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Offline Wayne Duck

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Easing my way into retirement...!
« on: April 05, 2014, 03:13:08 pm »
Greetings! It's been a while since I've posted any ride report on here - so, here's why and, at the same time, here's another ride report.

On the morning of the 22nd October 2013 I got a call to "just pop through" to the boss' office. I arrived to find a whole panel of people, including an HR representative from the head office...so obviously this was not going to be just an ordinary business update!

Long story short, after serving the Company for 26 years they handed me a "mutual separation agreement" that they wanted me to sign. Basically they had decided, without any pre-negotiation or warning to us, to get rid of a few of the exec and senior managers that were "no longer a fit within the Company", i.e. causing "a cork in the bottleneck" that was slowing BEE progression through the ranks, bla de bla de bla. With me being just 7 months shy of my 50th birthday and of very pale complexion I was an obvious candidate.

I was not going to sign anything without conducting proper research so I took the "agreement" and said I'd see them the following day. By the following day I'd found out that I'd be much better off tax wise if I got them to retrench me. So we agreed to alter the wording from "mutual separation" to "retrenchment".

...and that's how I now find myself in early retirement  ;)  To be honest, I'd been quietly planning to retire at 50 for a few years now but had recently decided to extend that by another 2 years. As fate would have it, the Company (because of the retrenchment package offered) has saved me two years of working!

So since October (2013) my life has been rather hectic - moving, busy selling a house and contents in Jhb, setting up my retirement income, etc. I have had my retirement home in Underberg for the past three years but will only move there permanently at the end of 2014.

That brings me to this ride report - I had to get to Underberg to sort out a few things. It was just me (my fiance still has her job here in Jhb until the end of this year) so I took the bike.
As many of you that have ridden in the Underberg / Himeville area will agree, it is in riding heaven. The whole of Kwa-Zulu Natal (with it's many thousands of km's of dirt roads and tracks) on your doorstep, just a small pass away from the mountain wilderness of Lesotho and around the corner from the very scenic mountain-to-sea offerings of the Eastern Cape.

...more to come.

« Last Edit: December 11, 2014, 12:18:16 pm by Wayne Duck »
Links to my Ride Reports...
I have listed (with links) all my ride reports at the start of this ride report here:
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=121459.0

 

Offline woody1

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Re: Easing my way into retirement...!
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2014, 03:18:50 pm »
Glad you got it this way.  Enjoy the retirement and many happy miles in bikers heaven.  :ricky:

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Offline Dorsland

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Re: Easing my way into retirement...!
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2014, 03:56:33 pm »
Wayne, you are doing life the wrong way round.  You are supposed to get engaged, married, have kids.  Then you retire  ;D

Enjoy it but stay busy.  50 is way to young to tend potplants
Truth is treason in the empire of lies

Tom Luongo
 

Offline Wayne Duck

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Re: Easing my way into retirement...!
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2014, 04:17:21 pm »
My office from now on...



A panarama of the area I'm going to call home at the end of this year  8)



My month spent in Underberg coincided with the heavy rain that was experienced across Natal and on the highveld. This did cut my riding down somewhat as the local roads were turned into either slippery clay or muddy bog.

The many afternoon thunderstorms did make for some ever changing and dramatic skylines...
The sunshine after the storm...







After a week of downpours the weather report finally predicted two days of sun, so I planned a ride to Nottingham Road for lunch with an old work colleague who has also recently retired to the area. Taking the Lower Loteni road took me through these rolling green hills of the southern 'berg





With rivers swollen, dams full and the grass so impossibly green...





















Next, a quick trip up Sani (with another Wild Dog) for lunch...
« Last Edit: April 05, 2014, 04:39:40 pm by Wayne Duck »
Links to my Ride Reports...
I have listed (with links) all my ride reports at the start of this ride report here:
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=121459.0

 

Offline Wayne Duck

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Re: Easing my way into retirement...!
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2014, 04:30:09 pm »
Wayne, you are doing life the wrong way round.  You are supposed to get engaged, married, have kids.  Then you retire  ;D

Enjoy it but stay busy.  50 is way to young to tend potplants

Ha ha...it does sound the wrong way around, but not  :) I did it the normal way around - school, army, study, got work, married, kids, divorced, raised the kids, kids went off on their own paths, I met a wonderful lady, got engaged...then retired!!  ;D

No potplants for me (hate gardening!). I plan to continue riding - been doing so for the past 33 years anyway so why stop...I'm going to make myself available to all the wild dogs (and any others) that would like to explore the back roads but just don't have the time to plan, i.e. I'll book all the accommodation, plan the route and lead the way. You just enjoy the ride!  ;)

I have also fitted out a Jimny as our "overlander" for two. We plan to travel the national parks of Southern Africa - we have not done many of these because they don't always allow motorbikes in!
Links to my Ride Reports...
I have listed (with links) all my ride reports at the start of this ride report here:
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=121459.0

 

Offline Wild Hearted Son

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Re: Easing my way into retirement...!
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2014, 04:42:35 pm »
Absolutely fantastic !
Enjoy every minute
"...I was born to the city
But I longed to roam free..." - The Cult, Wild Hearted Son, 1991
 

Offline Dorsland

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Re: Easing my way into retirement...!
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2014, 04:44:52 pm »
That is a really beautiful area.  So green ...
Truth is treason in the empire of lies

Tom Luongo
 

Offline Wayne Duck

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Re: Easing my way into retirement...!
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2014, 04:57:49 pm »
During my stay in Underberg I checked on the "planning a ride" thread on this forum to see if any Dogs were coming through my way.
Noble Steed (BMW X-Challenge) posted his plan to come up from Shelly Beach to tackle Sani. I contacted him and we made plans for him to stay over one Saturday night at my place and then both of us to go up Sani on the Sunday.

