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Old 05-15-2013, 04:52 AM   #46
grizz OP
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Joined: Mar 2004
Location: Rochester, KENT, UK.
Oddometer: 899
Richmond - 788km done for the day.

04.35 AWAKE !! ......... WTF ??? !!!!

I woke up, could not get back to sleep, edited my camera a bit to reduce the 2000 pics I had on there, then made a cuppa tea, ate the last of the rusks and left a " Sorry I ate the last ones and Thank You for an awesome ride " note in the empty biscuit tin......

Next up a quiet shower, packed the bike and at 05.15 I shook Dozer awake with a coffee, so that he could at least close the door behind me.

The previous day we had also connected a power outlet to the battery for the SatNag to run off on my trip to cape Town.

The first 200km was completely unknown to me, so she would be helpful if she did not have a meltdown.

It was still dark when I pushed the bike out, and the first 100km would be done with caution, as most of the labour force, taxis etc are on the road that time of day, and going on what i had seen the past 3 weeks, it was time to be wide awake and ride defensively.

My hands were soon numb from the cold and also the mist that seemed to be hanging over the road for most of the way, another hazzard.

Getting past Heidelberg, and through some of the more densely populated local areas had me worried and free rage animals was the other worry.

Somewhere past Heidelberg I rode alongside a rather large abatoir yard, with a few kilometers of paddocks filled with cattle waiting to become biltong, steaks and burgers.

I got stuck behind a loaded cattle truck at this point, and kept quite close to it, so that I could overtake in the cold, dull, misty early morning light the moment an opportunity presented itself..... the road carried on like this for a while, then we went into a gentle left handed bend that tightened up a bit...... suddenly, all the cow piss and shit that had congregated on the two floors of the truck got shifted to one side and started to overflow the edges..... TOO LATE !!!!!
I was showered by a pungent mix and thanked my lucky stars that my visor was completely closed and I was trussed up like a turkey against the morning chill. My visor was so covered I had to use a finger to clear a strip to see through.
Shortly after this I did manage to overtake and get back to business with the suns rays starting to break over the edge of the eastern horizon, again a picture I would have loved to have taken, but the cold drove me, not sure my fingers would have been a safe place for the camera anyway.

I got to one of the bigger intersections and saw a bakkie parked on the opposite side, smoke lazily curling from a Webber that was already loaded.

I stopped for a few minutes, just to relax my hands a bit, and without even taking my helmet off, spoke to Gert, he was another casualty of the "New South Africa" having been made redundant as an Instrument technician where he had worked for almost 20 years, he now made a living cooking burgers, chops and sausages alongside the road, in the middle of nowhere, and selling cold drinks..... he said he was surviving, and that this life beat begging on street corners for him.

As soon as my hands warmed up again, I was off.

Eventually seeing the gods of the region..... grain silos.
Grain is big business here.

Followed shortly by my directions getting clearer.

The N1 route connects Johannesburg and Cape Town. Note again, the Tollroad signs.

I eventually made it onto the N1 to start my run for cape Town.

I had already seen a few of these signs, starting at over 1200km to Cape Town and just giggled, knowing how blooody far it still was.

I carried on, filling and riding.

I also had made a Thermos full of coffee so had a good break at my first filling station.

From there it was Bloemfontein that was my next objective.....

400km from Deon's place, it was also where I used to work once a month when I lived in SA, flying from PE on a Monday and back on the Friday, Kimberley was part of that weeks work. I had the most amazing customers and relationships in this area, and would have loved to pop in to say hallo to people I had not seen for over 10 years, but time moves on and I decided against it.

At some point I saw this signs and thought of my good friend in California, an Ex-US Marine, who came from a family of Marines, father, sons all were active members of the US Marines.

Gus' surname is Marquardt and knowing what a hard arsed guy he is, who takes no shit from anyone, I had to take the pic for him.

The deeper I got into the Orange Free State, the more interesting the roads got......

Loads of this behind me, right as far as the horizon goes and the same ahead.

These roads are the ones to be careful of, speed traps and falling asleep are both a threat.

I eventually made it to Colesberg early, by 13.00 where I had planned to stay over at Niimmo's guest house, but two things stopped me, no LRP Petrol, Not being able to find his place in town when asking locals, and the fact the bike was running beautifully and feeling very comfortable on the new shock.... really the first time on this trip I felt 100% ready for another few hours.

