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Offline Sardine

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1340 on: December 07, 2019, 06:23:57 pm »
Peekcha's from Thursday, as promised.

...

40 minutes later while I tried to email the photos to myself  :lamer:
Make that 1hr40 later...

 :dousing:

1.) Harties Dam sluice gates
2.) Beautiful structure
3.) Thundering water!
« Last Edit: December 07, 2019, 06:47:05 pm by Sardine »
 

Offline Sardine

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1341 on: December 07, 2019, 06:25:51 pm »
1.) More thundering water
2.) Stopped to check the view on the way back. Wow!
3.) Jurassic Park feeling

Offline Sardine

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1342 on: December 07, 2019, 06:39:55 pm »
1.) Padstal 1
2.) Windmill padstal "Jasmyn Plaasprodukte"
3.) Windmill!

Offline Sardine

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1343 on: December 07, 2019, 06:41:14 pm »
1.) GIANT loaf of bread
2.) The chicken pie place that wasn't as good as Peregrine's...

Offline Sardine

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1344 on: December 07, 2019, 06:42:31 pm »
Gifts and goodies!

Offline Sardine

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1345 on: December 07, 2019, 06:46:17 pm »
Yesterday I treated myself to a big cappuccino at the Seattle Coffee Co at Fourways Mall. I had a free coffee, and I wanted to sit down and do some work. So I combined everything. I also find they are the only coffee place that consistently makes a good coffee.

The staff, 3 young guys, were amazing.
I was greeted with a huge smile and a "How can I caffeinate your day?"
I cracked up.
While the barista did his thing I chatted to the guy taking my order. The shop is by the big open entertainment area and they have just started with a twice-daily Peppa Pig show... for the next 10 days. I gave the guys my sympathies!  :snorting: :lol8:

Anyway, I was presented with the most amazing cup of coffee. Seriously impressed!
It was almost too cute to drink! Almost.

Offline Tom van Brits

Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1346 on: December 07, 2019, 06:48:37 pm »
Harties sure is my happy place, thanks for sharing Sadine!!  :thumleft:

That Kennedy space station thingy is actually an American penny. You put some quarters in a machine and 1 penny, choose what print you want and turn a handle and there you have it! 
Mr Zog helped me to make a lot.....probably more than 20!  :thumleft:
 
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Offline Sardine

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1347 on: December 07, 2019, 06:48:53 pm »
Today has been a long, but good day.
With all of the rain, the Parkun I wanted to do near Harties was cancelled. Luckily @Tom van Brits is on the ball, and he had an alternative run. A Breakfast Run at Aviator's Paradise in Brits.
Running and aviation, win!

I was due to fly back to PE on Sunday, but got thrown a curveball yesterday afternoon. The plane was ready ahead of schedule, and they wanted us to fly back today so we can fly passengers to PE on Sunday.
Right. So I phoned the weather office to hear what is happening with the storms throughout the day, and I was advised that it would be better to leave earlier rather than later.
So I opted for an 11:00 take-off from Lanseria, and cleared it with the Boss.

This meant I would have enough time to drive to Brits, run, drive back to Lanseria, shower, and get to work on time.

The run was due to start at 06:30, with several distance options. I originally wanted to do the 10km, but settled on the 5km because of time constraints. Tom very kindly joined me.
So I was up at 04:30. Actually, I was up at 12:00... 01:00. 01:30... you get the idea. I was so scared of over-sleeping that I woke up every 30-45min. Fortunately when I did sleep, I slept well.

I left Lanseria at 05:00, Martha the GPS telling me I would be at the flying club in 45 minutes. What Martha didn't tell me was that there was a road closure, which meant an extra 20km. But I made a plan  :peepwall:

Anyway, people showed up to the run in drips and drabs. 06:30 came and went. And at 06:45 Tom and I decided to get going.

The run was on the road, and we set off at a good pace. A very good pace, with Tom's watch showing 4-minutes-something. Whaaaaaaaat  :o
Ok, lets slow it down!

Once again we settled into what felt like a good rhythm, chatting as we went. We reached the closed road and turned around and saw that the rest of the group had started, the fastest 3 had already caught us up. A few people passed us, but, it wasn't a race. The gees was good, the temperature just right, and we had the odd bit of rain. Various people joined as we went, Tom chatting away with all of them.

As one guy accelerated away after a chat, Tom told me he is a Comrades Gold Medalist. Wow! Who would have thought that I would share a few hundred meters of road with a Comrades Gold Medalist  :ricky:

5km and 30-odd minutes later, we were back at the airfield clubhouse, and it was time to say good bye.

Our plan is to do the Hennops Hiking Trail as soon as possible!

Thank you for another great run, Tom, and motivating me to get up at 04:30!  :lol8:

---

I was ready to go to work with time to spare, so I allowed one of the lovely ladies at the B&B I stayed at to twist my arm into having breakfast. I'm glad she did, because I was treated to a delicious omelette and a huge cup of coffee. If you ever need a place to stay near Lanseria Airport, I highly recommend Meraki Country Manor! It has become my third home over the last few months.

