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.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Part five of the 1984 tour, Lambert's Bay to Capetown

I see in my diary that this was Thursday 20th September and again we weren't in any hurry, we went for an early walk around the town and then after breakfast set out for the last 300kms to Capetown. We got back onto the N7 and headed south to Piketburg. Lovely weather and the sore saddle muscles from the previous day were forgotten.
We traveled through beautiful mountainous countryside on well maintained roads and at Piketburg we turned west and headed towards the little town of Velddrif and the coast. That is a narrow, bumpy road and was best taken at a moderate speed to avoid jarring Janet's back. After 80kms we joined the R27 and rode south again, making a detour to the little town of Darling where we had a couple of lunchtime beers.
Little did we know that within another three years we would be relocating to the western cape and the R27 and the small surrounding towns would become our regular riding area. Funny how things turn out.
As we got nearer to Capetown that afternoon we marveled at the sheer beauty of the wild flowers that we had been seeing all the way down the coast from the previous day, we were to learn that that is a regular annual occurrence on the western cape that attracts tourists from far and wide.

We arrived in Capetown during the mid afternoon and after visiting with Eddie's cousins we arrive at the Royal Cape Yacht Club where our weekend accommodation was the 18 berth racing yacht "Wesbank". It was very nice sitting out on the deck that evening enjoying a couple of drinks after a good meal in the yacht club restaurant.
We spent the rest of the weekend in Capetown pretty much exploring and doing our own thing and then on the Sunday the Glanvilles who were the owners of the yacht took a group of friends and family, 26 people in all including us out for a sail. That was one of the highlights of the trip which I thoroughly enjoyed.
It was the first time I had ever been sailing although within the next few years I would be doing a lot, they took us around to an area just off Clifton where we anchored and Mrs Glanville cooked an incredible three course meal for everyone!
 I went for a swing and a dip in the bosun's chair, it was actually quite a bad decision because that water is bloody cold!
We had a thoroughly good day on the yacht and then a couple of beers in the clubhouse with the crew after which we rode downtown for a meal at a steakhouse, it was fun riding around Capetown at night and we had lots to talk about that evening back on the deck of the yacht while we sipped our nightcaps. The following day would see us heading on the final stretch back up to the Eastern Cape and the end of our wonderful trip, we had completed 7,000 kilometers by the time we arrived in Capetown.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Back to Richards Bay and Margate and an oxtail potjie with sadza

It has been a while since my last post, a lot has happened; we had to go back to Richard's Bay, this time unfortunately for my dear sister in law's funeral. Two weeks after our first visit when thankfully Janet got to spend some quality time with her sister.
After the funeral we drove down to Margate on the south coast for two nights with a bunch of ex Rhodesian Police colleagues and their good ladies which was a welcome distraction from the sadness of our loss. Braaiing, drinking and chatting about the old days with them was wonderful and we got home mid afternoon on the Tuesday.
We last worked together some forty years ago but the bond is still strong, real men upon whom you can count, who still have your back. Not many have that but I am fortunate in that I have that with both my ex service brothers and with my biker brothers, fortunate indeed.
We had one night at home to get clothes washed, one night in our own bed and then it was back down to Capetown on Wednesday, my lady was booked into the hospital the following morning for a heart procedure. Thursday morning was a terrible time for me, it was also bad for Janet of course but I was scared even though the doctor called it a "minor" procedure some other guy was messing with my lady's heart! When Janet phoned me in the mid afternoon to say she was out of theater and moving into the ICU I was beside myself, I was able to visit her that afternoon and she was fine, she's a tough lady and was able to leave the following morning although we had to stay at Linda's house until Sunday just to make sure that all was well.
Now we are at home, Janet is booked off for the rest of the week to rest so I made her one of her favourite meals for dinner on Monday; oxtail potjie with sadza.