I did see this shop for Nicola....... :peepwall:

So I set off again, and found LRP in Hanover, but no accommodation, so I headed out for Richmond in the hope that there would be a spot to stay.

The whole route so far had been inundated with roadworks and there were loads of crews working on the roadside with heavy duty digging and trenching machines, many rolls of colourful cables along the road as well....... This I found out very soon was all for the new Fiber Optic cables that were being laid between Jo-Burg and Cape Town, as well as large sections of the N1 being rebuilt, widened etc to accommodate all the heavy duty trucking that was on the road.

I eventually made it to Richmond and found the local Information centre..... having seen quite a few the last couple of weeks, that were empty "out to lunch" and "back in 10 minutes" I held little hope......

GREAT WAS MY SURPRISE THEN...... To be helped by a young man who seemed to know a whole lot.

I told him I was on a bike (Kinda obvious if you looked at my kit) and needed a place to sleep for the night where I did not need to unpack my bike.
He immediately said that "Be Blessed" next to the river would be the right place to go to.

Ohhh, and they run the local Spar supermarket just down the road. He made a phone call, and said that I could leave my bike and kit unattended outside his office, it would be fine..... and go see Mr Saag next door.

I went around and spoke to Saag's wife Sumi who it turned out was as nice as he is.

She could offer me a plate of food, early departure and the company of a group of contractors they had over for the week..... Sounded perfect to me, so I went down to their place..... guess what.....??
Another stream to cross.

I was greeted by Jonty, one of their three dogs and Sumi shoved two ice cold Windhoek Lagers into my hand before I had even unpacked the bags, saying "I am sure you need one of these" Just how cool is that??

I had mentioned that I needed "secure" parking for the bike.

When I got to my self contained double room, Sumi said "park your bike inside if you want, but nothing will happen here"

I declined, but it was a nice gesture.

Parked up for the night.

My room for the night, with kitchen, bathroom etc. There was a liter of milk, bottle of Nescafe Classic and sugar and teabags for guests. Perfect, as I wanted to fill up my thermos flask again the next day.

I agree, but then I have a wife who wears some pretty nice things.

With the river alongside the boundary, olive trees and figs amongst others seemed very happy.

Later the afternoon, the contractors all came back from their various sites alongside the N1.

I had to laugh a whole lot when I saw two of them wheeling a Honda 450 and KTM 200 out of their bedrooms... she was serious.

Saag, along with some of the guys went off on their bikes into the nearby hlls for some mad riding, we could hear the bikes being ridden in anger...... Saag came back on his F650GS a while later, just saying.... "Hulle is fokken mal" "They are fucking mad"
Seems these guys ride at 10/10 when offroad.

After the sun set, the fire had been started, and Saag sat next to it with his inherrited Puffer, helping to blow the fire into action.

Jonty, the dog had also immediately made an attachment to me, so I would find him on my bed, waiting for attention. Nice.

I had gone to my room to eat my dinner, supplied by my hostess.... two Garlic Chicken Kiev's and a load of vegetables etc.... absolutely PERFECT !!

I may have previously mentioned Chickens in bags......

More on this night.

My legs in my riding boots after showering as I had left the gay shoes with Deon to give to some unsuspecting fool, and Jonty who had figured out that setting his little arse on your shoe or foot meant that he did not sit on the cold floor.

A pic of the group at the self catering rooms at Be Blessed on the night, with owners inbetween. Amazing hosts, a lot like many I met on this trip.

The Braai area is a great idea, with what looks like a round brick built dam, with a concrete slab on top, on which the fire is made, so you can sit next to the fire on logs, or stand next to it while cooking your meat or whatever.

In the room there was also some menu's for local restaurants that cater for guests.

I thought the prices looked decent, and the food was sure to be a winner. For English pricing, divide by 15 to get an idea, and keep in mind, typical South African restaurant portions are at least 20% bigger than the average UK servings..... thats just the way it is.

I eventually went to bed, watched a bit of TV to unwind my mind further and went to sleep after having done 788km for the day, I was content, as it was more than half the trip, and tomorrow the weather promised to be good as well.

For anyone who is interested.

There are 5 flats that sleep a total of 24 people.

Pricing and extras are Extremely Reasonable.

Catering, like a Braai etc is done on request, and Saag and Sumi will happily join you, along with Jonty. Contact: Saag 0829449240 or 0536930147

Contact them directly to discuss or book.


The time now is 12.50

Maybe time to get into the garage for a while.