Once at work, I sorted out all the admin, pre-flighted the plan, watched a Citation Latitude start up (holy cow, what a mean sounding beast!  :3some:), packed my stuff, filled my flask with coffee, got the aircraft pulled out the hangar and fueled (fortunately we have Ground Ops to help with this), and then it was time to go.

It was still raining. 4 days of constant rain. But the weather around PE looked clear, and in between was cloud. But no thunderstorms.

We set off and  went straight into the cloud and rain, and sat there for about 45 minutes. Fortunately it was smooth air, and we had a tailwind. As we neared Bloemfontein it started to clear. I tried to snap a photo for @Grunder , but he wasn't even in town!

The further south we flew, the more the weather cleared, and the more bumpy it became.
We passed a few isolated rain cells, which reminded me of Botswana - we would weave between columns of rain, and soared above mountains. Massive mountains.
I saw a big cave, and many tracks that screamed "come here and run/cycle/ride!"

Just under 3 hours later, we arrived in Kwandwe.

Paperwork done and plane tucked in, we drove home to Grahamstown where I finished up the admin, unpacked my dirty clothes, packed fresh clothes and got ready for tomorrow - we are staying in PE tomorrow night.

Now, I am fighting with transferring photos. Luckily I have the candle from Mrs. Zog burning, and the cedar magnolia smell is helping keep me calm.

Offline Sardine

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1348 on: December 07, 2019, 06:51:13 pm »
1.) Fueled and ready to go!
2.)  Lined up on runway 07, Lanseria. My co-pilot was Pilot Flying, so I took photos. We also waited a while to get take-off clearance. The runway was WET! It was epic watching the Boeing 737's land and depart.
3 and 4.) Into the soup we go

Offline Sardine

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1349 on: December 07, 2019, 06:52:43 pm »
1.) Land-ho!
2.) Getting better
3.) Hello Bloemfontein!
4.) In-flight snack. Bran muffin and coffee!

Offline Sardine

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1350 on: December 07, 2019, 06:54:45 pm »
1.) Isolated rain
2.) Ever-changing landscape
3.) Spot the cave
4.) Epic mountains! I found the difference in vegetation on each side of the ridge in the lower-left corner interesting.

Ok, that's a wrap! Dinner time!

Offline Tom van Brits

Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1351 on: December 07, 2019, 07:08:35 pm »
You have got a great office Sadine, love this picture!  :deal:

Also thanks for joining in on the club run, that was once again a great run  :thumleft:
 

Offline Mr Zog

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1352 on: December 08, 2019, 02:00:15 am »
Lekker  :ricky:
Young enough to know I can, old enough to know I shouldn't, stupid enough to do it anyway.
 

Offline Captain Zef

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1353 on: December 08, 2019, 04:16:33 pm »
Beautiful photos.
 

Offline Ri

Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1354 on: December 08, 2019, 07:16:08 pm »
 :sip: :thumleft:
 

Offline Sardine

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1355 on: December 08, 2019, 08:07:18 pm »
Thank you everyone.

Just had a lekker evening in PE with @elandsrider and his son. Great to meet a fellow Dog!
—-
This popped up on my Instagram, and now I am reminiscing.
It has been a great year. Lots of ups and downs, a lot of stress, a lot of emotional and physical suffering.
But I am so chuffed with what I have done. I started the year with a lot of “I will never” or “I can’t do that”, and I have gone and done the complete opposite. Who would-a thought.

I am sure I will post some stats to bore you with at some point. :lol8:

Thank you for the support!
« Last Edit: December 08, 2019, 08:19:46 pm by Sardine »
 

Offline elandsrider

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1356 on: December 08, 2019, 08:42:37 pm »
Thanks for a lekker time
Nice to meet and your wingguy
Drinks on a Sunday with some fish 👍
KLR 650, KDX 200, XTZ 750, XL 500
 
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Offline EssBee

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1357 on: December 09, 2019, 12:46:14 pm »
Thanks for sharing, really like your posts! Or should I say...this thread.
 

Offline 0012

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1358 on: December 09, 2019, 04:47:11 pm »
lekker man lekker, thanks for all the stories and pics, loving it as always  :thumleft:
->    TransAlp 650 - sold
:(    Yamaha XT1200Z - written off - R.I.P.
 

Offline Sardine

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #1359 on: December 11, 2019, 05:00:10 pm »
At some point over the last month or so, I got it in my head that I wanted to cycle to Bathurst.
Ah yes, I remember, it was after I rode Edgy's XR there for a milkshake.

I figured it is mostly downhill, and if I left Grahamstown early enough, I would avoid the traffic. The road doesn't have a shoulder and isn't very cyclist-friendly.

But then I thought "Well, if I am going that far, I may as well cycle to the sea." And so the plan began to form. I initially thought of heading to Port Alfred, but I had already seen a bit of the town by car. Kenton-on-Sea, however...

So with that in mind, I started looking for a day that would work with work. Because I do work. Sometimes.

