
At that time we were living in the Eastern Cape and we did an anti-clockwise trip around the country, up to the North-eastern Transvaal, across the country through Johannesburg and the Karoo to the North West, up through then South West Africa to Swakopmund and Walvis Bay, then all the way back down the west coast to Capetown, up the Garden route and back to the Eastern Cape.
It started off badly, intermittent heavy rain for the first two days, I had painted the sign for the back of my bike and at that stop an older gentleman said to Janet "You can't tell me that you're having fun!" but actually we were.
Four of us traveled together; my late friend Eddie and his wife Althea on their Honda Silverwing 500, and the two of us on our XS1100 Yamaha.
 By the end of the second day the rain eased and then stopped and for the rest of the month we had excellent weather until the last two days when it rained again.
 A lot of our accommodation on the trip consisted of caravan park chalets and a lot of our catering consisted of braais. Some days we rode 600 to 700kms and others only 100 to 200kms depending on the area and the sight seeing. We did not book a single night's accommodation before the trip but instead we would pull into a town after a long ride and decide to stay there for the night so then we looked for the accommodation, a bottle store and a butchery. The only plan we had was rough idea of where we wanted to go and it all worked out perfectly.
Breakfasts were usually a festive affair, getting rid of the extra food and drink from the previous night!
 The North Eastern part of the country is fabulous, both in terms of the roads and the incredible scenery and we spent three days there just on sight seeing before heading across to the hectic hustle and bustle that is Johannesburg. I needed a new tire and we visited with my sister and brother in law for a couple of days. Eddie and Althea also had people to visit so we met up on the Monday morning just outside of Krugersdorp to continue our journey.
That was a hot day, from Jo'burg 530kms to Kuruman in the Northern Cape, we stayed in caravan park chalets and had the usual braai but it got very cold at night. By that part of the trip we had completed 3,000kms.  
We were certainly feeling "bike-fit" by then and really enjoying riding unknown country. One of the best parts of a journey like that is starting off the next day going somewhere else instead of going home. The next part was to be South West Africa, also completely unknown to us.


Trobairitz said...

Awesome. Thank you for sharing the photos from your epic ride. I always enjoy seeing pics from back in the day.

Your weather is too hot and we have a nice layer of ice on the ground instead of our usual rain. No riding either way.


the rider said...

Yes Brandy it's very hot here at the moment and we never get snow in winter except on the mountains inland about 200kms from where we live on the coast.