I browned the meat and then fried up onions and green pepper, added chopped tomato and some red wine with a packet of soup powder and then let the whole lot just simmer for two and a half hours. I have a chilli bush out back so I picked and chopped a nice big chilli for that extra bite.
When the meat was starting to feel tender I added potato, butternut, mushrooms and cabbage and let it all heat through, in the meantime I made up a pot of sadza.
For those who don't know, sadza is a stiff porridge made from Miellie Meal and the idea is that you should be able to mold a small portion into a ball without it sticking to you hand, this is then dipped into the gravy for a couple of tasty bites before you settle down to the meal. We have always loved doing this as do all our Rhodie friends when they come for a visit.

It was a tasty meal and there was enough left to have later, I also made sure to save enough of the sadza to use for one of our favourite breakfast treats the next day; sadza balls.

Rolled into a ball, around a small block of cheddar cheese, wrapped in bacon and then grilled until the bacon is cooked. The fat soaks into the sadza and the cheese melts on the inside, these are unbelievably decadent and delicious and very popular with friends and family.
Janet's recuperation week has started well and I will make sure that it continues in the same manner, she will stay off the bike for a while but may be alright for the Club breakfast run which will be on Sunday 5th March, but that will be her decision, in the meantime I am a happy boy again.
Stay safe my friends and to see the photos full size just click on them.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Meeulanders breakfast run February 2017

Our first breakfast run with me as President of the club and I had no idea how many members would turn up, I sent out the Whatsapp reminder on the Wednesday and made a phone call to the restaurant in Melkbos that I had chosen as the breakfast venue. I told the manager that I had no idea how many people it would be but that I would phone him at 09h30 on the Sunday morning to tell him and he was alright with that.
from a picture by Gerrie Pieterse

We arrived at the meeting place at 09h00 and already there was a good crowd there, this was great! Janet got us some coffee and we chatted with the bikers, during this time more and more were arriving!
By 09h25 I had a list of 27 names handed to me by the acting Road Captain Johan and was told that two more were coming! I phoned the restaurant and the manager said "Oh I'm sorry Sir but I don't think we can accommodate such a large group, we get very busy on a Sunday." Thanks for telling me that now! I told him I was bringing 29 hungry bikers and we'll talk then.
09h30 briefing and I told the people there may be a problem but let's go see, nobody was concerned and kickstands went up, I led the ride out onto the R27 headed south and kept the speed at a reasonable 120 to 130kmh to keep the ride together.
It was a beautiful mild, sunny day, ideal for a ride, the wind was likely to be a factor later but that would be behind us and would push us home. Although the road was busy most cars and trucks moved over to let us past (except for the asshole in the green jeep!), on gradients I could see the long line of lights following behind me and what an impressive sight it was!
The pre-arranged stop was in a layby about two thirds of the way and we pulled off the road, pretty much all together.

At this stage it is traditionally "Tea time" and Johan had brought the bottle but he was worried that one bottle would not be enough for so many people!
 As Gerda poured the tea the crowd drew nearer, almost sensing that there was alcohol and I think everyone got a shot, at least I didn't hear any complaints. After about 20 minutes or so I called for kickstands up again, I wanted to get to the restaurant before 11h00 to see what our options were going to be.
As it turned out the staff had made some arrangements for us and after more tables and chairs were assembled most of us were able to sit inside, a few elected to sit outside which was probably better anyway as it was by then quite warm.
from a picture by Gerrie Pieterse  

picture by Gerrie Pieterse

 Waiting for beer! It was a bit chaotic at first and the wait for beer and then the breakfast was rather long but in all fairness they did their best and we did all get fed. Some of the guys elected to have lunch instead of breakfast and declared the food to be very good so all in all the staff at the newly named "Castella Amare" in Melkbos did a good job dealing with what must be a nightmare, a group of 29 people all arriving together in the late morning.
We had a festive time as only a bunch of bikers can and headed off for home in the early afternoon, Janet and I stopped for a beer at the Juffroeshoogte pub for an ABF and then home.
A big thanks to the twenty five club members, three prospects and three visitors who took part in the run, I cannot remember when last we had such a large group and it was heart-warming to be a part of it.