Porterville Beaverlac Overnighter  : It’s never about the destination, Always about the Journey

24-25 February 2018

‘’Come and fly the skies where black eagles soar, and hike the paths of the leopard once more.

Come and climb the rocks where the baboon often play, and spend time at a rock pool each day.’’

The best thing about a weekend like this is the fact that very little planning is necessary, the hardest part is making place on the bike for a tent. We met for sanity sake at the Engen in Plattekloof, knowing that by now we all are au fait with this garage as a meeting point. Stefania’s bike decided to break the ice and trend for our relaxed ride and was so relaxed it just didn’t start. We ended up detouring via Vredehoek, with Carel jumping like a kangaroo on the motorbike freeing downhill in town. Here you place your hands over your eyes and remove one finger, just because you cant look, traffic in town, freeing down hill with a tempermental motorbike is a recipe for …….. after a few attempts the little ninja took, and the engine roared making its awakening presence known.

Now we were all awake, ready … from the N1, it was a quick dash through traffic to the N7 and the country side commenced just outside Durbanville turn off.

The previous nights rain had left the fresh earth smell hanging in the air, accompanied by a cool breeze which was welcomed as I rode with an open visor. It was literally a few gear changes and the dirt was under my tyres already. Admittedly a few minutes later I wasn’t feeling it. Neels says I have a Kopwurm.. I am starting to think he is right. After a few serious chats with this KopWurm, I decided that he lost and Jani won the round and put my fears and doubts in the dust behind me and just embrace the day.

I placed myself at the back with Andreas when we entered the Haaskraal road, so that I could flex my confidence muscle a bit more. Looking down my speedo was reading 90kms per hour on dirt and I was standing. KopWurm – you lose!

We took a refreshment stop at Du Vlei Padstal. The hot chocolate here is one of my favourites and shortly after stopping, the warm sweet beverage found its way into my hands.

Carel once again turned us off the tar, soon we were on Delsma Farm road that goes through to Gouda. This dirt road was a pleasure riding and we ended up coming into Gouda and then turning right towards Porterville. With the stop and go’s it wasn’t too much of a hold up and we entered the town soon enough to make the local butchery in time. We all peeled into the local butchery, the owner recognized Carel, and before we knew it half a cow was being sliced into steaks, with some complimentary braaispice for our barbi in the valley. Pitstop for cold beverages and then we headed out, exited Porterville we took the turnoff to the right, Dasklip / Cardouw road to make our way to Dasklip Pass, the one that would drop us in the valley at Beaverlac.

Some more dirt under the tyres and soon it turned to a now neatly tarred pass. The narrow pass trickles along the mountain side, making ascent quick. We stopped at the grid, to take in all the beauty below us and saw the path in the distance that we were on just a few minutes ago. We now understood why Carel made sure we had a cold beverage. Here we saluted and high five’ed each other for a good day to be alive and healthy.

The drop to Beaverlac commenced, it is a quick descent of sand, and loose rock. By now the comms had died, and the Kopwurm too. In 1st gear I spluttered down the mountain like a snail clutching to a wet rock. I got down, in one piece and so was my bike

Beaverlac is a natural heritage site in the Grootfontein Farm, it is hidden in the Olifants River Mountains and is situated in a 5000 hectare secluded valley surrounded by the Ratel and Olifants Rivers.

We all unpacked and set up camp at this beautiful camp site with in minutes bike gear was replaced with shorts, tshirts and barefoot as we made ourselves comfortable around the fire where Collen had already set up for us. With Bernie and Pi, his 2 precious bulldogs came with to be our brave body guards for the evening.

Sitting around the fire, I can say that a year ago, I didn’t know any of these people and here we are spending such a special time in such an amazing place sharing stories and dreams. We all have different careers and yet our idea of a good time is this. I have learnt that doing trips with people who enjoy what you enjoy, there is never admin.

The evening ended as we all found our way to our little cacoons for a well deserved rest

The next morning we ventured on a hike to explore the beautiful landscape followed by a refreshing swim in the rock pools of Beaverlac. The rock pools are beautiful and clean and a relief for all campers on a warm day. By lunch time the fire needed to be extinguished and the tents packed up for our route home again.