I start a new job on Friday, so need to maximise the time left.
***** 2006 BMW R1200GS *****

***** 2006 Sachs MADASS 50cc *****

***** 19?? BSA Bantam D7 FREE Bike Resto *****

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Old 05-15-2013, 05:03 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by K88 View Post
Love that Mog. How much?
I did not ask, and it did not have a price on the screen.

The guy who was manning the shop was not the owner, and typically not really interested, only watched that we did not steal parts off them
***** 2006 BMW R1200GS *****

***** 2006 Sachs MADASS 50cc *****

***** 19?? BSA Bantam D7 FREE Bike Resto *****

************************************************** ***************
"If you can't fix it with a hammer, you've got an electrical problem"
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Old 05-15-2013, 05:56 AM   #48
will travel for cake
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uitstekende reis

did you only wash the bike cos the shock was bling hehe
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Old 05-15-2013, 06:10 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by grizz View Post

That's the Harvard trainer (North American T-6 Texan). The noise of those flying overhead was the soundtrack to my childhood.
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Old 05-15-2013, 06:29 AM   #50
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Just got some photos on a memory stick from Dozer in SA.

Rather than weave them in with the ride report, I thought I would just do them as an entry on their own.

Dozer arriving at his best mate Fred's place in Kroonstad.

He had decided to do this ride in a much more relaxed way from Jo-burg to Cape Town, so 200km days were fine to him. I do envy him the peaceful way he approaches certain tasks.

I think he was home before them.

Next day on the road, of course.... Brekkie, how could you forget the best part of his day.

Somewhere between Nowhere and Nothing.

Dozer took 3 days to get to Cape Town, and like me chose to use the old Du Toits Kloof Pass.

On top of the old pass overlooking Paarl and surrounding areas.

The next couple of days went by in a flash.... then we were off on the actual ride.

Meeting Goose at Sir Lowries Pass Village service station.

Gordons Bay views.....

Hermanus, and the canon all facing inland. Guess they are only ornamental these days.

Then on to the Seven Passes day.... Sunday.
Nothing beats the taste of black river water in a forest.

One of many stops with Kosie, our guide on the first half of the day.

Coming into Knysna where we were having breakfast, I love the lagoon to the right. Seen the road change over many years.

After Breakfast at the Wimpy, it was off with Jupiter and RCerrie into more forestry roads and passes.

Into the mountains, higher and higher to get to the viewpoint

Jupiter in the lead

Grizzly and Dusty

The roads just seem to go on and on for ever.

Zooooooom me up Scotty.

Eventually, Top of the world

Then back again to the main roads.....into another valley

Self portrait of Dozer.

After cake and coffee in the valley, it was on to Uniondale etc, and into the Baviaans where we stayed at Uitspan farm.

Nico likes the old stuff as much as we do.

Jupiters rest, a different perspective.

Deon's and my place.

He slept upstairs, to avoid my snoring.

After the traumatic end to our Baviaans adventure, getting my feet properly wet helping Jupiter push his fallen angel through the stream.

Then a couple of days later, after the stay over at Jupiters place, we were on our way to Elliott via Queenstown.

Last stop before Mountain Shadows to take a few nice sunset over the mountains type pics.

And just like that we were off into the sunset.

Day two of the Cape Town trip coming up later if anyone is still interested.

***** 2006 BMW R1200GS *****

***** 2006 Sachs MADASS 50cc *****

***** 19?? BSA Bantam D7 FREE Bike Resto *****

************************************************** ***************
"If you can't fix it with a hammer, you've got an electrical problem"
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Old 05-15-2013, 06:31 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by hairnet View Post
uitstekende reis

did you only wash the bike cos the shock was bling hehe

Hi Marc, you got that in one.....

Nope, I just thought that if I was to break down on this section I would rather it be clean, the bike that is.
***** 2006 BMW R1200GS *****

***** 2006 Sachs MADASS 50cc *****

***** 19?? BSA Bantam D7 FREE Bike Resto *****

************************************************** ***************
"If you can't fix it with a hammer, you've got an electrical problem"
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Old 05-15-2013, 06:34 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by K88 View Post
That's the Harvard trainer (North American T-6 Texan). The noise of those flying overhead was the soundtrack to my childhood.
Yep, they are one of the most evocative parts of my childhood.

Forget a brace of Harleys with shotgun pipes..... have a few of these overhead and you know what heaven sounds like.

