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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by grizz, May 3, 2013.
Built an "Electrics" work bench yesterday.
650mm deep worktop and 550mm shelf, and 920mm high, (which is just right for me) both heavy duty but in front of the window to have maximum light on small intricate jobs.
I am now happy with the whole layout of the garage's work spaces, welding table, "woodwork" table and this one.
Today I will be mixing some cement/mortar to build a plynth about 3 courses high for the wood burning stove to stand on.
I bought a 900 x 600 paving slab yesterday that will go on top of it.
And the garage got its name formally.....
I saw a sign along the roadside last year, but never had the chance to stop and pick it up, M25 has 3 lanes and it was the fast lane.
Anyway, it struck me as the perfect name.
I think Nicola, my wife will agree, it's called "THE END"
I will come and do the next day or two's RR through the day when I get time.
It is almost weekend.... time to relax and hopefully make a fire and Braai/BBQ
Day 7, 8 spent in PE had minimal content, excluding commuting into and out of PE business areas.
Tuesday The Whale spent all day at Martin Walkers place, getting fettled.
At 17.00 exactly (He is very serious abut time keeping) we were there at his gate, and got the bike back, he then fitted a small rubber grommet to the side of the engine casing which I gave him R50 for, so the bill below for work done actually totalled up to R300.00 which in English £'s will be just a spot over £31.00
The bike felt smoother and the front brake was vastly improved from before.
In typical Martin style, the bill was scribbled on some random paper..... Perfect from a genius.
I have copied the entry I made at the time......
MINI, no really mini update.
Yesterday I spent half the day at Old Mutual and Standard Bank as well as signing documents for Sanlam ( there are all financial institutions for our foreign readers) as some of them are at times not very efficient.
Then we visited some of our aunts, did some grocery (well meat and booze) shopping for last nights awesome BBQ/Braai here at Jupiters place.
On Monday evening for the first time in my 36 years of riding, my back or kidneys forced me to pull over and take Turbo charged Paracetamol and some Ibuprofen about 70km from home.
So yesterday my brother who wears a kidney belt, insisted on buying me one as well, as we are only about 18% into this ride.
I hope that the guys who were here last night and took some pics, will post them up on here in this thread.
Last nights get together was awesome. Seeing old friends and meeting new.
Thanks to everybody who came around last night.
Deon and I really enjoyed meeting some of you guys face to face vs forum faces.
If any of you took pics, PLEASE DO POST IN MY RIDE REPORT THREAD as I cannot upload or post yet.
I also want to make a special mention to two guys who maxed out on feeding my mad habit of number plate collecting.
Schaun "Tiger8" and Craig "Knucklehead" both had me personalized WD GRIZZ and GRIZZ EC plates made up. I was again blown away by the generous nature of guys on this forum, but also South Africans in general.
Thank you also to BigDom for sending me his original GSPOT EC plate that he replaced with a smaller more sensibly sized one.
Thanks to Jupiters network, my bike spent about 4.5 hours under the hands of Airhead Guru Martin Walker yesterdayand now feels tighter and actually idles below 1000rpm.
Today is Wednesday 10th, raining nicely.
Got a few things to do and visits to slot in as well as more deliveries of bits n bobs for UK people sending stuff here. My panniers are getting emptier as I deliver stuff but filling as fast with trinkets, number plates and other touristy treasures I buy along the way for my wife, kids and others.
Tomorrow is an early start up to Elliot, via Queenstown on some less than perfect roads.
As well as the phots taken and posted on here by various members who came to Braai at Jupiters.
ONCE AGAIN.... A MASSIVE THANK YOU TO JUPITERS WHOLE FAMILY FOR PUTTING DEON AND I UP WHILE WE WERE IN PORT ELIZABETH. (We had no option, since he had sent me a PM in August 2012 to state that SA was NOT a Democracy, and that we would be staying with them)
thanks to the host (Jupiter) for the venue and the lekka braai, was lekka to meet some new dogs and chat to some old. Attached a few pictures taken, some kay , some a little blurry..sorry...Grizz when u back in the UK i want a pic of the GRIZZ EC plate above the bar!!
1 - some short oke that came along with dozer and grizz in the background
2 - Jason, my laaitjie chilling with the ol man
3 - Grizz tuning the manne about the times he fell off his bike, i think the figure was five
4 - Watch out for the ceiling my china
5 - Crab havin a dop .. aggh i mean a coffee
6 - some of the talent at the pozzie
7 - Jason taking lessons on coals from Jup...4 second rule i believe
8 - Youngster chowing again
have a mooi ride lads..
Aaaaa, Mr Crab, whose sense of humour I loved.
One pic I took, Dozer getting on with what he does very well......
Seems to be a theme here....
And a pic that had me objecting.... From the left, my very long time great friend and buddy, Antoinette, always happy to sort out my shit in SA. Then Paulina, used to be Antoinettes "sister in law" being married to brothers, been a great friend for years, and one of my dad's fans. And lastly, Sonja, another long term friend, met her because of a F650 Funduro many years ago.
While in PE, I noticed, that like in many parts of the country, due to the rampant, indiscriminate crime, even the shopping malls have their own armed response and security companies active.
For the UK readers, the retro cars are/were all available long after European, American builds were discontinued, allowing more South Africans to become and stay mobile.
Again, for the UK readers, and our American brothers.....
Chevrolet Pickup truck..... Half ton (maybe payload is a bit more)
Not pretty, but one of many small pickups used in SA by small business and private people.
It would be the one I would buy if in SA.
We went to see my dad's second youngest sister, who has her own self contained home in the back of her daughters propperty.
She also has a family of about 7 Meerkarts that used to come onto the deck and eat her old Labrador's food, but since a newer stray dog had moved in, they had cleared off to the outside of the fence where the dog cannot get to them.
She still feeds them threats, including raw eggs that they love, and they know her voice. When we went onto the deck to see them, she called twice in her typically high pitched "Aunty voice" to her kids and they were all there expectantly, waiting for chunks of cheese and an egg.
It was interesting watching the group dynamics, one always on watch duty, while the others eat, and they do rotate the eating and watch duties.
Being as fast, nervous and spread out as they are, one cannot get a decent photo of the whole gang at once, note the gueards tail on the bottom right corner of the pic.
