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Author Topic: Licenced to Ride: Singles Tour (13 - 28/10/2020)  (Read 2859 times)

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Offline Ri

Re: Licenced to Ride: Singles Tour (13 - 28/10/2020)
« Reply #60 on: February 01, 2021, 10:44:39 pm »
Ri this would make a nice canvas

Thanks but I feel I look a bit... chonky :imaposer:

The scenery is breathtaking though, isn't it?
 

Online Blikkies1

Re: Licenced to Ride: Singles Tour (13 - 28/10/2020)
« Reply #61 on: February 01, 2021, 10:57:50 pm »
I took my Pajero so we had aircon, was still only donning a PT short at times due to the heat - moobs shaken not stirred, don't mean to butt in on your thread, just a few pics from Duiwekloof:
« Last Edit: February 01, 2021, 10:59:06 pm by Blikkies1 »
It's the end of the road as we know it and I feel fine.
 

Offline elandsrider

Re: Licenced to Ride: Singles Tour (13 - 28/10/2020)
« Reply #62 on: February 01, 2021, 11:08:40 pm »
Lovely Ri
I値l ride with you anytime , if only to read how awesome it was
Well done, great rr 🤗
KLR 650, KDX 200, XTZ 750, XL 500
 

Offline Ri

Re: Licenced to Ride: Singles Tour (13 - 28/10/2020)
« Reply #63 on: February 02, 2021, 07:57:15 am »
Lovely Ri
I値l ride with you anytime , if only to read how awesome it was
Well done, great rr 🤗

 :imaposer:

Was a confidence boost to know if I came to grief, someone was there to pick up the pieces. And I'm very grateful you didn't hurry me along, because that's when I come to grief.


 

Offline Ri

Re: Licenced to Ride: Singles Tour (13 - 28/10/2020)
« Reply #64 on: February 02, 2021, 08:02:07 am »
I took my Pajero so we had aircon, was still only donning a PT short at times due to the heat - moobs shaken not stirred, don't mean to butt in on your thread, just a few pics from Duiwekloof:

Butt away, this looks amazing! No wonder you stayed an extra day. That pool looks especially inviting :drif:

Are there trails around the area you can hike? Or routes for game viewing by car?
 

Offline Knucklhead

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Re: Licenced to Ride: Singles Tour (13 - 28/10/2020)
« Reply #65 on: February 04, 2021, 12:33:11 pm »
Lovely Ri
I値l ride with you anytime , if only to read how awesome it was
Well done, great rr 🤗

FFS man get a room, Damn Gnome  >:D
 

Offline Ri

Re: Licenced to Ride: Singles Tour (13 - 28/10/2020)
« Reply #66 on: February 04, 2021, 04:42:48 pm »
Lovely Ri
I値l ride with you anytime , if only to read how awesome it was
Well done, great rr 🤗

FFS man get a room, Damn Gnome  >:D

 :imaposer:
 

Offline elandsrider

Re: Licenced to Ride: Singles Tour (13 - 28/10/2020)
« Reply #67 on: February 04, 2021, 06:00:40 pm »
Lovely Ri
I値l ride with you anytime , if only to read how awesome it was
Well done, great rr 🤗

FFS man get a room, Damn Gnome  >:D

 :imaposer:
Obviously nothing going on in smelly hage at the moment
Old people bored
KLR 650, KDX 200, XTZ 750, XL 500
 

Offline Ri

Re: Licenced to Ride: Singles Tour (13 - 28/10/2020)
« Reply #68 on: February 04, 2021, 08:49:33 pm »
Saturday 24/10/2020

Tertius and I met on the Business Express Train from Strand to Cape Town. He asked me whether I was a lesbian. Was it because I wore my hair very short? Was it because I rode a motorbike? Was it because I didn't have a boyfriend? No. Apparently I was wearing what he considered to be funny shoes. I just laughed at him, and said, no, I'm not into women. The next day he boarded the train and couldn't stop apologising. He'd told his daughter, a lesbian, what he'd asked me, and she'd blasted him from a dizzying height for his rudeness. He couldn't believe I was still talking to him. A few short years later he retired to Jeffreys Bay but by that time the friendship was firm.