We had a bunch of trainers in Port Elizabeth where I grew up.
***** 2006 BMW R1200GS *****

***** 2006 Sachs MADASS 50cc *****

***** 19?? BSA Bantam D7 FREE Bike Resto *****

************************************************** ***************
"If you can't fix it with a hammer, you've got an electrical problem"
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Old 05-15-2013, 02:06 PM   #53
Joined: Dec 2011
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keep it coming matey! lots of memories being woken here. thanks!
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Old 05-15-2013, 02:36 PM   #54
will travel for cake
Joined: Oct 2007
Location: very small rock in the north atlantic
Oddometer: 60
SA like a cross between scotland ireland montana and oz

and we'd fit in cos the natives are nuts too
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Old 05-15-2013, 04:00 PM   #55
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Day 21 - Richmond - Paarl 650km

I woke "late" on day 21, having slept till 05.40.

So I really made an effort to rise and shine slowly.

Having a shower, coffee and three Bakers Lemon Creams (There is only one Bakers )

Then I packed the few bits into the side panniers, which had given amazing service thus far.

I had also made a very hot flask of good coffee, boiling the milk and priming the flask twice with boiling water, this way I would have hot coffee when I made my first coffee break in two hours, and the last cup would still be quite hot when I got to it.

I left the house, pushing the bike out by about 06.15 and started it in the street. Then proceeded to go to the local petrol station to fill up with LRP.
I rode onto the N1 at 06.30 just as it started to get light.

Yesterday the bike was a pleasure, and soon we settled into a nice brisk pace of around 120km/h which we maintained till we hit the first roadworks, with a sign stating 10 minute wait between streams.... BUGGERRR !!!

About 2 minutes Later I was waved through and in my rear view mirror I saw them move the barrier for the Minibus taxi that had been at the head of the stopped traffic.

I carried on and as I rode further away from Richmond, the world flattened out and the road became more and more pleasant.

I was also wearing my specialized earplugs that Harry Pienaar "Crackling" (another friendship going back almost 30 years) had given me to try out, they reduce the harmful road noise but even with our radio comms, I could head Dozer clearly when we were riding together.
These plugs also allow you to reach your destination much less fatigued. And for me this was my third big "New Thing" since starting the ride. The radio comms, though used in France on this trip - and then the use of a kidney belt on a longer and rougher trip, followed by the use of these ear plugs, all contributed to a much improved riding experience.
Thanks Harry, they work for sure.

Just as the sun was about to break the horizon, I reached the North Cape and Western cape border, and stopped to take a couple of photos and to just enjoy the silence.

And looking back at where I had just come from....

The morning air was what could be described as Crisp or even bracing...... I could happily just have sat down next to the road for an hour, watching the sun come up, and feeling its first rays on my shoulders, warming me through the layers of synthetic fibers on my back.

Then I dragged myself out of my short reverie and climbed back onto the Whale, who was performing more like a dolphin or a killer whale today.

Many more roadworks followed and at most I sneaked to the front, by overtaking on the left or right of the line of stationary vehicles.
I waited mostly for less than 4 minutes, and then sped off to only be caught by the next section, that said, I think I had been able to break the rhythm and thus ended up not waiting as long as some.

If you look at this photo, you will see to the right behind me, another bike approaching...... A rider on a HP2 who was putting some serious distance under his arse.

We greeted, and at the next stop, I shared my Bakers Lemon Creams some dried fruit with him. being unemployed and between jobs, he kept himself busy with voluntary work and also, like me was making good use of the time to do some really cool long distance rides.

Towns like Three Sisters,Beaufort West, Laingsburg all came and went, and we were making very good time, all I had in my vision was N1 Cape Town.

Filling up here showed me I was on the right route.

Remember mentioning the sun on my back ?

At this point I started to feel just a gentle warmth through my riding jacket which I had kept the lining in when I had left early morning. I just had to smile and chuckle inside my helmet. This would be repeated several times on the road back to Cape Town.

This country has a beauty that amazes, hypnotizes and never really leaves you.

I just wish more people could realize and experience it.

Some action and bored while riding shots.

At Laingsburg I saw this lot in the carpark.... overloaded?? Naaahhhhh...

Hex River Pass had these signs.... loved by most bikes.