While we were out on Deon's bike we also popped around to my old house which is about a kilometer from Jupiters place.
Spoke to the new owner after he came to check up why I was taking a photo and promptly invited us in to take a look.
The house has been modified and updated. Some work is currently being done to create a huge Braai area, which I had planned a long time ago.
I had forgotten how huge my garage had been, and interestingly , the shelves, storage and steel cabinets I had fitted were all unchanged, and even had the stickers I had stuck on them before 2002 still on them.
The garden has gone through two major changes since I had it, and all the trees, except one Yellow wood tree were removed by a previous owner.
The next day we left early-ish for the next part of our trip.
Report of Day 9 later.
Almost weekend..... BRAAAAAAAIIII TIME !!!
I thought it would fit in with the timing of the RR to add in some of the plates I was given as presents by Knucklhead, Tiger8 and BigDom for my garage.
Thanks a million guys, I was really blown away at the time by all the generosity of everyone, and still sit here grinning madly.
The plates have found their way, as many do, for various reasons to various places about my shged and garage.
The WD GRIZZ plate is on the Woodwork shed door...... Woodwork Department as well as WildDog Grizz
The GRIZZ EC plate is next to the new shelf with all the screw drivers, but specifically where I can enjoy it, and where it covers some of the knife blades hanging there.
And of course the GSPOT EC plate found its way to where people will note it.....
I have also received a load of traded and gifted plates from the USA while away,, and typically guys put a return address and possibly a real name, but never a note of forum name.
Anyway, I am sure they will ask at some point if I received their plates..... then I can say a formal thank you.
Right now is is 12.30 and I need to go lay some bricks.#
This was really just a connecting section to get us to KZN (Kwa Zulu Natal) and Durban where we were staying in Westville at Dirty Boy's place with him and his family, dogs and cats.....
James (Dirty Boy) had also approached me shortly after this trip was announced to offer Deon and I "unrestricted" accommodation, which meant he would not interfere in our schedule, but would be happy to integrate in any rides we wanted to do.
This was a most generous offer which I accepted, even though we have two aunts and a bunch of cousins in and around Durban, as well as Deon's ex-wife, and kids, all of who he is still good friends with.
I chose to stay with James as the "unrestricted movement" appealed to me, and he is a great guy anyway.
We left Jupiter's early morning (well, not really early, everyone was up and on the go) and hit the N2 toward Grahamstown after running the gauntlet of Port Elizabeth morning traffic.
I was amazed at Dozer..... LAWBREAKER SUPREME..... Mounting the pavements on the left of cars to get past all the idiots (2 Policemen in different Police marked cars texting!! )mummies on their mobile phones, sandwiches, makeup and morning coffee's, business men reading documents while driving, sportsbikers darting left and right, all of who were making the whole thing quite dangerous to actually compete for road space. Also changing of lanes without warning by cars and Minibus Taxis was just beyond stupid.
So I happily followed him, using the unused portion of the road for our own safe movement..... next thing I had a maxi scooter behind me as well, Made me snigger in my helmet.
We left the city limits of PE after sampling the joy of Swartkops sewerage plant and Carbon Blacks smells without any issue, bar the mad drivers everywhere.
Riding the N2, which I used to know so well was a bit DeJaVu like, some improvements that have been made over the last 10 years had me happy to see where my tax dollars had gone way back when.
We stopped for a couple of smoke breaks till we got to Grahamstown, proud of its heritage as a frontier town in the days of the Xhosa and Boer wars. I had done some of my Psychiatry training at Fort England Hospital which had the dubious honour of having had a staff member beaten to death by a patient with a bedpan years ago.
This sleepy hollow also is home to Rhodes University, where BigDom used to work as professor of Art when I met him a looooong time ago ( fact or fiction ?? ) In the days of Apartheid, Rhodes was known to be of a liberal disposition and I do not know enough to tell you more, so refer to Wikipedia or Google for more info and history.
We also took the opportunity to fill both the bikes as Queenstown was another 200+ km to go, and PE was 135km behind us.
I love these sorts of signs, usually, including this time, they make me start up the engine and drive off and find another station to fill up at. To this day I remember all the times I used to hitch hike across South Africa and this sort of sign pisses me off instantly, so no business for them.
After filling at a "Mobil" Engen station we found the well hidden Wimpy.... Dozer can smell out a Wimpy at 5000 meters.
Breakfast ordered, he went out to check over the bikes, make a call to his Colonel to extend his leave and have a smoke (multitasking at its best) and when the brekkie landed, Joseph, the incredibly charismatic floor manager went to invite him back in.
That shop has a treasure in Joseph, originaly from Zimbabwe, he really makes a difference and manages the floor like few others I have seen.
After breakfast and a Mega Coffee we set out for Queenstown, our next stop.
In the carpark I saw this survivor.
Being in the market for a 1960-66 Chevy Pickup truck, I could not help myself, and had to stop and take a pic.
Leaving Grahamstown the decay into typical African village was obvious as you moved up the road away from town..... sad.
Just before we got to the T-Junction to go left to Queenstown, I saw another one of these..... again, I love them, but they are also a sign of people's financial status. The rich get richer, the poor still have nothing.
From here the road was interesting with passes, turns, bends and changing scenery.
Riding through the Echa Pass, which I once did in 6.5 minutes as a student from entry to exit, I was surprised I have managed to live as long as I have.
We rode till after Fort Beaufort with only one smoke break.
Then stopped again.... nice spot.
And onward, stepping up the pace a bit.
Getting to Queenstown we filled up, bought more oil at Midas and then contacted AndreE for a cuppa coffee.
We had wanted to sleep over at his place originally, but the distance was too short to break the KZN destination in half.
Once again, for the international riders and readers, this is the norm in South Africa, getting fuel filled, winddscreens cleaned and oil, wheels checked.
In the total of 6200km plus that I rode, I only got one non-smiling pump attendant, and he was surrounded by smilers anyway, so maybe he was having a bad day in Bloemfontein.
Then it was off to AndreE's place just outside town where we were treated like premium guests by his wife and were fed cake and coffee, note..... two slices each. Heavenly man, heavenly.
Thanks a lot guys, that was really great.
I also loved the inside of their shop, reminding me of times growing up, going to the farm shop, just the numbers on the prices have changed, but the contents are the same. Nice to have some stuff stay the same.