Richard describes a nice back road to Jeffreys Bay, and I'm off early to visit my friends, dodging the rutted track down to the Elandsrivier Road, then on to Uitenhage, then right towards Jeffreys Bay. It's tar all the way, but not a busy road, and very scenic.










The day is bright and crisp but would become warm later, and I packed my swimming costume. Soon we're swimming in a strong swell, chatting about everything under the sun. Later on we kuier in the kitchen with his wife who is baking a home baked bread, smearing it with garlic and olive oil, then plaiting it. It looks delicious. They're off to go braai with friends that evening, and too soon I have to take my leave.







The journey back to River Bend is languid, and I stop underneath the Van Stadensbridge to take some photo's.






Leaving JBay

















« Last Edit: February 05, 2021, 07:22:55 am by Ri »
 

Offline Ri

Re: Licenced to Ride: Singles Tour (13 - 28/10/2020)
« Reply #69 on: February 05, 2021, 07:33:07 am »
I reach River Bend again in the late afternoon.





Richard drives down to the river to show me the camping spot he started developing. I look at the steep access road with misgivings but Richard reckons it'll be fine for bikers and 4x4s... as long as it doesn't rain.










« Last Edit: February 05, 2021, 07:34:09 am by Ri »
 

Offline Ri

Re: Licenced to Ride: Singles Tour (13 - 28/10/2020)
« Reply #70 on: February 05, 2021, 08:08:03 am »
Sunday 25/10/2020

Richard plans to load up a horse and be gone at the crack of dawn to join a horse ride on the beach, and to leave me to see myself out. I sleep fitfully as always, despite trying various tablets and sleeping aids, and I'm awake very early. When I hear Richard moving about, I drag my tired body outside to help close the trailer gate behind the horse and direct the 4x4 to the hitch.

The weather bodes, and the wind pumps. With a quick wave he is gone, and I crawl back into bed to try sleep for another hour or two, but a feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach keeps me awake. I decide to get going.






I head towards Port Elizabeth, and the clouds make for cool cover for the first part of the day. I soon find my turnoff towards Steytlerville, and a beautiful wide gravel road beckons. Ahhhh, this is the life!


First (wrong) turnoff




And here it is.








Oh look, another tittle tortoise!










I wait for him to cross the road out of danger, before I go harass him to give you and idea of his size. Not that my finger is much indication, except it's probably smaller than most of the members on WD.




Not longer after, I come across another tortoise crossing the road, in the same direction as the previous one. This one is slightly bigger than the previous tortoise, and makes a prompt U-turn to quickly disappear into the shrub before I can get close enough for a photo. These things are quick!




Then I come across big daddy lumbering in the veld, and harass him for a bit with my paparazzi act.




Unimpressed.










The clouds disappear and the day heats up as I move away from the coast and deeper into the Klein Karoo. As always, my heart swells with gratitude that I'm alive and have the chance to ride my bike out here. We have such a beautiful country.




Cockscomb. It looks a bit like Helderberg Dome.








I come across a very sad sight: a snake with its head crushed, lying in the road. People are always in so much of a hurry, and don't even see the beauty they destroy in their rush to tomorrow.




Suddenly an eagle takes off on my left, lazily floats over my head, and drops slightly to glide along on my right at just above shoulder height. I stare at it open-mouthed, cruising along, and it keeps pace with me. Would it be possible for me to take a photo of it?

I'm not going fast at all, but still have too much momentum to stop quickly, or there just happens to be a loose patch on this hard packed road the *one* place I try a quick stop. More likely, I forgot to hit the back brake. Blue's nose dives to the left and the rear swings around elegantly, leaving me standing over my fallen bike. The eagle drops lower behind a clump of shrub, out of sight, and I'm left taking photo's of my fall.




But aren't you going the other way? ...






Once I get going again, the eagle again appears low my right, and rides with me almost all the way to Steytlerville before sweeping up high into the sky. But I don't try to get more photo's.