Carel didn’t hold back on the route and dirt and dust was there again. We made a few detours on a few farms, accidentally on purpose. Not one of us minded, as a good day is a good day, lost or not. We went past the Misverstand dam. And then did the long stretch of dirt before Riebeeck Kasteel. We entered the tar there for a quick trip through the pass to Malmesbury. Here we said good bye. As we hugged each other the dust lifted off our jackets as a sign of another successful day.

… when you were a child at a funfair, and you stood in the queue at the tornado, your hands used to shake as you held the ticket out to the conducter. You proceeded with caution onto the contraption that would spin you around and upside, and you would scream with exhilaration. When it would come to a dead stop you would hold onto the railing while you get off again with adrenaline pumping. And the first reaction would be.. ‘ lets do it again’ –

Monday morning when I opened my eyes… that was the words I uttered.

#addicted

Lambert’s Bay Leaves us Longing

[Bmw Motorrad – Lambert’s bay overnighter – 10 & 11/02/2018]

Waking up on a Monday morning after a weekend like the one we just had, it feels almost insignificant to have to get dressed in clean clothes, drink coffee from a dust free coffee mug and put on a computer to download emails and enter the adult world of a routine based day. Just yesterday we were covered in dust, never minded by bad hair and dirty clothes, yet the feeling was one that money couldn’t buy and the thrill was child-like. Today we adult again.

On Saturday morning we were summoned to the Swartland Engen garage where we would meet our travelling friends. These meeting points on the first day of a trip, are never the same. You shake hands with strangers, try to make note of the names you don’t already know, and in your mind you have already forgotten them as your craving for coffee takes over with the first sip of some warm java. With that in mind you already know that when wishing each other farewell tomorrow afternoon, we will already be old friends.

Geoff was our leader for this trip. I have never joined one of his trips before, but his legacy had left me curious and excited for the dirt road ahead of us. Obviously we had chosen dirt with a touch of sand. We headed out and just past Moorreesburg we stopped to deflate tyres to prepare for the gravel and sand. Uncle Ewert stepped off his new lady in red, GS1200 (it was her maiden voyage to dirt) with a slight nervousness as he removed his gloves. I noticed his excitement and slight nervousness as he had never taken this lady on the dirt before. With words of encouragement and motivation we readied up for the dirt. Roads were beautiful with open fields, blue skies filled with cotton wool clouds. As the dirt moved under the rolling tyres his lady became comfortable with the new texture on her rubber and Uncle Ewert was dancing in the seat. It was a good day

At Picketberg, Carel noticed his sprocket had lost its teeth completely and had to make a quick dash back to Paarden Island in Cape Town while I had to pillion with Geoff. As we exited Piketberg garage the comms unit died, and I knew Carel was quickly approaching Cape Town with a bike that was in need of 911 treatment.

The dirt road took us from Citrusdal to Clanwilliam. To be pillion with Geoff was an absolute party. His skill level is amazing, and the bike – oh well.. need to get one of those ! *wink*

We filled up again in Clanwilliam and then made our way back onto dirt en route to the N7 via Bulshoek dam. Admittedly, now when Cape’ies see water they want to stop and bottle it to take home. The specks of water we saw on this road made us all breathe a heavy sigh of relief in our helmets knowing the seriousness of our current situation at home. We stopped at the turn off at the N7 and noticed some of our fellow riders were slightly delayed. Geoff turned back to find them and we used this opportunity to stretch legs. Finally on line with Carel, he was very quickly making his way back up the tar from Paarden Island to join us again at Klawer.

With one or 2 altercations all our riders were safe. At Klawer we stopped for a well deserved lunch and some cold liquids for dusty throats. I heard Carel’s 800GS coming into the parking lot and was grateful, all the chickens were in the nest again. Now we could have a peaceful journey to our destination at Lamberts Bay

The last stretch of dirt from Klawer to Lambert’s bay was tougher than hoped for. Geoff warned sand, and until then we hadn’t had much. The road was loose and everyones average speed slowed a little with the wakening of it.

Safely at Lamberts bay hotel we checked in and met up with the group that road the tar. Everyone shared stories of the day and the reunion had commenced.

Our bus fetched us and the bikes rested as we piled in for dinner at Muisbosskerm.