Maybe my favourite bit of decor in the bar area.... every one donated on site by the wearers.
There was quite a range of sizes and styles.
Then it was time to leave again and make our way for Mountain Shadows above Elliot where we were booked in for the night. I think this was also a 600+ km day, which included a lot of old Transkei roads.
Before we left, I saw this guy, reminding me again of South Africa in summer time.
Before we left, I made Dozer come with me to get a pic of the old incinerator of the sawmill near Andre's place, I love old steel structures like this and old factories as they have many stories to tell.
After a really great rest, unwind and chat at Andre's place it was off toward Elliott via the "bottom road" which is slightly shorter, but more challenging and interesting to ride.
Just about to leave.
It did not take long before we hit the first of many roadworks stops.
Now here is an other interesting observation for the non South Africans.
Note all the Taxi's , roadworks and coned off lanes are reserved by heavenly decree by the god of dangerous drivers to be used as a passing lane. These roadworks were at the start of a mountain pass, so it was interesting watching minibus taxis duck into the "works lane" and overtake on the left, everything and then swerving back into the active lane.
We got to Elliott by about 16.30 and having stpped along the way to buy a bottle of brandy and 2 litres of Pepsi Max, and a large bag of Dorito's we were ready for our evening at Mountain Shadows Hotel.
Being in radio comms all day saw Deon and I fall into a really nice rhythm of ride, share, chat and we decided to pull over and see if we could get some food at the hotel.... No Problem said the new front desk guy, we have food.
While stopping to make the call to the hotel,I noted this guy.....Enterprise at its best.
When people buy a couple of crates of beer, shopping etc, he is the transport, for a fee.
After this we left Elliott to do the last 20km to the hotel on the top of the mountains, again, a perfect time.... sunset.
One of the great thing about the routes we took, was that it included loads of interesting roads, passes etc.
Barkly Pass was a wide sweeping, but deceptive pass, so we hit it with all the enthusiasm is would allow, Deon commenting on the radio "I LOVE MY BIKE.... IT REALLY DOES HANDLE" having owned and ridden an 1150GS for about 80 000km myself around mostly South Africa, where 1000km weekends were not unusual, or riding to Cape Town from Port Elizabeth on a Saturday morning to test fly an airplane in Cape Town and coming back on Sunday morning with my good old friend, the late Warwick Sparg at whatever top speeds we could squeeze out of our boxer engines, I knew exactly how he felt.
BMW got it so right when they built the R1150GS range, and to this day, I still rate my 1150 GS above the 1200GS that I now have here in the UK.
We were just chatting about how nice the ride had been and how beautiful the mountains were when we decided to stop for a few pics again.
Then is was on to the hotel, with dusk just wanting to push the last suns rays away, we could feel it in the change of temperature.
Last few miles and then we were there.
There is a main hotel, and then these units, where we ended up in. Perfect.
The hotel is a family run affair and even the food in the kitchen is cooked by the granny and her small staff.
We switched our booking from Bed and Breakfast to Dinner and bed, with a sandwich pack to take out.
A real farm meal was served buffet style, with seafood starters, soup and also a stunning desert to follow.
During the day they had actually had two small snow flurries, so it was no wonder we were quite chilled when we booked in and even Dozer was cold, thick skin and all.
Thankfully, grandpa had started a fire in the dining room to warm it all up.
So after dinner we went back to our room, showered, poured a drink and both of us were out cold before 10pm, with only half our respective drinks actually drunk.
Day 10 was going to be a long day down to KZN, with more crap roads and with breakfast sandwich packs which included canned fruit juice, boiled eggs and a sweety for afterwards, we were ready for a good early start.
If the bikes did not freeze over.
Hope you are still reading......
Yo Mr Grizz, enjoying your post. it was good to meet you and Deon at Leaf Sushi. Glad you had a good time and pity you didn't get to ride the peninsula and see your old house. Cheers from Welcome Glen, just up the road
Early on Day 10 we got up and packed our kit onto the bikes.
The Whale took a few stabs at the starter button to fire up, as her chokes had long since been removed, so Dozer and I would kneel next to her like suitors to ask her nicely to start up with our finger manually poking up the sides of her carbs, holding up the levers till she fired up.
We quietly left the hotel grounds and rode in the cold morning air,down the pass we had come up the night before, it did not take long before we hit a wet, cold mist on the Transkei roads we were on, still not fully light, I am not sure which was worse, the cold or fogged up visors..... the minute you opened the visor to see where you were headed, of course the cold made your eyes stream, and early morning bugs were a threat as well.
Again, the mad driving and absolute lack of fear of death, maiming and dismemberment of cars, minibus taxis and trucks continued to surprise me.
We rode to Maclear where we stopped to fill the bikes, buy a machine coffee and eat our packed breakfasts.
The local girls in the shop insisted on coming out and posing around the bikes with the cheekier of the two crawling onto the Whale before I could object, doing the whole Nicholas Cage on a Harley from Hell thing for her mate to photograph on a mobile phone.
They had also asked us to come inside and eat our breakfast at their tables, but we declined, mainly because we had already set it out.
This had to be my pic of the day.....
No wonder the driving standards are what they are.
DRIVING SCHOOL...... ????
Memories of the village where we grew up.... septic tanks and the weekly "Suckit Suzy" sessions before mains sewerage was installed.
Another sample of Wildest South Africa.....
Spares delivery, but the rifle actually belongs to the delivery driver, here being played with by one of the locals...... The driver carries it with him, in case he sees something worth shooting along the way.
We carried on for a long time as this was going to be a loooong day.
Thankfully we got stopped at a Police checkpoint, and the ol guy who "inspected" my bike was happy to take a photo once he had asked about the tank size on the whale and our destination.
At the stop, Dozer had said to me it was time for a smoke break, and that he would wait for me at the top of the hill when he found a place to pull over.
So when I caught up, he was smoking and relaxing, inspecting some water pipes etc by the road side.
Next thing we heard a typical, traditional Xhosa herdsman singing at a distance and saw him come walking with his flock.
Where we stopped was actually a livestock crossing, and the evidence as on the road surface where something had very recently been hit and bled out.
Anyway, the pics should tell the story.
Zoooom lenses what to do without them?
Note the fresh blood on the tarmac,
More in a bit.....