 

Offline the ruffian

Re: Licenced to Ride: Singles Tour (13 - 28/10/2020)
« Reply #71 on: February 05, 2021, 09:22:15 am »
That road past the Cockscomb peak to Steytlerville is one of those truly beautiful gravel 塗ighways that etches itself into one痴 rider soul ( if you値l excuse the mumbo-jumbo-esque hijack) - and your pictures capture its essence...
 
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Offline ClemS

Re: Licenced to Ride: Singles Tour (13 - 28/10/2020)
« Reply #72 on: February 05, 2021, 09:56:24 am »
Did you get hurt with the tumble? I assume it happened because you were trying to capture pictures of the accompanying eagle?
The brave do not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all.
 

Offline punisher

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Re: Licenced to Ride: Singles Tour (13 - 28/10/2020)
« Reply #73 on: February 05, 2021, 10:13:43 am »
i am soooooo enjoying yer adventure
just wanna have fun , and ride ... and ....... ride
 
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Offline Ri

Re: Licenced to Ride: Singles Tour (13 - 28/10/2020)
« Reply #74 on: February 06, 2021, 09:10:35 am »
Did you get hurt with the tumble? I assume it happened because you were trying to capture pictures of the accompanying eagle?

Previous slip on the bridge I grazed my hip and thigh, but this time I didn't even go down. I had leg out and stood while the bike slid to the ground. I don't think this ever happened to me before but I highly recommend it :ricky:.

And yes, silly fall, because I tried to stop quickly to grab a photo of that eagle.  I really need to practise my emergency stops. I'd wear an action camera but I'm too lazy busy to trawl through all that bland, boring footage to get to the exciting bits.
 

Offline Ri

Re: Licenced to Ride: Singles Tour (13 - 28/10/2020)
« Reply #75 on: February 06, 2021, 11:36:30 am »
I arrive in Steytlerville and slowly trawl up the main road. The place is dead quiet on this hot Sunday afternoon. I stop at the fuel station at the far end of Steytlerville and fill up, and without much hope, ask whether any place is open for a cup of coffee or something. Yes, two loitering locals answer, to my great surprise. They direct me back to the entrance of the dorpie, where there's a coffee shop across from the orange municipality buildings, which they promise me is open for business.

I crawl back again slowly, looking around at all the closed and quiet houses doubtfully, when I spot a moving ad board standing on the pavement. I park Blue on the pavement and walk in the gate, still doubtfully eyeing the doors and windows which are all locked and boarded up despite notices of "Open" and "Welcome". 










I walk along the side of the house and at the back, I come across a group of people sitting under the shade of the trees in the back garden. The proprietess rushes up to me and assures me I'm welcome to sit down and have a bite to eat. I choose a table on the corner in the cross breeze, and take off my hot helmet and jacket.

The owner of the establishment and her husband left Noordhoek, Cape Town, 8 years ago to travel around South Africa, but when they reached Steytlerville, they promptly settled down and opened the restaurant and coffee shop, and have been living here happily ever since. They seem to be very involved in the community, and glow with hospitality and bonhomie.














I'm overheating and my nose starts to bleed. I splash water on my nose and the back of my neck, keeping my head back, and thankfully it soon stops.






Soon after I arrive, a camper van pulls up across the street, possibly flagged down by my bike, and the occupants join me on the stoep. The couple has been touring SA for about four years now. Before the camper van, they toured 15,000km on a DS bike. Ronel, the lady, is envious of my riding. She would also love to tour on a motorbike, but doesn't have the nerve to ride her own motorbike.

Later on, some locals arrive in a tik-tik for a cup of coffee, and we also have a long chat about motorbikes and travel. They have some queries about an antique bike with a strange suspension, and I refer them to 2StrokeDan. He may not know either, but I'm sure he has more resources to find out.










I order a chicken mayo sandwich and manage to force down half, nauseous from lack of sleep and tiredness. The friendly owner wraps the rest in foil and I pack it for later. Exhausted and hot, I linger over my coffee, needing the caffeine boost, lazy to leave this oasis.

But the sun starts to draw water, and I kit up and mount Blue. My plan is to head to Graaff-Reinet through Klipplaat and find a place to stay for the night. I checked my route with Richard, and confirm with the locals that it's doable, then I set off into the hot, quiet afternoon.