Beauty everywhere you look.
Over my shoulder, vineyards, all in autumn colours and with varying degrees of leaf loss.
Again, this just made my heart shout and my head very happy, I found myself saying things like "Fuckit but this is beautiful, I wish Nicola was here" she has an incredible eye for detail with a camera.

Then you come out of the Hex River Pass, and come around a long bend to be confronted with this..... where the farm workers live.

What a contrast.

After Worcester I came to to the start of the Du Toits Kloof road, which ultimately culminates in a nice long oldskool mountain pass.

Surrounded by tall mountains, and colours as bright as what comes out of my wife's washing basket, I was really happy.
There was a time when I lived in Cape Town that I drove this road almost every week.

Then I came to the point where you have to choose, Pass or Tunnel ??

Easy choice. really

The road to the right leading to the old road, and to the left you had the entrance to the tunnel.


The Huguenot Tunnel is a toll tunnel near Cape Town, South Africa. It extends the N1 national road through the Du Toitskloof mountains that separate Paarl from Worcester, providing a route that is safer, faster (between 15 and 26 minutes) and shorter (by 11 km) than the old Du Toitskloof Pass travelling over the mountain.
Geological surveys and design started in 1973, and excavation followed in 1984, tunneling from both ends using drilling and blasting. The two drilling heads met with an error of only 3 mm over its entire 3.9 km length. The tunnel was finally opened on 18 March 1988.
Currently the tunnel carries one lane of traffic in each direction. Plans are underway to open a second unfinished tunnel, the "northern bore", to carry eastbound traffic. This will allow for two lanes of traffic in each direction, with each tunnel carrying traffic in one direction only.[1][2]
In 2002, traffic peaks occurred during Easter (a record on 26 April 18 200 vehicles) and the December school holidays (12 000 vehicles per day).
The tunnel is maintained by Tolcon, a subsidiary of the Murray & Roberts construction company.[3]

Following the old road, there was a tunnel as well, but no toll.

Many heavy hauliers still use the old road, as the cost of repeated tolls every day is prohibitive.

After a leisurely ride, with a couple of stops, I got to the viewpoint, and found some Swiss tourists who were prepared to take a photo for me before they drove off.

I also had the last of my coffee and biscuits here, as Paarl which was my destination, was literally 20 minutes away.

I then descended down the other side of the pass.

Enjoying the absolute majesty of the mountains.

It was just on 13.00 when I rolled back into the yard at Mabille engineering.

Eugene was both surprised and pleased,a as he had expected me back the next day only.
My original plan had been to do the trip over three days.

Happy to be back in one piece, I had done just over 6000km so far, and the trip was not over yet.....

I unpacked, relaxed, chatted and sorted my washing,

Later Eugene took me to the Woolworths/Marks & Spencer fudge factory shop where I bought 3kg of Fudge, Nougat and Turkish Delight. Some of it was to be consumed before I left SA, the rest was all that Nicola had asked for.

We also went to Metro Wholesale for me to buy deodorant, toothpaste in bulk..... Trust me, if I had to explain, you still would not understand.

I also arranged to see Goose the next day, to return the electrical cables and connectors he had fitted to Deon's bike for the SatNav , and to pop in at Mavericks mate Piet in Rondebosch to collect a second set of saddle bags and some more electrical kit that needed to go back to Johannesburg to Deon after I left for the UK.

That night I went to bed with a stupid grin on my face, knowing what we had done was great, and that our parents both, wherever they were would be looking down and saying something like "You bloody mad bastards"

My trip was not yet over, there was still the days in and around the Cape on the bike, and then Friday night and Saturday, Sunday on Eugene's farm, near the village of Napier.

More about that tomorrow.

Bed beckons now.
***** 2006 BMW R1200GS *****

***** 2006 Sachs MADASS 50cc *****

***** 19?? BSA Bantam D7 FREE Bike Resto *****

************************************************** ***************
"If you can't fix it with a hammer, you've got an electrical problem"
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Old 05-15-2013, 11:10 PM   #56
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Day 22 - Cape Town

Amazing, three weeks at this ride now.

I was on Day 22 and that was spent going to various shops around Paarl to buy some clothes, gifts and a few other bits. Followed by a trip to Rondebosh and then finally to Goose on the base of Cape Town.

Getting to Goose's place is easy, both geographically as well as easy on the eye.
Who would not be happy with this backdrop. That's his gate to my right.