Some homework to deal with.
After the sheep crossed the road we carried on for quite some distance, potholes in potholes, bendy roads and some nice sections too.
Loads of livestock including cows, horses, goats and sheep randomly walking on the motorway surfaces.
Fortunately for us, we grew up in the region and this was no surprise to us, so sensible riding was the key.
We had for some distance on the day and the day before noticed piles of scrap metal old vintage cars, cut up, bits of fencing wire, pipes, poles etc.....
Seems someone was buying up all the scrap that people could carry to the roadside.
I stopped at one of these piles, just to take a photo, and was amazed that there, looking at me was an emblem that read C/10
Could this be a divine sign ? As I am in the market for an early 1960's Chevy C10 Fleetside pickup truck.
It took about 60 seconds before the owner of the pile of metal was there, and we started negotiating.
In the end I bought the badge for R6.00 which is about 65p or under a Dollar.
I also tried to get the Velox badges off, but they were rusted on and I could see myself just breaking them without any propper tools.
Deon had carried on riding when I radio'd him to say I was stopping at the scrap, and while I was walking about, my mobile started to ring, answering it, it was Deon, warning me that about a kilometer further there was a copper with a radar device on an open piece of road trapping..... than goodness for mobile phones, as I would have been hitting the throttle hard to catch up once done with the photos.
The rest of the day went rather uneventfully and we stopped at Camperdown to take a look at house where our mum had died, where they had retired when dad took early retirement so that he could look after her.
The house was unchanged, except for much increased security.
The extra plot next door that my dad had turned into a very large garden was subdivided and now acted as a plant nursery.
A bit disappointing, but then we know now that everything changes and the rose tinted spectacles of youth do help.
We ended up getting to James "Dirty Boy's" place just after the main traffic rush, fortunately our route ran against the homeward bound Friday evening rush.
When we got to his place, he was just cleaning up his baby to go off to transport some youngsters in style.
Of course the dogs also came out to greet us, and who can resist such a welcome?
I managed to get the mattress in the lounge again.... Thanks to Dozers plea's and Goose's pre=emptive strike on my credibility as a silent sleeper.
After showering, and while James was out, I sat on Dozers bed and read, having one of the cats (the friendly one) make itself at home at my feet.
We ended up in bed by 23.00 as we were both knackered from the roads and long day riding.
At about 03.30 I woke with a big lump right behind my butt.... at first I thought I may have shat myself or had a prolapse, then gingerly peeling back my blanket, I discovered the Nasty cat who attacks for no reason, had actually crawled in under my blanket and made herself comfortable in my bed.
I tried some gentle stroking and was met by a neat, loud purrrrr....
Followed by a stretch that would be perfectly at home on LOLCATS and I can haz cheeseburger.
After this the two of us went back to sleep, as Deon and I had planned to do a 400+ km daytrip on the Saturday, back to our old school, and our parents homes.
More of the next day tomorrow.
Went to my local, well it is 10 miles away, council tip to get rid of all the rotten paint and loads of empty paint buckets yesterday.....
A guy was unloading this shield.... it never even hit the ground, just went straight into my car.
I will make a new backing plate for it to replace the broken one, and modify it slightly. Then it will go up on the wall behind the new garage fire place.
Still need to fit the chimney etc once I figure that out.
Esse Dragon was a freebie from a mate in Malmesbury, if I could get it home...... of course I got it home.
Needs a bit of work, the chimney made up and hopefully I have a wood burner in the garage by winter.
Any advice on chimney/flue fitting appreciated.
Also finished fitting the shelves, strip light and a HUGE HiFi in the garage yesterday.... Party anyone ??
Really pleased with the new layout and tool boards.
enjoying the report, i was born in Empangeni and my fols were from the eastern Cape, still one of my wish lists to go back there and do all those passes.
currently in south sudan for work, should be in Amanzimtoti enjoying the winter sun. eish.
keep up the report, i'm loving it.
Thanks for the reply.
You are right.... a bad summer in SA still beats a good winter in the UK, or something like that.
Day 11 started at an easy pace, after which we went off to Eshowe and Melmoth in Zululand where we had both finished our schooling and grown up.
We decided to bite the bullet and run the gauntlet of all the toll roads.
And there are quite a few of them..
I am not sure if we saw much evidence of the moneys being re-invested into roads and infrastructure, but it was a nice ride, once again some of the pleasure taken away by young dickheads in pocket rockets, overtaking at high speed on both sides of the motorway.
One idiot in a Toyota nearly planted himself under a slow moving truck after his stupid left handed overtaking maneuver..... pity he did not.
Our ride to Eshowe was uneventful.... well, until Dozer's belly started to complain..... So we popped into a shopping centre where typically, we were invited by security to ride our bikes into the centre under shade and park on an area possibly reserved for other purposes.
But hey..... this is Africa, who were we to complain.
We decided (well, Dozer decided) a breakfast burger eaten out on the bikes back seat in the "bike parking area" would be perfect.
So I went into the Spur to order these and some coffees.
Anti-Smoking legislation managed South African style.
Smoking section in the Spur.
While we were having our Moerse big breakfasts, which was way too much food for me, we heard the roll of thunder, at first I thought Harleys, then realized the drone was different, only to be joined (well, I did invite them) on out spot by two guys on KTM's.
Dozer had a long chat with them while I kept myself busy differently.
After this we went to our old school, first the main entrance, then off to the boarding school and sports fields.
Well, things again have changed a lot..... scruffy buildings, untidy spaces etc were a good start.
As white South Africans it was interesting seeing almost no white pupils at the rugby matches that were being played.
We chatted to one of the new teachers and it seems only one of the teachers we remembered was still there, Mr Simpson. We did not get to see him, but that was fine too.
I did have a silly smile when I took this pic.
When I was in my last two years at school, a few of us used to climb out through a window in the "box room" where the suitcases stayed during term, onto the flat roof on the right of this pic above the pickup truck, I had smashed out a vent under the eaves and this is where I would store my booze for consumption over weekends.
We rode around to the sports fields, and interestingly, the pavilion which used to so large t us as kids, had shrunk over the interceding years.
Deon used to take girls in under the pavilion for "sessions" on the high jump mattresses...... not sure what all transpired there.