Soon I leave the tar behind.










My route departs from the more well-traveled gravel highway and I head off into the beyond.






















I check MapOut from time to time, but make the mistake of thinking the road to Klipplaat would be marked. The road deteriorates even more, and when I see my position on Mapout, I realise I travelled too far by a few kilometers, and I backtrack to where MapOut shows my planned turn-off. When I reach the spot, I'm dispmayed to find an obviously well-travelled road, barred by a gate.




The gate doesn't look locked, but I'm not keen to be caught late in the day potentially tresspassing on private property, and I carry on back towards the turn-off I left behind many kilometers ago.

« Last Edit: February 06, 2021, 04:01:19 pm by Ri »
 

Offline Ri

Re: Licenced to Ride: Singles Tour (13 - 28/10/2020)
« Reply #76 on: February 06, 2021, 04:56:28 pm »
This route is longer than the one I planned to take, but more used and I feel better when I swing onto it and speed up. I should have enough fuel, and tiredness leads to lack of concentration and mistakes, which I can't afford on my own on solitary roads.
 
I ride over a blind height and see a tortoise standing on the side of the road, seemingly trapped under a rock. I immediately come to a stop to walk back to assist, and find the "rock" is another tortoise, focused on contributing to the circle of life.
 



As the road enters a narrow kloof, a snake shoots across the road and while I still come to a sliding halt and try to park the bike, it disappears into the underbrush. I thought I caught it's tail but I don't see anything. Still, lovely to come across a live snake.








Big gravel cross roads.








Beautiful hall or church building. I didn't stop in time to photograph it, and am too hot and tired to go back for a decent shot.




More signs of civilisation






Klipplaat is a tiny little town laid out a bit skew, but very neat and tidy and well-looked after, from the bit I see. I ride through it in about half a second, then I join the big gravel road towards Aberdeen.




This road is hard packed and obviously well-used, a bit bumpy to ride, and shoots across the plains like an arrow.




There is a turn-off that zig-zags acorss the plains to join the tar road from PE to Graaf-Reinet, but I'm worn out and ready to call it a day, so I pass the inviting turn-off and head towards Aberdeen. Soon the gravel becomes a tar road, covered in baby grasshoppers in the "voetganger" stage.






I eventually arrive in Aberdeen, a quaint little town with one tarred main road, the rest being gravel. I turn left and ride around the block and stop next to a tall man who seems to have just stepped out for his Sunday afternoon walk, and ask him about fuel stations and accommodation. Both are apparently on the far side of town, and he specifically recommends Aberdeen Self-catering. We chat about bikes for a moment, and he wishes me well on my journey.

I thank him and turn back onto the main road, turn right and tour along it slowing, head swiveling from side to side trying to spy possible accommodation.
 

Offline Ri

Re: Licenced to Ride: Singles Tour (13 - 28/10/2020)
« Reply #77 on: February 06, 2021, 04:59:19 pm »
I pass a tree covered property with two men chatting out front, and one lifts his hand in greeting. I nod my head, and as I pass the entrance gate, I notice this is Aberdeen Self-Catering. I do a lethargic u-turn in the road and find a parking place by the curb. The two men greet each other, one drives away and  the other one walks towards me.

When I tell him I'm looking for accommodation, he immediately beckons me in through the gate, and then into a smaller gate. He turns out to be Jurgen, an architect and the owner of the establishment. He is leaving very early the next morning to oversee a project in Knysna.  My accommodation for the night is a tent with a portable air conditioner, and bathroom and kitchen facilities. The camp site is beautiful and well laid out. What a pleasure!


























Yes, there is even a swimming pool. I am tempted to take a dip until I feel the temperature of the water. It is probably bore hole water pumped from Antarctica. Later, two other campers climb up the stairs and sit on the wall, but also get no further than dipping their feet. That water is COLD.