I spent some quality time with Goose planning world domination and their return to the UK at the end of May, then went down to the Waterfront, and specifically to "The Red Shed" as I still needed to get an Elephant hair bracelet for Nicola, she had a very short shopping list, and I wanted to fulfill it for her.
Red Shed is aimed squarely at Rich Oriental and European tourists with its pricing, but at that point, at 16.00 with afternoon traffic building, it was convenient.
So I did a quick walk through, nearly bought a Senegalese brass cross for our collection, but when a shopkeeper takes an item out of my hands to tell me its virtues (I do not care that that is the way they do business) I just turned around and walked away.
At another stall ( where apparently I was the first customer, that was after 16.00) l I did find what I wanted (At a price that could make the eyes water) bought two of them and left the Red Shed.

After this I was straight back onto the Whale and into the 5 o'clock homeward traffic, with everyone spilling out of Cape Town onto the N1 in my case.
It makes for interesting, defensive riding, with every man/woman for themselves and all trying to catch up with all the phone calls and texts they missed through the day.
Again, I was pissed off at Policemen in marked cars driving and texting etc......

I made it to Eugene's place in one piece and settled for the evening.

Notice the standard working outfits of him and his son Marcel.

His disregard over the years for H&S has always pleased me, because in spite of shit happening, he has always allowed common sense to prevail in his domain.

***** 2006 BMW R1200GS *****

***** 2006 Sachs MADASS 50cc *****

***** 19?? BSA Bantam D7 FREE Bike Resto *****

************************************************** ***************
"If you can't fix it with a hammer, you've got an electrical problem"
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Old 05-16-2013, 02:04 AM   #57
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Day 22 was a slow one.

I needed to dismantle The Whale again, to get the borrowed Suzuki Coil out from under the tank and recoonect the original dead BMW coil.

How typical though.... when I refitted and tested the BMW coil, it worked, very well.

I had breakfast, ate Eugene's rusks and stood in the garden eating fresh, ripe fruit from his trees.......Now that is as good as it sounds.

After Breakfast I unpacked, repacked my pile of stuff into a sensibly split by weight and value setup. I also weighed it all and found I was exactly on my weight limit. This allowed me to settle mentally as I was off to the farm near Napier with Eugene and his wife Annemarie after work, which means 19.00-ish after traffic settles and it is dark (Not a good combination when you drive with Eugene, I have known him for a long time and he drives like a demon)

Once packed up, I was ready for my last trip to the local shopping centre as I had a couple of things still to get.

I was also meeting Neels, Mavericks father in law there, as he is the manager of the Pick n Pay and would be taking back ownership of the bike.
Delivering it to him and being driven back the 3km to where I was staying was massively helpful.
We ended up chatting for quite a while and I fed back all the behaviours of the Whale that I had experienced so that he know what to expect.

Back at Mabille Engineering I kept myself busy until we were ready to leave for the farm.

I do not scare easily, but the drive to the farm had me at a point between scared shitless and angry enough to get out of the car and beat the crap out of Eugene. He is a guy who will always do more of what he is told to stop doing, and in retrospect, I should have stopped him and hitch hiked back home. Between him texting, calling and answering two different phones while driving through Franschoek and other passes and stupid speeds, I am very pleased to be able to be writing this Ride Report.
Porblem is, guys like him, as much a I like him, never see themselves as to blame.
On the way he delivered 150kg of frozen chicken, bacon and other items he sells as a side line, so the Mk3 Jetta at least handled better the last 30 minutes of the trip, than the first part with its boot stuffed full of boxes of chicken.

We got to the farm after 21.00 and had a drink (to calm my anger) and then went to bed.

DAY 23 - On the farm.

Up early on Saturday morning, I was able to walk out and just enjoy the solitude and quiet.

Listening to the farmer and his workers in their bakkie checking the bleating sheep on the next farms hills about 2km away was really good.

Eugene has buiilt pretty much everything you see singlehandedly in the last 5 years, as a weekend project when not in the engineering shop.
He has removed acres of invasive bush, built dams, sheds and roads.

This is the new farm house he built after vandals burned down the original house that was situated in a valley near one of the other sheds, known as the wood shed.

The designs is very specific, to be Baboon and wind proof. The wind is a real problem so high up on the farm, we are not talking breezes, but rip your head off winds.

Koi ponds

One of the VW bakkies he keeps to manage the farm.

I was amazed at just how tough they are, looking at the use and abuse he throws at them.

A 10 horsepower SINGLE PHASE saw he built to cut trees up for fire wood.