On Sunday my scheme started coming together. I messaged a gentleman I met through a hike, who knows the area well, and pitched my plan. And by plan I mean I said "Hi R, do you want to cycle to Kenton with me on Wednesday?"

He asked about the route, and if I had checked the weather.
"As little tar as possible, and no".
He checked the weather. Wednesday was looking windy and not suitable for a ride to the coast. So he came up with an alternative.

I was happy with that, but said that my goal is to cycle to the sea before the end of the year.
We kept an eye on the weather, and on Tuesday the forecast had improved so we committed to the Kenton ride.

We met at 06:00 this morning and set off for the Southwell road just outside of Grahamstown. I learnt the location of a handy little road heading out of town that avoided a steep climb. Phew!
We had our first animal sighting right there- a small herd of zebra. Beautiful!
Then wheeeeeeee! Down we went on the winding tar road. About 3km of downhill awesomeness.
But, what goes down... we had a bit of a climb. We had gone the opposite way on a recent cycle, and I was dreading the climb having done 60km/h down that hill, but it wasn't too bad.

We fell into an easy rhythm. By easy I mean I set a nice, slow pace. We were in our own little worlds. I focused on the quiet morning. Twittering birds, lycra-clad legs swishing past gear on the bikes, legs pumping furiously to crank the pedals, bicycles creaking and squeaking, the odd huff or puff. And as we crested the hill, the clicking of derailleurs and chains as we sped up on the flat.

The tar transitioned to gravel. Bliss. I love the sound of wheels crunching over gravel.
I can't remember much, but there were a fair number of downhills and at one point I started to feel a little disappointed: I knew we were heading down to the sea, but I still wanted to pedal. I had to earn my lunch after all!

Fortunately we were soon presented with a mix of flat sections, short, steep climbs, and short downhills. A perfect mix to keep up a sustainable pace.
We were making good time too! Before I knew it we were almost 30km in.

Some other animal sightings include a female kudu, impala, monkeys, a loerie, and what could have been a bat-eared fox.
Whenever we stopped the rush of wind noise stopped and the world was filled with "silence"- the birds were always twittering. A different world, it was like being back in the Botswana bush. Peaceful and with no worries.

The gravel road was in fairly good condition, with only a few sections of corrugations. Not nearly as bad as the Highlands road from my "hikling" adventure. Those roads had my arm-skin flapping so badly I almost got airborne!
These roads did, however, have some very uneven sections and I almost got thrown off the bike once or twice. But, I didn't!  :ricky:

Traffic was also fairly quiet, and we only had a few idiots pass without slowing down, covering us in dust. As part of your driver's licence you should be made to cycle on a dirt road with traffic speeding by, and walk on the sidewalk in the rain as cars splash through puddles.

There had been very little wind, the temperature was just right, and it was overcast, but clearing up the nearer we got to the sea. Every now and then farmland was bathed in the most beautiful light.

We reached the tar road into Kenton about 3.5hrs after we had left Grahamstown. Awesome! I had mentally prepared for a 5 hour slog.
I donned a hi-vis vest and R put his bicycle light on and we set off on the tar into Kenton. I have only ever passed by on my way to Kasouga, so I was quite happy to explore.
By now the wind had picked up a little, and the temperature had dropped.

We crossed the Kariega river, and the water was the most beautiful blue, almost like those photos of glacial lakes and rivers.
We set off towards the beach (Kariega beach I think), and I soaked in the view.

The plan had been to have brunch, but the place only opened at 11:00, and we were well-ahead of schedule. So we cycled into town in search of coffee. It was delicious and good to sit down on a chair rather than a narrow seat. R and I chatted a while, and I discovered that I was a little off with my estimate of his age- I figured late 50ies, early 60ies. From what I could piece together, 70ies is more realistic.
Wow! He has been doing big multi-day cycling and hiking trips for the last 10 years. Really inspirational.
I was reminded of how important it is to surround oneself with people who push you to get out and challenge yourself, and support you along the way. I am so grateful that I have met people like that.

It was getting really chilly and nearer 11:00, so we left the coffee shop and headed to our brunch spot. My legs were shutting down and the last hill was a bit of a challenge, coupled with the wind and the building clouds spitting a few drops at us. As we arrived at Bushman's Bar and Grill the rain started. What timing!

R said the seafood was good, and we settled on a platter for two.
Wow. Quite possibly the best calamari I have ever had. And the mussels were fantastic too! The prawns freaked me out, but I managed to ignore the eyes staring at me, and all the little legs, and once I managed to get to the meat discovered it was deliciously tender. I know there is a trick to eating prawns, but I have yet to learn it.

We chatted some more, and watched the rain. How lucky is that. Perfect conditions for the duration of our ride. We really couldn't have asked for more.
R's wife came to fetch us, and we packed the bikes in the car and drove back to Grahamstown.

All in all, a 60km cycle in 4.5 hours (including stops), and we still had the whole afternoon to do as we pleased. Now that is my idea of a morning well-spent!