Sani is in very good (too good!) condition these days so it was a pretty easy ride to the top for both of us.







As you can see, the area had received a lot of rain. Once at the top we continued on to Black Mountain pass and then returned to the Sani Top lodge for lunch.

 

The Chinese have blasted a wide "scar" through what is a National Heritage area...who allows this! Really sad, all in the name of "progress".



After lunch, back down the pass...with more clouds releasing their watery load in the distance.

Links to my Ride Reports...
I have listed (with links) all my ride reports at the start of this ride report here:
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=121459.0

 

Offline Ian in Great Brak River

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Re: Easing my way into retirement...!
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2014, 05:08:54 pm »
Good for you, congrats for good planning. Life is like a box of chocolates I'm told.

Enjoy.

 8)
1978. It's 6am, mid winter...two up on a XL 185S ... off to my first casino ever with all of R40 and we've got a full tank of fuel, so enough to get there we reckon.... that's determination...

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Offline Wayne Duck

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Re: Easing my way into retirement...!
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2014, 05:12:06 pm »
Between supervising some trenches to be dug (to make French drains to keep the rain water away from the sides of my house) I also explored the valleys between Underberg, Bulwer and Richmond. These areas are going to keep me very busy...so many small roads and twee spoor tracks linking the hills and valleys. As I said, riding heaven  :ricky:

But, I had to get back up to Jhb, lots of loose ends still to tie up and of course, my fiance was patiently waiting for me to return  ;)

I decided to take a zig zag return route over two days. From Underberg via Lower Loteni, past White Mountain Berg Resort, Loskop, Bergville, Normandian Pass and into Memel for the night. Pics to follow...
Links to my Ride Reports...
I have listed (with links) all my ride reports at the start of this ride report here:
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=121459.0

 

Offline BLK

Re: Easing my way into retirement...!
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2014, 05:14:04 pm »
I totally envy you.May you enjoy the fruits of your hard work and the future that lies ahead of you.

Happy riding
 

Offline Wayne Duck

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Re: Easing my way into retirement...!
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2014, 05:23:12 pm »
Pics along the route from Underberg to Memel...



















The view from the top of Normandian Pass (Die Ark) - talk about alone time to clear the head  :biggrin:









Next, Memel to Westrand...
Links to my Ride Reports...
I have listed (with links) all my ride reports at the start of this ride report here:
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=121459.0

 

Offline Wayne Duck

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Re: Easing my way into retirement...!
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2014, 05:26:33 pm »
I totally envy you.May you enjoy the fruits of your hard work and the future that lies ahead of you.

Happy riding

Thanks a lot BLK!You have hit the nail on the head - "enjoy the fruits of your hard work"...
People say "you're so lucky to be able to retire so young"...believe me, there was no luck involved. I worked my butt off for 26 years!
Links to my Ride Reports...
I have listed (with links) all my ride reports at the start of this ride report here:
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=121459.0

 

Offline Wayne Duck

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Re: Easing my way into retirement...!
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2014, 06:02:16 pm »
After a night and a good breakfast at the Memel Hotel I headed off "home". As with all my riding, I tried to cover as much of the distance on gravel roads as I could. Memel to Vrede is potholes with a few tar patches here and there - so almost as exciting as a dirt road!

By the way, i am so happy that the government of our time is so useless - the roads are degrading so fast I'm sure that they'll all be dirt tracks soon - all the better for us adventure bikers  ;D

From Vrede I zig zagged to Frankfort, Parys and then Krugersdorp. Some lovely Free State farm roads...







...and home, for now, in the "woesrand"  ;)

Thanks for reading. If anyone wants my Underberg - Memel - Frankfort - Parys - Krugersdorp GPS track just drop me a PM.

If anyone would like for me to lead them and their mates anywhere in Southern Africa (read some of my routes in my ride reports, link below in my signature) also drop me a PM.  :ricky:

Take care out there

Wayne
Links to my Ride Reports...
I have listed (with links) all my ride reports at the start of this ride report here:
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=121459.0

 

Offline BLK

Re: Easing my way into retirement...!
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2014, 06:07:59 pm »
Sounded like an awesome trip of good scenary.

cheers
 

Offline Tommy Transalp

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Re: Easing my way into retirement...!
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2014, 08:10:37 pm »
Nice Wayne!.... I'm just finishing off my place in Rosetta, so if ever you're in the area, send me a pm or let me know.... Will also be moving down more or less permanently towards the end of the year! Maybe we could link some trips with fellow riders to make it a wonderful experience for all? :thumleft:
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Re: Easing my way into retirement...!
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2014, 08:21:47 pm »
Nice RR
Where are my shorts??
 

Offline gwild

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Re: Easing my way into retirement...!
« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2014, 09:33:21 pm »
Very nice, enjoy  :thumleft:
 

Offline Bacchus2

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Re: Easing my way into retirement...!
« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2014, 09:52:12 pm »
You probably worked at Sun International - enjoy your next journey.
 

Offline Herklaas

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Re: Easing my way into retirement...!
« Reply #19 on: April 05, 2014, 10:05:49 pm »
Is jy die Sting? sien nerens 'n pic van jou nie.
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