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, August 20, 2018

We do a flower trip to Nieuwvoudtville

Spring is sprung, da grass is riz.......as my dear old late Dad used to love reciting, it's springtime on the western cape and this year the flowers are back. Last year was a disaster because of the drought, there was virtually nothing to see and people usually come from all over the country and some from different parts of the world to see the colourful natural displays.
We have been living in Saldanha Bay for the past 31 years and I have never bothered to take a trip up into the Karoo, I have always thought that we can see enough of the flowers around here anyway. This year because we are both now retired and we don't have to wait for a weekend when all of the accommodation places are fully booked, I suggested a trip to Janet and managed to secure a self catering room in Nieuwvoudtville for the Friday night.
We left home at 09h00 traveling in our bakkie (ute/pick-up) because I wanted to do some dirt road and our beloved RT does not like dirt roads.
175 kilometres through familiar countryside with not much to see brought us into Clanwilliam at around 11h00 and we stopped for a light lunch and some wine.

From there we drove up across the magnificent "Pakhuis Pass", the tar continues for about twenty kms and then the road changes to dirt and it's not that good, quite bad corrugations so I took it rather slow.
Weavers nesting in a thorn tree
The reason why we weren't on the bike

It was an interesting drive but there was very little to see, almost no flowers except for small isolated patches and it's a long drive, around 130kms until we rose up onto the plateau and got nearer to our destination., then we started seeing the lovely roadside splashes of brilliant colour.


Sixteen kms before Nieuwvoudtville is the farm "Maatjiesfontein" (pr: My-keys-fon-tane) and for R25 per peson you can spend as long as you like driving around, the flowers there are amazing, Janet was in her element.
I think flowers make women feel good, Janet was certainly happy
Selfie time!
 We spent a good amount of time driving around and taking photos in that beautifully picturesque spot on the planet and then headed into the little town to find our accomms. We were met and shown into our comfortable, clean and well-appointed self-catering unit, a hostel converted into flats which cost a very reasonable R350 per person. Call Debbie on 0837291501.
Dinner that night was at the restaurant "Neddersetting" a surprisingly up-market place in that dusty little town, the food was outstanding!
Karoo lamb platter
Lamb offal curry

I had the Karoo lamb platter, I was determined to eat lamb up there, it consisted of lamb spring rolls which I've never had before, lamb ribs, a tail, a "Skilpaatjie" (pr: skill-pie-key) which is a piece of the liver wrapped in spleen fat and several chops. It was absolutely delicious, a carnivore's delight. Janet had lamb curry offal which she also really enjoyed, this was washed down with copious quantities of local wine.
The next morning we stopped at the local butchery and bought some of the lamb leg chops, I had in mind a braai for Sunday, we also bought some beef dry sausage and some Kudu biltong. The drive home along the N7 was uneventful, no flowers to be seen there. We didn't bother to stop for lunch, choosing rather to munch on our dry wors and biltong.

We broke our trip and stopped for a cold beer at "Vensterklip" just outside of Eland's Bay, we both needed to walk around a bit and use the loo. we arrived home  mid afternoon after a very enjoyable trip.

What better way to spend a quiet, sunny Sunday than with a braai? I cooked up two of the leg chops that I had bought along with potatoes, onion and gem squash and some boerewors (literally "Farmer sausage) that I had bought in Moorreesburg.

What a great weekend! Click on the photos to see them full size, some of them are worth it. Now's the time to do a flower trip, they're not going to be out for too much longer.


Monday, August 13, 2018

Our favourite biker bar celebrates another year

 I arrived at the Phoenix bar at about 16h30 on Saturday afternoon to help celebrate another anniversary of this fine establishment but it was plain to see that people had been jolling all afternoon already. The place was packed! Motorcycles lined up on both sides of the parking area and cars an bakkies lining the street outside. A lot of people had ridden up from Capetown for the party, some of whom had even arrived on the Friday afternoon.
There were two food vans and a couple of other stalls selling biker gear and accessories, the crowd was festive. I parked my bike and wandered over to the bar, meeting and greeting friends along the way, my priority was to get a beer in hand and then have a look around at the stalls.
We've been frequenting this pub for four or five years now and I play pool here every Friday afternoon, it's the kind of place where a biker feels at home, it's not restricted to bikers but most of the patrons are bikers and we know almost everyone who walks in.
I was immediately approached by "Charlie" a pretty "shooter girl" who poured a spicy concoction made by Anna into my throat, that got me started and we made sure that Murray and Frank got the same treatment. I'm thinking one of the ingredients was tabasco sauce, lots of it!

Here she is with Eduardo and Dan
As one would expect the bar did a roaring trade

Uncle Frank chats with Alex
Yeah, you too!

It was a cold night so they made a big bonfire outside
It was great to see Henrico and Stefanie there
 A lot of people were camping over for the night, they had erected tents on the grass area out front and some, possibly the more sensible ones had put their tents inside the sheds. I had decided that I was either going to go home fairly early or if not I would put my tent up and sleep over but as it was I left just after 20h30 and had a refreshingly cold ride home, it's only 13 kilometres so I cruised along quietly.
Congratulations to Anna and Eduardo, and here's hoping the Phoenix bar carries on from strength to strength, we would be lost without it.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

10th annual Polar Bear run - Part two; the party

We all arrived safely, albeit at different times at the Porterville Hotel and claimed our beds for the night or part thereof. I dumped my stuff on my bed and changed into a comfortable pair of shoes and headed for the bar which was already doing a roaring trade.
Eduardo thrust a tequila into my hand as I got to the bar, "Come on, you gotta get started!" I hate tequila but I took a cement pill, hardened up and drank it down. From then on I made sure I moved away from anyone else buying tequila! The party had started though.
Shaun (centre) shirt says it all

The bar did a roaring trade

 Although we pretty much took over there were some local civilians in the bar too, one couple I knew from when they lived and worked in Riebeek Kasteel and Shaun had taken along a collection of mock guitars that he makes for sale. The DJ was playing some good old rock music and it wasn't long before we got into the "air guitar" thing, only better because there was something to play.

Get Down with your bad self!

We were provided with excellent steaks which we braaied for ourselves and sides of potatoes and salads etc., an excellent and very welcome meal.
Uncle Frank with Drunken Duncan
The party raged on through the night and into the early hours, eventually we were asked to leave the bar but I cannot remember what time that was, I stumbled to my room perchance to sleep if only for a couple of hours.
I made my way through to the dining room the next morning and Frank was still asleep in the foyer!
 I looked and felt pretty rough the next morning but a couple of cups of coffee and a hearty breakfast soon had me up and about. We hung around for a bit chatting but soon it was time to head home, it was only an hour for me but it was very cold that morning and I got rained on between Piketburg and Velddrif. That did not deter me from enjoying the ride and I arrived home around 11h00, tired but happy.
Thanks to Greg and the organisers of another successful fun run, thanks also to the management and staff of the Porterville Hotel for the excellent facilities, they have kept their price the same for a while now and I am confident that the bikers will continue to support them.
Now some recovery time!