All along on this ride, ever since having to give the Whale a load of attention in Cape Town, I neurotically kept an eye on the bike's vital signs.........
When we were done chatting at the school and wanted to leave...... oooooppppssss..... Semi-Flat wheel. BUGGGERRRR !!
It was midday on a Saturday in South Africa, businesses close down for the weekend.
So we sourced a Supa-Quick tyre place and whipped off the rear wheel.....
Visual inspection showed nothing, no holes, cuts, nails or a leaking valve.
Into the water bath next.... then the problem became apparent.
All along the bead of the rim there were micro bubbles, the sot you would normally discount as not important.... but as we watched, they slowly got bigger.
So it was off with the tyre, fine sand paper around the rims, and re-fit the tyre.
When we tried to pump it up, being a tubeless tyre, it just would not pop and seat..... that is until the technician realized he had not tightened the valve to the rim.... POP !! She went. Thankfully.
In the mean time I had had time to rethink our route and where I may have hit a big pothole etc, then I realized, when we filled the bikes up at one of the fuel pumps along the way, I had the Whale on its centre stand, and in order to get it off the centre stand, I had rocked, reved and tried to ride it off the stand....this action must have been enough to loosen the tyres lock on the rim and allow a slow puncture to develop.
The whole process cost me R35.00 in the end, which is about £2.05 in English money.
With the rear shock being totally buggered, the reason for some of the noise on the road became apparent once the wheel came off.
Crisis managed/averted, we stepped it up as we had lost about 100 minutes between Breakfast and breakdown.
There were more bendy bits and Nkwaleni Pass to deal with before we got to Melmoth, where our parents had lived and where we had spent many a summer and other holidays, disappearing all day on horseback, motorbike, or just walking.
The Melmoth Inn, where most of us local boys popped our cherries as far as alcohol was concerned.
Of course, like so many other places, it was closed up and did not really resemble the hotel we had known as kids...... still, we have our memories. I remember getting my final school results an getting a pass and going into the bar to have a lemonade, the barman was shocked as I refused the Brandy and Coke he offered, that he knew I used to drink in the "ladies bar"
We then rode a short loop through town and went to see the house we had grown up in (we grew up in many houses over our childhood) and got to speak to the current guy who lives there.
He remembered my dad as he was a junior clerk when our dad worked and lived there.
Dad used to make a lot of furniture and turned load of table lamps that he sold at work, this money ultimately paid for his retirement home that he bought.
She house was unchanged, the garden a bit rough, and some of the trees had grown big over the last 25 years since I had last been there.
The place was fenced in as well, seems crime was colourblind in this town.
After that we made a bee line back to Durban and Westville as we had a Braai planned with James and some other Wilddogs and their families.
Which of course was just perfect.
After a good evenings merriment, we eventually made it to bed, having agreed that James would be taking us on a short breakfast run the next day.
Day 12 coming to a theatre near you, soon.
Day 12 came in the shape of a perfect morning. *Dirty Boy was taking us out with his Airhead for a breakfast run up past Pietermaritzburg and hopefully we would collect EssBee along the way. *:
Got the bikes out and started up, his boxer sounding and looking like a boxer should. Jupiter probably still misses this bike.
Then on our way.... up the Valley of a Thousand Hills.
Awesome photo from James' GoPro camera. He had taken a whole load through the day, but I will just copy and past the ones he had chosen to post up here.
One of my favourite photos he took.
Then we stopped at the Kranskloof Nature Reserve for a short break.
Same photo, taken by two different cameras.
Then some more secondary roads, we also failed to raise EssBee from the slumber he had fallen into after the night before.
Carpark had quite a few bikes, actually, thinking about it, there were loads of bikes about on the day.
Of course the Dozer special came next.....
After a relaxed breakfast and a long chat, we hit the return road with James in the lead, alternating it with Deon and I.
Again, the GoPro proved its worth.
Not sure if my butt was getting numb, or if I was just stretching a bit..... at this point the rear shock was still a thing of concern.
After a thoroughly enjoyable day out, we got back to Villa Dirty Boy around 13.00 and decided to have a coffee, and then Dozer and I would be off to "The Bluff, where guys are Tuff" to see Deon's son and possibly his daughter.
Whale parked up next to James' baby again.
After coffee and rusks, we were off again.
This was Dozers back yard, as he had been stationed in Durban for many years before he moved to 1 Engineers Regiment in Dunnottar.
So he SatNag was left behind and we took on Durban's worst drivers.
Strange how you become aware of your mortality when on a motorbike in a strange city.
Because we had done some fast motorway miles on the way back from our breakfast run, I guess the Whale had sucked through the juice with more vigor than usual, because the 41 litre tank ran out about 3km from his sons home....... which meant he went off to find some petrol, did I mention this was his back yard??
Not long and he was back with 2 two liter Coke bottles of petrol, unceremoniously dumped into the tank, allowing the boxer to fire up, and me to follow him to a local fuel station......
The prices are a lot higher than USA prices per litre (Use Google to get a Currency converter) and a bit lower than UK prices, roughly converted to *85p/liter for fuel.......
The filling team were all congregated around the Whale, which tended to draw crowds and interested parties everywhere we went.... gasping in shock at the fact that I managed to squeeze 38 litres of fuel into the tank, and telling them it actually took 41 litres.
When one of them spotted the Satnag, quietly stashed in Dozers tankbag.... well, that was too good not to get him to start it up and demonstrate.
Funny how stuff we take for granted can still amaze and impress.
Then it was a short trip up to Where Deon's son, Jean lives, renting a room from his mum and step dad.
Deon is one of these guys who sees life for what it is and he still has a good relationship with his ex-wife and her new husband, as well as his kids who are both independent.
Take note the bare feet..... seems to be an ongoing theme in both Africa, but also in our family.
Once again, I was cut down in size by a small animal.....
The family dog, with a great personality that belies his stature.
Once settled and coffee'd, everyone except me were lighting cigarettes and smoking away, Dozer was clearly happy......
Then his granddaughter woke up, she was being looked after by Jean and her step grandpa as Michelle, Deon's daughter and his ex-wife were at the hospital, as she is expecting again.
She initially did not want to sit on the grandpa she does not know well's lap, having a typical post sleep cry, then she crawled up and sat with him.
Happy Grandpa..... He has another 8 year old grandson with Jean, who was not there.
