Sunday, April 25, 2010

Down by the sea - August 2009

22 August arrived so, Mags and I grabbed our stuff and our bikes and off we went. The plan was to do the long way down to the South Coast, so on Day 1 we rode from Bapsfontein via:

Heidelberg (R23):
The road is in good condition and early in the morning wasn't too busy. We worried that we may hit Saturday shopper traffic, but it seems that the Benoni/Brakpan shoppers were all still sniffing fart under the blankets. A big negative is that the speed limit from Bapsies almost all the way to Heidelberg is 80 or 100.

Deneysville (R549):
The road in a good condition, but this stretch was bloody cold. The Beemer constantly flashed a little warning light explaining to Mags about the freezing cold. Awesome bikes these Beemers. On the Zook I have to figure out for myself that I am freezing my cojones off. The Beemer tells you! Strange people these Germans.

Heilbron (R549/R57):
Usable road. Not bad at all. In Heilbron, while sippin' a cuppa, we met up with the local biker gang. The first oke arrived with a 1979 Gold Wing with a twin set of two into buggerall exhausts. Friendly chap and still plastered from the previous night's party. Then a few more mates arrived. One had my mouth hanging open. An early 80's Zook GS1000G with a full Honda Gold Wing type fairing. The rider wearing a piss pot helmet and little else. I did not even think, about his lack of Atgatt. All I could do was eye that Beemer's instrument panel that constantly whinged about it being 0 degrees! Clearly, the zero degrees were only applicable to German bike builders and sissies from Gauteng! Strange people these Heilbronians.

Bethlehem (R57, R707, S902, R26):

Most of the road is okay, except the piece between Petrus Steyn and Reitz where they are building a new road and you are diverted onto a S-road. It was tarred sometime just before Queen Victoria was born. It is ridable, but I saw weed (before you get excited, veld weeds) growing in some of the potholes. In Bethlehem we chowed a brunchie in the Wimpy. This must be the quickest, most professional Wimpy I have ever been in. Awesome service.

Clarens and Golden Gate:

What can one say about this bit? Except maybe .... awesome, awesome, awesome!

Bergville, Estcourt (R711, R712, R74):

This road takes you through the Oliviershoek Pass over and past the massive underground power station. Yep. A 1000Mw power station, in totality 50 stories underground. The road is fine except directly after the turn-off from the Harrismith/Qwa-Qwa road where there are some potholes. Huge ones. Don't fall in. You will never be seen again.
Mooirivier, Rosetta (R103):

The road is fine, but very busy between Estcourt and Mooiriver. Just a few kays out of Mooiriver is a small village, named Rosetta, where we slept over. The total ride was exactly 600km. At Rosetta we stayed over in a wooden hut at the Midlands Cozy Cabins. The Mooiriver Wimpy must be the only one in the world without a smokers section, not even outside! Strange people, these Mooiriverians.
Day 2:

The following day, man it was freezing, we left for the sea. Fortunately, as soon as the sun appeared, it became nice and warm, quickly and we could ride in comfort. Man alive, the R103 from Rosetta to Howick is one awesome piece of road. Well worth riding ... a few times. Lots and lots of twisties and great scenery to boot.
We met up with all the Durbun biker dudes on brêkkie runs. They zipped past, thingies to the wall, knees a-scraping, but those who could spare a moment waved and the rest nodded as they went past. At Midmar, on a smoke break, we were passed by a huge gaggle of thundering Harleys. They waved and blew their hooters in greeting. Strange people these Natalians.
After the mandatory pics at Howick Waterfall we hopped on the N3, then N2 to our final destination at Bazley Beach and Waterwood Cottage. The total trip was 220km. We did a quick hop into Hibberdene for some goodies and groceries and just hung around for the rest of the day. We ended the day with a dop and chop on the porch of the chalet. Happy puppies, we were.
Day 3:
The weather wasn't all that great, but we managed a walk on the beach and we got watch some bottlenose dolphins at play. We did another short ride on the twisties of the R102 running parallel to the N2 in that area. It is mostly in a ridable condition, but care must be taken as some corners are very tight and there may just be a parked taxi, a pothole or a local aunty pushing a wheelbarrow loaded with the furniture from a six bedroom house, directly around the bend. Strange people these Zulu aunties.

Day 4:

Sadly, as with all these trips, home was the destination. This time we stuck to the N3 and grudgingly forked out the mandatory R150 each in toll fees. The most irritating is that there are very few areas where they are not working on the road and it's reduced to one lane. We still made good time and after a humongous hamburger for brunch at Midway Stop between Mooiriver and Estcourt we made tracks for Gauteng.

It was great up to Harrismith and then the long, straight and boring bit home.It was also on this bit that I finally found something more dangerous, aggressive and reckless on our roads than a 20-something blond chick in a Tazz. Indian chappies in souped up 3-series Beemers! Holy cow! We can only hope and pray that a Gauteng blond in a Tazz and a Duhbin Indian in a 3-Series NEVER, EVER produce offspring! Our roads would make a nuclear explosion look like a Sunday school picnic. Strange people, these youngsters.

All in all, great fun was had. I wonder .... Cape Town isn't that far, is it ........

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