The invasive species he has systematically been removing brings in another welcome income to make the farm more self sufficient.

He also welcomes offroad riders and quad riders to the farm, and you can pitch your tents inside the woodshed.

There are basic amenities, like a workshop shower and toilet....... gotta beat taking a dump behind a tree.

Need some fire wood ??

No, not having a pee, but this is the workshop shower and toilet you could use after a day playing in the bush.

At the one dam he built up in the mountain, he has some "tame" ducks that he put there.
This is a grain "auto-feeder" that he made, being serviced.
Everything has to be baboon proof as they are absolutely destructive, and the porcupines love the free grain as well, so often come down to feed on the free food.

Protea and fynbos as far as the eye can see.

During the flowering season he contracts out the harvesting to flower sellers who come pick the flowers and take them to the city to sell.

Heather is doing well this year as well.

Looking down to the house and yard shed.

The 5 foot stone wall built with locally quarried stone with electrification is there for "security" from the raiding baboon troups.
They will rip every gutter and door handle off a house if not kept out. Which Eugene found out once when he forgot to activate the electric fence after a weekend there.

Eugene has always been a very keen gardener and keeps a vegetabe and table fruit garden next to the house, behind the shed.

Look to the left of him, close to the wall, there is a low bush ..... the nest of a Cape Sugarbird pair that were working very hard, they are tiny little birds but work incredibly hard and and incessantly.

Water is precious here as well, so in addition to bore hole and windpump water, tanks are vital.

Casualty of who knows what??

The green hill in mid-distance of the next farm is where the sheep were being inspected and I could hear the workers talk, the air is so clear here, no noise polution and no city smog.

Baboon shit on top of the Braai/BBQ chimney stack.

Some really nice colours in the veld to surprise you when walking about.

Eugene is also a keen bee keeper, so has quite a few hives dotted all over the farm.

He mentioned that this was his most aggressive swarm he kept, and typically it is one that resided inside the homestead walls, close to the Koi Pond.

Because of the baboon and porcupine problem with eating all the duck food, we needed to figure out a plan to make the food specifically accessible for the ducks only.

So a floating feeder with a hanging rock for ballast was designed by me.... strung between two strings in the middle of the dam.

Later we brought the ducks down to the farmyard as Eugene wants them to live between the dam and the yard.

This was my view driving about fetching and taking stuff around the farm, a view I could get used to ......

One large tunnel going into the dam wall, we cleared it a bit to see if there were any tracks in and out of it, to establish if maybe the porcupines had moved in there...... gotta try it all.

Late Saturday afternoon we had to go to one of the other small dams to harvest "Water blommetjies" for an order that needed filling

The order was for 8kg, but in typical style, we ended up with 19kg.
Now like eating roast sheeps head, waterblommetjie stew is not my thing. There are certain "cultural" delicacies that I just do not get.

Still, I agreed to help with the harvesting and processing.

It is a labour intensive harvest, and bloody cold if you are the guy in the water for two or three hours.

As the flowers and stems come out the water.

We filled 4 crates in the end.

The stems go back to be added to the garden and also for the ducks as they like greenery.

After this, Eugene in his typical style had to go show me the rest of the farm, going high up and over the hills to more viewpoints.

We were supposed to be returning to Paarl as his wife had arranged to see family on on Sunday, but the man just stays on his own mission.

King Protea

Picture below lifted from Google to illustrate size

One of the viewpoints.

I am not sure if the guy actually own real shoes.

His wife made him buy a pair of Crocs for when they go shopping together, as he never wears shoes.

Of course with all his time wasting, we had to sleep over on Saturday night, and had a really good Braai..... what else would you expect to do ?

We had more than enough brandy to drink and eventually went to bed near midnight. (still pissed at him for not listening to others or considering others)

Still, the visit was great and the farm has a magical way of calming pretty much anyone.


Eugene's aunt had turned 100 the day before, so we were out into the veld to get some Proteas for her.

After a rather large breakfast, which included mushrooms freshly picked from the pine forest below the top dam, we packed up and left the farm.
It seemed the farm had drained some of Eugene's mad energy, as we drove back to Paarl via The Strand and his aunts residential home at speeds not exceeding 120km/h so my mood was a bit better.

In the Strand we stopped at an open air "market" with many Nigerian, Zimbabwean and other foreign nationals all competing to sell handbags, flags and baseball caps.
Toward one end was some food stalls and here we bought some really goo, freshly made samoosa's and also coconut koeksusters...... just perfect.

