Thursday, February 12, 2009

Through the Transkei

Up early again, cos everyone's itching to get through the Transkei. When the bikes start revving, you know you'd better hurry, or you could be left behind. Well not really, but you do risk being crowned Mug of the ride.

Talking of Mug of the ride, Danny and I got the first Nomination,firstly because I lost some money along the road as a result of not zipping up a pocket. Then later our one bag started coming loose, and we had to stop to tie it up.

Yesterday Matt deposed us as a result of disrupting the ride when the guys saw the state of his front tyre. We had to find a bike shop in East London. Thanks to some assistance fom Glen's friend in the city, this was a painless exercise.

Back to today's events. what can I say, but wind, cold, winding roads, and lots of trucks, goats and cattle on a narrow road. Being the first time on the Transkei roads in a good number of years, it was a pleasant surprise to see the improvement. Apart from a small section of roadworks which delayed a few riders by about 30 min, the roads were very good, and we arrived in Kokstad at about 3 in the afternoon.

It wasn't long before we arrived in at The Planes, to be greeted by Wendy. Seeing the rooms, we thought we'd arrived in paradise. Beautiful, comfortable and clean. Then came dinner - Ministrone soup, followed by roast beef and vegetables, with lemon cheesecake for pud. What more could a weary traveller ask for?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Rain, rain, go away.

Aaahh! Grahamstown Wimpy at last, and an opportunity to warm up a little! Never thought I'd be happy to see another Wimpy! not that there's anything wrong with Wimpy - on the contrary, they're always clean, and you're guaranteed a quality meal. It's just that we like variety.

Well, if we can't have variety in breakfast, the weather gave it to us! It rained all the way from P.E. so we all had the opporrtunity to try out the rainsuits. We also discovered that a leather jacket can hold what feels like tons of water, as can shoes and socks.

Grahamstown was the breakfast destination and the opportunity to warm up for a few minutes, before tackling another few hundred km's of rain and wind.

A long stop outside King Williams Town to secure Louis' back numberplate while the guys located a front tyre for Matt's bike. Then onward to East London, through more rain.

Niki Nana was the nicest backpacker's lodge we've stayed in so far. Clean rooms, clean bathrooms, clean kitchen, lovely entertainment area. what more could one ask for.

Now to relax and just enjoy thew company of the group over a braai and beers.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Outdshoorn to Port Elizabeth

Oasis Shanti in Oudtshoorn was our home for the night. Dinner was braaied ostrich steaks, boerewors and rolls. Ditto for breakfast, since we've had about as many Wimpy meals as we can handle for now, and it seems to be the favorite eating house of the group.

Today's weather provided us with a very interesting day, including Vic stripping twice. Once to put on his waterpeoof gear, and the other to take it off.

Not far out of Outshoorn is the Outeniqua mountains. A beautiful range. We had already started down the pass when the rain caught us, and everyone slowed down to a sensible pace, giving us a chance to gain a little ground.

Breakfast was at a Wimpy in George. Even though they questioned the locals, I don't think anyone in the group found out after whom the town is named.

The weather wasn't going to catch us again! After checking with a group of army bikers who'd come in from the direction we were heading, we all suited up, and it was off to Knysna.

A few minutes at the harbor for an ice cream, then we were back on the bikes, and on the way to Plettenburg bay. It was around this time that I finally realsed this trip is about being on the bike on the road, and not about seeing the sites along the way. So I relaxed and started enjoying the speed.

Jeffreys Bay was the next town we wizzed past. Actually no, we wizzed in, didn't find what we were looking for, then wizzed out again. Still no idea what it is we were even looking for in there.

Off we went again and it wasn't too long before we reached King Beach Backpackers lodge in Port Elizabeth, our home for the evening. Here our group of 10 will share 2 dorm rooms. I hope we get some sleep tonight. There are rumours that some of our roommates snore!

Monday, February 9, 2009

First stop Paarl!

Leaving Cape Town was a lengthy affair. Once Ferdie and Charlotte had completed their inspection, and returned our deposit, we regrouped at the nearby garage. it was coffee for some, and chocolate for others.
Then came The News. The slowest rider was to lead the pack,so we had a good chance of riding together for the day. No prizes for guessing who'd be doing the navigating out of the Mother City. Fortunately Danny and I'd had a practice run yesterday, so I could find my way to the N1 heading to Paarl. Imagine how popular I'd have been if I'd taken 9 burly bikers on my usual scenic route through the morning traffic!

Apart from all the stop-start, it was a smooth ride all the way to the first butt-stop in Paarl, where a trucker took our photo on his cell phone as he was taking the corner. Clearly he does this often, cos he did it so well.
As with many of the towns we were to pass through during the day, Paarl is surrounded by beautiful mountains. The sun streaming through the clouds lifted the spirits even higher.
The Wimpy in central Worchester was the breakfast stop. The police were not amused at us parking on the pavements, but after a little shuffling and much interest from the locals, everyone found a spot so relaxed for a short while.
Posting pics from my cellphone is proving difficult, so that'll have to wait for a while. You'll have to be satisfied with only words until my first opportunity to add the pics.

PS: Managed to do a few pics.

Friday, February 6, 2009


Diggs for teh weekend is the Seagull lodge in Greenpoint, Cape Town.  Guess this, on the back of the bathroom door, is what is meant by "leave only your footprints"!
After leaving our meagre luggage in the rooms, offloading began. After two days on the truck, each bike was carefully guided down the ramp. Man and machine reunited
The stress now gone, the holiday could begin.

We're on our way.

Thanks to Monica from PTS for arranging the flights. all we needed was a reference no and id book to check-in and the journey has started.

The Start

A few months ago Vic from RBS in Pinetown had a wonderful idea.  To organise a bike ride from Cape Town to Durban, cruiser style.
So there were a few practice runs, to see how it would all work out.  On this particular trip we went there and back just to see how far it was, with, of course, the compulsory butt stop! 
The journey of 1600kms, started last weekend, when the bikes were bubble wrapped and then loaded onto the truck to be taken down to Cape Town.  Phase two starts tomorrow, when the riders will fly to meet the bikes.  10 Bikes 11 riders.  Yep, the 11th is yours truly.  I get to ride on the back and take the pics.

Armed with my new Nokia E90, sim card and a camera, I hope to keep you posted along the way.
Enjoy the journey.  I certainly plan to.