And I ended up with a dog..... just perfect.
Another of those shopping centre armed response vehicles.
We had a quickly decided Pizza dinner with Deon's son, who is a chef, and should really have cooked us dinner.....
Then back to James' place just after dark for an evening of relaxing and chatting.
Day 13 shortly.
Being in Durban, and having a few relatives and friends there, I had asked James if Deon and I could stay another day and night, rather than move to some other place like a guest house or one of Deon's kids homes.
He agreed that we could stay, so we could spend Day 13 seeing important people in our lives.
Day 13 started at 03.30 when I woke to go for a pee and to give the cat some attention.... I heard what sounded like a lot of water running somewhere, thinking it was a decent rainfall, escaping a gutter somewhere, I went back to my banished spot in the lounge, not switching any lights on etc, and stayed restless until about 05.30 when James got up to open the armed and alarmed kitchen door for Dozer to charge out and have his first cigarette of the day....
I told him I had heard the water cascading from early, as I could not get back to sleep, and did not want to wake the whole house up.
He used some really nice words to express his feelings (NOT ONE SWEAR WORD CROSSED HIS LIPS, HONEST) as it was a repeat of a bust pipe a few weeks before, fortunately it was on the "away" side of his water meter, or else he would have been liable for the costs.
He was onto the emergency water services instantly, and within two or three hours the water was cut off.
Dozer and I sprang into action, shoveling sand/mud and sweeping the courtyards where all the water had come gushing through.
James wanted to help, but we tried to get him to go get ready for work.
Mondays should not start like this........
Camera perched on a windowsill and a ten second timer makes for a half decent action photo :biggrin:
Three courtyards needed clearing, sweeping, washing and then a final broom and hose session to clear all the fine silt like sand and mud that came down with the water flood.
We were both sweating in the sub-tropical early morning heat by the time we were done, but for the first time since jumping on the Whale in Cape Town, I felt alive..... Dozer and I are not very good at "relaxing and holidaying"
Usually our holidays are spent "Doing stuff" like painting a house, rebuilding a kitchen etc.... so this was great for both of us.
Once we had had coffee, brekkie and pushed the bikes out, we were off to Durban North to meet a few friends and family.
When we left there was an armed response vehicle with the driver relaxing under a tree, parked out front of James' place, nice to know they were in good hands.
Firstly we rode up to Pinetown to see my dad's youngest sister, Ester, who had last year mentioned that if we came to visit her, would give me our grandpa's pipe, carving block (He used to buy his tobacco in a roll, then carve it every night after dinner under the light of the paraffin/kerosene lamp in the front room of their house, and his tobacco tin to add to Nicola's ever growing collection of rare and vintage smoking pipes.
Met by two dogs, and then three cats, we felt right at home and settled in the kitchen, which felt like home..... climbing into her home made rusks....
As is usually the case, an animal attached itself to me.
In this case a 17 year old cat..... with massive paws.
And this one just watched us with steely eyes.
Then my aunt took me over to the one display case and on a small side shelf it was..... Oupa's pipe.
With tears in her eyes, and threatening me with death, should I lose the pipe and carving block and tin, she handed it to me like the treasure it is.
All too soon, two hours had rushed by, but we had caught up on the basics of all her daughters and various other cousins we have no contact with anymore.
And it was time to be off again.
Next up was new member Maak Hom Dronk who I have known since about 1983...... bloody hell, that is 30 years of friendship that seems to be able to just continue without any effort.
Ian and I were married to two sisters in our youth, both of whom we stay in touch with and keep a good friendship going with, which is great, but then the girls, Kim and Karen were always great people, as were their mum and dad.... being from Scotland it makes a lot of sense.
Needless to say, Ian and I spent many a day and night over time under the influence of Alcopohol..... Braaing, riding bikes and generally growing up, which we are still trying to do.
Back in the day Ian user to ride an XR500 which regularly got stolen by some dickhead on Friday nights.... that is until Ian caught him one night and ensured he would never kick start his XR again : :thumleft:
We got to where Ian worked and promptly stationed ourselves in a Flame Grilled Chicken restaurant..... Perfect.
Ordering 2 litres of Coke and a bunch of glasses we got down to some serious catching up and kuiering.
Deon and Ian together, smoke time.
Later in the day were were joined by Goatman.... ask him why
Gerald was from Mauritius, and was in boarding school with us, finishing school the year before me in 1979 , his younger brother Dominic was in the same class group as I was, so a lot more catching up was done between us.
As some of you know, I love retro cars, so when this Golf Bakkie or Rabbit Pickup came onto the forceourt where we were, I had to snap it.
Eventually we had to get going again, as we had some "touristy stuff" to do, and then had a 16.00 appointment John and Hilda Stanfliet and their young son Nicholas near Entabeni Hospital. They are very good friends from Cape Town, who I had met in the UK, and traveled to France with etc, they had relocated to Durban for John to specialize as a consultant in medicine.
Typical Capetonian Hilda of course had all sexy finger foods set out, made coffee and we spent some great time eating all the food and catching up, before making our way back home to Dirty Boys place for our last night in Durban.
Tomorrow was the long road up the N3 to Johannesburg and back to Deon's place at Dunnottar.
So an early night, bikes prepped and checked were all the order of the day.
Day 14 to follow later.
nice ride report, good pictures, interesting view into peoples lives as well....thanks
Having packed etc the previous night, we were able to just brush our teeth, have a coffee and hit the road.
Not at all hung over, but looking it, as I was not sleeping very well, with changing beds every couple of nights, and being who I am, I actually enjoy the cats crawling onto the foot end of my bed at night, and then tend to give them attention when I wake in the middle of the night.
I asked Dozer to push it a bit on the day, the N3 can get very long and boring, so we left James and his family early so as to gain early morning freshness on the road and beat some of the traffic near Pietermaritzburg.
Toll roads abound, on the N3 so Deon took the lead and all the cash and paid for all the gates rather than us both struggling with change etc.
At Mooiriver plaza we came of the motorway and discovered this gem.... So much more interesting than another Engen/Mobil 1 with a Wimpy.
I had ordered a Toasted Ham, cheese and tomato sandwich and a filter coffee, and Deon opted for a Chicken Mayo toasted sandwich and coffee.