Fishmongers all with the fresh mornings catch, straight off the boats waiting to clean your choice of fish.

Ice cream vendor did not seem to be doing too good.

We eventually got back to Mabille Engineering (remember his house is built on top of the workshops) at 13.00 which gave me time to shower, shave and get ready for my cousin Marius who was picking me up at 15.00 to spend some time with him before taking me to the airport.

We said our goodbyes and went off to Plattekloof to Greens restaurant for something to eat (Pizza and coffee's) Thanks Marius.

Later we were joined by Wilddogs member H20 who amongst other things is a keen diver.

He had contacted me in the first week when we were in Elliott to ask when he could meet me.

Tinus is another of life's gems (for the English, an abbreviation for Marthinus) who had contacted me.
He desperately wanted to meet up with me to give me a smoking pipe he had dived out many years ago from a 300 year old wreck, for Nicola to add to her collection.

"Het Huis te Kraaiestein" was a Dutch ship of 1,154 tons, built in 1697 at the Zeeland Yard for the Zeeland Chamber of the Dutch East India Company, and commanded by Jan van de Vijver. It was wrecked on the rocks in the bay at Oudekraal on the Cape Peninsula on 27 May 1698 in thick mist as they were trying to find the way into Table Bay. The ship was on its maiden voyage outward-bound from Wielingen, which they had left on 1 February 1698, with a cargo of 19 chests of pieces-of-eight (approximately 57 000 pieces). No lives were lost. Three chests of treasure disappeared and the name 'Geldkis' (money-chest) appears on maps of the area.

When he got there, he showed me a couple of other pipes he had bought in deepest darkest Africa some years ago.

Lovely stuff.

Once we had enjoyed these, he brought out the reason for the meeting......

More than 300 years ago, someone had this in their hands and used to smoke it, using what would have been a luxury item, as tobacco was very expensive in the early days.

300 years worth of crystalization inside the bowl.

And back in the UK, in its current resting place, in front of Victorian tobacco jars.

I am in the process of making a small wooden display case for it, in which it will live a slightly protected life.

Finally I was checked in Cape Town International and waiting for my 23.25 departure for Amsterdam.

Stupidly I forgot the privileges that go with a Business Class tickets and went and bought myself a coffee ......

When I came back from my bike trip through South Africa, I was greeted by a bunch of parcels from the USA.

Some from Turnpikecruiser .... WHAT A SURPRISE !!

Thank you very much.

And some more from unidentified members.... Thank you too.

Problem is user names on here are not related to real names and surnames.

Now that concludes this Ride Report.

Thank you all for your contribution, interest, encouragement, incredibly generous offers of bikes, homes, friendship and everything else I may not have mentioned.

The people I have mentioned are by no means an exhaustive list.

You know who you are.

And lastly, also, a big thank you to the guys who have taken the time to make the effort to make comments on this thread.

Tomorrow I start a new contract job.

Life is good.
***** 2006 BMW R1200GS *****

***** 2006 Sachs MADASS 50cc *****

***** 19?? BSA Bantam D7 FREE Bike Resto *****

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grizz screwed with this post 05-16-2013 at 03:12 AM
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Old 05-16-2013, 03:57 AM   #58
headin out
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Joined: Mar 2007
Location: North Coast NSW
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Thanks for the ride Grizz, have enjoyed following your journey.
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Old 05-17-2013, 01:52 AM   #59
Joined: Aug 2007
Location: Jo.burg, South Africa
Oddometer: 16
Interesting report and pics -- made me look forward even more to my planned Cape mountain passes ride later this year ...
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Old 05-18-2013, 01:59 PM   #60
grizz OP
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Joined: Mar 2004
Location: Rochester, KENT, UK.
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Originally Posted by Hugheytj View Post
Thanks for the ride Grizz, have enjoyed following your journey.
Thanks mate.

Glad you were along for the ride.

Originally Posted by TonyZA View Post
Interesting report and pics -- made me look forward even more to my planned Cape mountain passes ride later this year ...
Passes are great fun.

Enjoy and come do a report......
***** 2006 BMW R1200GS *****

***** 2006 Sachs MADASS 50cc *****

***** 19?? BSA Bantam D7 FREE Bike Resto *****

************************************************** ***************
"If you can't fix it with a hammer, you've got an electrical problem"
************************************************** ***************
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