Less expensive and a tad less private accommodation (I assume, from a jacket hanging there)




Definitely biker friendly




































Kitchen garden and menagerie
















 

Offline Ri

Re: Licenced to Ride: Singles Tour (13 - 28/10/2020)
« Reply #78 on: February 06, 2021, 05:12:48 pm »
Jurgen offers me a braai pack for dinner, and I laugh. Is he going to braai it for me? I'll be fine, thanks. I dig out my half a sandwich, hoping salmonella hasn't set in yet.

Jurgen would hear none of it. He had celebrated his birthday with a lamb potjie the previous evening, and there was some left. Would I like some? Not being as stupid as I look, I accept with enthusiasm, and he soon appears bearing a tray laden with food. There is a big plate of poitjie and roosterkoek, a smaller plate with 2 (TWO!) desserts and even a left over grape soda. There is so much food, I have left overs for breakfast, along with the possibly poxy chicken mayo toastie.

What a feast!




Later on I ask Jurgen about tyre replacement options. My back tyre is balding alarmingly fast and I'm not happy with the thought of trying to get home on it. He mentions two tyre places in Graaf-Reinet, with the best option apparently being Tyre Mart.

While I eat dinner, Jurgen's cute little Jack Russel crossed with a Doberman Pincher (I think) and normal Jack Russell keep a beady eye on me, hoping for a slip of the fork, but the food is scrumptious and nothing goes to the dogs.


Did I mention, this is the Honeymoon Suite?




I turn in early for the night and although I still don't sleep a full night, at least I toss and turn in airconditioned comfort.
 

Offline Ri

Re: Licenced to Ride: Singles Tour (13 - 28/10/2020)
« Reply #79 on: February 06, 2021, 07:34:32 pm »
Monday 26/10/2020

I snooze in the morning, with no fixed plans for the day other than to replace my tyre at Graaff-Reinet,  until the sun bakes me out of the tent. I hear one Jack Russell whining outside my tent and assume it's looking for attention, since the boss is gone. I drag my unwilling body out of bed, make myself a cup of coffee, and sit down to pet the dog, but the dog has disappeared.




Fowl play: telling me to stop being so clucking lazy and get going so they can have the place to themselves again.




Not much life left on this one.




The road between Aberdeen and Graaf-Reinet is again covered in "voetgangers", alive and crushed. It is a bit creepy riding on this living, squishy carpet.














I stop at Tyre Mart, and the owner/manager, Malcolm, immediately springs into action to find me a replacement back tyre. He soon comes to tell me they have a replacement tyre, but it doesn't have the same profile as my current back tyre. I check with Dux and accept the replacement. The price is good and it's a Pirelli, which I'm more than happy to ride with. Malcolm still phones the other tyre place to see whether they have a better tyre for me, but no go.




Since I was going to pass through the area, I contacted Dorsland to find out about possibly visiting, but he has a stable full of visitors and couldn't accommodate me. When he finds out I'm in Graaf-Reinet, he invites me to pop in for coffee, and I consider the possibility of doing a loop, riding from the farm to pass through or stay over in Nieu-Bethesda.

With one thing and another, changing the tyre takes a long time. Then Malcolm, a handsome but somewhat aloof man, takes an interest in my unformed plans. He strongly urges me to visit the Valley of Desolation, which Richard also mentioned in glowing terms, and which I am really keen to see, but it is too late to visit both the Valley and Dorsland today. I decide to stay over in Graaff-Reinet and visit Dorsland now, and see the Valley of Desolation in the morning when I leave.

Both Malcolm and his salesman, Rudi, phone around, trying to find me accommodation, but by some miracle the whole of Graaff-Reinet is booked out. As I despair of finding affordable accommodation, Rudi has a lightbulb moment. His brother has a granny flat that he sometimes rents out in case of emergency. He gives his brother a call; the place is available! The next moment I'm following the Rudi's car through the picturesque older part of Graaff-Reinet, to a beautiful historic house. He hands me over into the care to his brother, and heads back to work.

My host shows me to the room that is my accommodation for the night, and I gawp, speechless with grattitude. It is lovely! I tell him my plans and he hands me a remote for access. I quickly unload my bags, take note of the address, and head out of Graaff-Reinet, speeding on the tar towards Dorsland's farm, looking forward to the visit.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2021, 12:46:05 am by Ri »