Mine was large, but the Dozer sat with a silly grin on his face, he had gotten two grilled chicken breats on toast with some mayonnaise on top.
They say presentation is important, well it is, and so was eating it all.
Total cost was way under Wimpy prices, for a better product, and I got a free coffee refill too.
We then set off, again I asked Deon to keep at it, and push his smoke breaks to a minimum as we wanted to get home, this was a longer than average day.
Once again, from the outset this day, the radios were a great help and pleasure to have, right down to deciding not to stop at the Engen for brekkie, but rather at the quirky restaurant.
We were doing really well when Deon started to tell me about a Farm stall he used to stop at when he drove his Caterpillar on a supersized rig down to the coast, he used to buy biltong,and dried wors there.... so of course we stopped at Zandspruit Farm stall to see what they had in stock.
Some lovely wares, so we bought cold drinks, and I bought a load of dried yellow cling peaches.... heavenly after the absence from SA.
You guys who have never traveled outside of your own dialing code have no idea just how terribly boring an bland imported fruit in the UK is.
Everywhere we went, I could just taste the sunshine in the fruit we bought and ate.
After the stall we hit the road again.... some bends and hills, and all too soon we got to another pass..... here Deon told me of just how close he had once come to death after another rig behind him lost its brakes and mounted an embankment, overtaking him in a fashion where the driver could stick his hand out and touch the road..... some scary shit if you ask me.
Then we hit Van Reenens Pass, another modern pass that continues to catch out the unaware.
And as luck would have it, there was a truck and trailer 100 meters down the hill, after it had left the road, lucky for us, the traffic was still being directed past by the cops.
Ready to Rock n Roll.....
Exit of Van Reenens Pass.
The road started to flatten out, as it does in the Free State.....
We eventually spotted a service station and Wimpy along the road near Harrismith and decided to stop there for a coffee.
Aaaahhhh, another farmstall, so I bought a pack of biccies while Deon fetched the coffee.
While we were on the road, I was amazed at how many more of these large for SA, rigs there were on the road.
Self portrait of two brothers, a couple of coffee's and a packet of home made biscuits.
At this point I texted my mate Mike Touchdown69 to see hat his plans were for the next few days, and managed to forget to zip up the pocket on my riding trousers..... I LOST MY PHONE on the motorway somewhere, and when we got to Springs 90km further, I realized it. Fortunately I was able to cancell that phone instrument and buy another SIM card..... I still had a spare HTC Wildfire phone I had bought in the UK for Deon, that I could use if it allowed me, as it had been a Vodafone contract before, but more about the phone saga on Day 15.
We stopped at a Spar, bought some brandy, and other provisions, then made for Dunnottar, where Deon lives.
Stopped in front of his garages, we were pleased to have had another safe day, even though I had stupidly gone and lost my phone.
At this point my butt was tired from riding on a bled out shock
And there was chafing marks on both the inner mudguard and the spring around the rear shock.....
Walking into Deon's garage was like walking into an Aladdin's Cave of supplies.
Of course he had also gotten his friend who keeps an eye on the house to take out some decent T-Bone Steaks and cheese sausages that morning, so they were all defrosted when we got in.
We unpacked, showered, and started to relax, while getting a quick fire going to cook dinner.
Dozer is a guy who likes to engineer solutions, so his BBQ table is one of those, with a multitude of settings and add on and take off bits, it was all a real man needs to cook dinner.
It took only one Brandy and Coke to get to this point.....
The man also keeps a bar in a fridge..... eepwall:
PIXAR brought all the light we needed on the meat..... sorry for the photo quality or lack of it.
Soon I had all I needed.
After eating myself to a standstill, we went to bed, tired after the days ride.
Ready to be up early next morning as Deon had been grumbling about some jobs that needed doing around the house, including fitting new garage doors.
More on Day 15 in the morning.
I am trying to write it for an "International audience"
I home the Americans are enjoying and understanding it all.
We woke up early to a perfect day in the Transvaal...... rain threatening.
Not that it mattered much, as the bike was knackered, and Deon needed to do some chores with the bakkie/pickup truck.
Day 15 was not going to be a biking day, well, not in the traditional sense anyway.
First thing I did was to walk around Deon's house, checking out all his treasures and shit, while he smoked his second, third, fourth cigarette ?? He walked around the house, plant poison in one hand for weeds, and ant poison in the other.....he has an ongoing dispute with ants and weeds on his property.
Breakfast was tea and rusks..... rusks again, followed by bone dry Kudu Biltong, just the way I love it. He had bought it about 6 weeks before and stashed it under fly nets in the dining room to dry for my attention..... WHAT A BROTHER TO HAVE !!!!
One of the first things I lai eyes on in Deon's lounge was this tool.
I had always coveted it when my dad brought it home after my grandfather had died years ago..... it had been his.
Now the question is..... WHAT IS THIS TOOL CALLED AND USED FOR ????
(I do know the answer)
Walking around outside, the property was laid out in a very sensible, and intuitive way, at least for me. Behind the garage, he had turned the alley into a wood store, simultaneously securing that route of entry into the back yard, although he has not added six foot fences etc, the garage and house has been alarmed, secured and booby trapped after a rather big burglary while he was at work one day.
Weird how neighbours see nothing.
Shed or Kaya was there when he bought the place on a thin concrete floor. So the option was to remove it all, at cost, replace it with a new shed, at cost or just fix it up, and add a roof over the top, also creating a rainy day Braai area for his mibile BBQ.
I think the second option was the best one. The second roof helps to keep his workshop cool in summer, a bit like a Safari Roof on a Land Rover.
Plaashuis/Farmhouse sized he said when he bought the house after dad died..... It was the first time I have been to see his place, so I was both surprised and "shocked" at just how much house he had bought for the money he spent.
One of the first jobs on our first day back was for Deon to go sign extended leave forms at his base,1 Construction Regiment, and to check if there were any crisis that needed his immediate attention.
While I was waiting for him, I watched about 100 soldiers in 4 small groups march and "practice" for some parade...... shocking is all I can say, no pace, pride, attitude or interest is probably about the right description...... I mentioned this to Dozer and he said..... YES, you are right, it is part an parcel of the New SA, but also remember that these guys are Carpenters, plumbers, electricians and construction machine operators.... they are not "soldiers" in the traditional sense. I had to accept that, and the fact that I live in a country where the military still is an active fighting force, makes a difference too.