‘’ FOOOOOOODDDDD GLORIOUS FOOOODDDDD’’

The setting, priceless … painted skies with pink, yellow and blue. The aroma of seafood filled the air. The conversation and atmosphere was joyous. And you take a moment to embrace all of it and realise again… grateful and blessed to have a good life.

Many people would probably not grant themselves this treat if it wasn’t for events like this, yet we all deserve this spoil and sunset.

With tired bodies we piled back in the bus like school children after an SOS camp, excited, loud, and tired and headed back to the hotel. Some die-hards proceeded straight to the bar, while the rest seeked a quiet room and pillow.

Sunday morning we did some exploring of the town at sunrise as the seagulls replaced the alarms just after 4am. Lambert’s bay is a little fishing town that is known as the ‘diamond’ of the West Coast popular for its amazing seafood, bird life and beautiful beaches.

We met for breakfast, geared up and ready for our adventure homeward bound.

We headed inland again and took the Cedarberge route on the dirt. The road was as expected beautiful, dusty and endless. We rode through some valleys that had recently had fire and the smell of burn still lingers in the air.

Stopping at Cedarberg Oasis was a welcomed visit. Legs stretched and some ventured into the pool for relief of the days heat.



Shortly afterwards we geared up for the last time. Next stop would be Ceres.

The road from Oasis to Gydo pass is one of my favourite dirt roads. I enjoyed the quick exit of dust and sand as we entered the tar.

Over Gydo pass the evidence of remnants of a fire show and looking down, dam levels are low.

We said our farewells and well wishes at the garage in Ceres where tyres were pumped up again, tanks filled and gear dusted off. Reality kicked in, and we were homeward bound. Yesterday morning we were, some friends, some strangers. Spending time on roads like these, makes you grateful for the guy in front of you and the guy behind you.

Thank you Geoff for taking us crazy ‘ies , it was an epic adventure.

It really isn’t about the destination, it’s all about the journey. A trip like this makes that quote such a reality.

Sitting in front of the computer today, with your favorite coffee mug, dressed in a clean shirt and well groomed hair. You have flashbacks of yesterday and realise… it’s a good life with dirt and 2 wheels !

Once in a blue moon – 31 January 2018

Once in a blue moon…

“She used to tell me that a full moon was when mysterious things happen and wishes come true.” S. A. Thompson

The monthly BMW Motorad Club meeting is usually held on the last Wednesday of every month and just so happened that this time it was held on the last day of the first month of this new year. We were spoilt with a special phenomenon of having to share the evening with the Super Blue Blood Moon. There is a strong possibility that in our life time we will not bear witness to this amazing natural event on any calender.

We met at the club house as usual and the reunion began as most of us haven’t seen each other since our end year function in December last year. The year started in full force and it feels as if we are really only touching ground now. After the catch up and banter with friends we sat down for an informal meeting just to get all the formalities out of the way. Admittedly I think most of us were already distracted because we knew there would be a ride involved, a beautiful rising moon and a yellow setting sun, with an unknown destination.

Getting our fifteen minute departure alert, everyone scattered and filled the parking lot, as helmets were being put on, jackets buttoned, the atmosphere was one of excitement and joy. Age not applicable, as it we all share the same passion. Here you realise again, no matter how small the dream, it does come true.

We headed out with Neels as the ride leader. Soon we ended up passing Durbanville hills wine estate. Looking back it was a sight that gave me goosebumps. The headlights of the motorcycles lit the tar like Christmas lights on a lifeless tree. What a sight, with the yellow rays of a setting sun on our beautiful Table Mountain. Dreams come true.

Our surprise destination was Bloemendal restaurant on the hill. This restaurant has been closed for a while. As we headed up the hill, the last of the sun was kissing the ocean good night and the moon started taking her place in a dark sky.

Everyone made way to the opening in front of the empty building. Picnic blankets were spread out on the dirt. Champagne glasses, treats and snacks devoured, while the silence was colored in by laughter and an excitement in the breeze.

Having Oliver join us last night again, one local word has resonated with him, ‘’Lekker’’ – Oliver, this top night we would consider to be ‘’Flippin’Lekker’’

“Let us step into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.” ― J.K. Rowling

So we all share in this child-like excitement for the natural beauty, dirt roads and challenges.

May last night’s ending of the month only set the pace for your own February .

‘Ciao’