After this we were off to the Butchers and Fruit and Vegetable shops..... Dozer knows his prices incredibly well, and the meat wholesalers have him on their text lists, so every special offer gets texted through to him.
We went into the first one, Meat World and this greeted me..... The black you see on the ceiling is all Biltong and dried Wors.
Another thing that is not known in the UK is Flat chicken, sometimes sold as Spatchcock Chicken.
A Flattie is usually Deons nod toward Vegetarianism...... They come in various flavours and you cook them in the bag over slow coals, from a height.
While there, Deon reminded me that a slow cooking braai can be good as well. I have always prefered to do a hot fire and coals, then swearing as the meat fat strikes up flames and the glow burns my hands.
The last two braai's I did for us here at home were done slower and on a higher setting..... Nicola has actually told me to thank Deon for slowing me down.
Being as well known in his two butcher shops, Deon walks between the carcasses and chooses his meat and cuts off the hook.
I guess if you are a Sargent-Major, people do listen to you at times.
Pink Viennas in this display are a flash-bang reminder of childhood..... all the snouts, arses and ears go in there.... and anything thats not collected and sold of the ground..... but lovely to stuff into your face.
We had three each , eating two before we even exited the car park...... There is a lot to be said for H&S, but sometimes you just need to return to the old ways of low hygiene and improved taste.
Janpap is a new name and packaging for a very old product.
Maize porrige made incredibly dry, and crumbly, eaten with a "sauce" or relish containing amongst others onions, tomotos, garlick, and everything else you want to toss in there..... I absolutely love Krummel Pap as it is known, and even though I am able to do so many things just by trying it out..... Krummel Pap preparation is a secret known only the best alchemists, cooks and other special people. It is cooked with almost no water, and the coarser and lumpier the texture the better.
Some GOOGLE images of what it could look like served up.
Cooked in a cast iron pot, usually alongside another pot with the sauce.
DESCRIPTION COPIED FROM HERE.
Mealiepap or just pap (pup) is a traditional staple food of South Africans. It is made out of white granular maize meal usually cooked to a crumbly dry porridge such as krummelpap, or a stiff porridge such as putu or stywepap which can be served with grilled boerewors and a tomato-based gravy or sauce. Mealiepap can also be served with milk and sugar for breakfast. A lump of butter added to the porridge will improve the taste and texture.
This dish is eaten like rice or noodles in other cultures.
Afrikaners in the northern parts of South Africa eat it as a breakfast staple, with milk and sugar (slappap), but also serve it (stywepap) with meat and tomato-stew (usually tomato and onion) at other meals. In the Cape Provinces, among the white population, it is almost exclusively seen as a breakfast food.
Since mealiemeal is inexpensive, poor people can afford to combine it with vegetables and be sure of one good meal a day. It can be served hot or, after it has cooled, it can be fried, giving it a different texture. Stywepap or putu is sometimes enjoyed with chakalaka as a side dish with braais.
A similar dish is polenta, from northern Italy. In the USA a very similar dish is known as Grits. The primary difference between the US and the South African dishes is that in the US the maize (or corn) used is a yellow kernel maize, whereas in South Africa maize is especially grown for human consumption with white kernels, allowing the whole kernel to be used for the maize meal.
Polo Cop car, not sure we see them in the UK or if they are in the USA either.
Polo Dune, again a car I have not seen in this new model format in the UK, but I am sure they will be available on special order.
Africa is Hot !!
Take not what time of the day it was, temperature outside in the afternoon, in the morning it was threatening rain.
It is meant to be Autumn now in South Africa.
As a certain Mr Maverick once told me..... The adventure starts when shit starts going wrong.....
The bloody mobile saga started when I texted a mate Mike "Touchdown69" about 90km from home yesterday to let him know our movements, and did not zip up my trouser pocket when we set off again, so I suspect the phone is in a many flat pieces somewhere on the M3 Tollroad.
Today I took a HTC Wildfire I had bought for Deon, in to a guy in Nigel to unlock it from a UK Vodafone contract.... come back in one hour with R270 he said..... an hour later he said come back tomorrow.
Then an hour later he phoned me on Deons number to say that if I wanted it unlocked tomorrow it would be R650 and if I wanted to wait till Monday it would only be R450.
So I told him screw that, I will collect the phone tomorrow and buy some cheap phone to use here in SA till I leave from Cape Town on the 29th.
Bought about R200's worth of fruit this morning, as the fruit is always sweeter in Africa, and I cannot just eat meat.
However, we did manage to buy some 35mm T-Bone steaks, you may notice a theme coming through here.....
Paw Paws are bloody expensive in the UK, when you can get them, and also small.
Devide the price by 14 to get a UK £££ price.
I bought a box and ate myself stupid on them and the other fruit I bought, pears, apples, grapes and a load of real vegetables, as Dozer does not keep them in his house, he is a true South African, surviving on meat and having two slices of toast for breakfast to make up for the deficiency.
Pineapples - cheap by the box.
Pears, a whole box for the prices of what 5 would cost in the UK, and sweeter than anything you get here.
My first day at Deon's place was spent shopping for sandals, as I had not brought any along, and it was too hot for shoes and jeans. so I shopped Barefoot as many people who cannot afford shoes, do. Oranges were about £1.20 for a whole bag, again the price of 3 or 4 in the UK.
In the afternoon when we dropped off the mobile phone I did find some very gay beach shoes.... left them behind when I left Deon's place for Cape Town the next week.
We also ran some other errands, visited a few of his mates to sort things out etc.
Then of course we had left over braai for dinner and a drink or many.
Observed elsewhere on the internet forums....
Day 16 was spent mostly in Dozer's bakkie.
We went to Nigel to fetch back my phone, buy a new cheap handset and to look at a few old cars.
At one dealers place we saw these cars and trucks.
Only needs a new windscreen, owner cannot find one anywhere in the world.
And lastly, one of these.
In Nigel, I also saw this, strange the new gubberment have not painted this out.... seeing as it is from the dark distant past.
Maybe the workers are just too lazy or busy.
While we were out, Deon also ordered two new roll up garage doors, to be delivered to his house.
And fitted by the two of us.... no, never done one before, but sure we can work it out.