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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by rideforsmiles, Jun 19, 2011.
Hanging around the lodge in Durban.
The last few days have been pretty shitty weather but good excuse not to do anything.
Today Durban had some of the wildest weather they have had in 20 years apparently, ships breaking there anchors and washing aground just up the coast was really strange weather for them so I was told. Sittign around the lodge doing nothing so thought that id go for a ride in it, so get on my bike and go for a ride in it to nowhere. It was blowing an absolute gale and flogging down with rain, why would I go for a ride on a day like that, cause I can. Just love it.
Was great rode around for an hour or two then all the way down the beach front where i usually wouldnt of been allowed to ride as there was absolutely noone down near the ocean, it was deserted so that was nice. The boardwalk is only a few ks long but but its actually very nice, have walked a bit of it but while there was noone around I just got on and rode along it.
Was pretty dry had my boardshorts under my wet weather gear so didnt really matter was a tad coolish but nothing to bad the climate around here is pretty dam good.
Went up to the bike place to get the screen raiser thing for my bike to try and get this wind off my head and neck so picked that up, ill take that over to the dealer at some stage you have to drill through the perspex and was told the Yamaha guys would do it. Went for a bit more of a ride then came home. Just love it
So its Tuesday now the weather is till pretty wild so just hung around did the regulation bike ride then to the shops etc so nothing out of the ordinary. That was till 4am in the morning lol this is going to have to be a very edited version of the nights events and no names mentioned at the request of the culprit ha ha
Ok so I was actually awake at 3:30am, still have shitty sleep with my neck and back but this is the story.
I was just lying in bed on facebook and I get a txt message, “are you up” ok yeah im awake so the next one is well ill be around in a few minutes put the kettle on, Ok then, so here it is 4am in the morning and I get a visitor and it was a very pretty visitor too, not the one I would of liked but oh well as they say in the good book NEXT!!!!! She had been out and had wanted to party but noone was there to party with her so it was poor old me that had to get up, oh just terrible, why me I thought, life just wasnt meant to be easy was it.
Now im not going to complain to much about my misfortune of having her sitting on the end of my bed at 4am but fair dinkum. I really should complain to management, they let anyone in here, it could of been a robber ha ha. We partook in [edited on request] and then [edited at request] then after spilling the ash tray on my nice clean white doona and [edited at request] and then leaving a wet spot on my bed, yes she spilt her water too, she left and headed off around 6am. Was a very nice surprise put it that way, one that id be happy with at any time even it was all just innocent fun, after all I am a sweet innocent lovable guy who just likes to make people happy.
Was interesting evening to say the least, needless to say nothing untoward happened but I guess that depends on your classification of untoward doesn't it. I asked her how I was supposed to blog this, so this is my attempt. Was fun with you as usual [edited at request] talk to you soon. ha ha
Had a really different day today, i've been having a great time but thought it was time to do something constructive with the rideforsmiles.com so got on the internet late last night and research a few of the local orphanages in and around Durban. Came across Shepherds Keep here on the south side of Durban so thought Id just go for a ride and see what its all about.
Had thought i would find one with older children so i could let them sit on the motorbike and maybe take them for a little spin but something drew me to Shepherds keep so off I went.
Arrived out of the blue and rang the doorbell and was welcomed in. Colin and his son in law Andre came down to greet me and we sat down for a chat. Was an interesting talk, told them about my adventure and how it came to be and Colin said its funny you arriving now as just a little while ago they had beern sitting down discussing living life to the fullest and enjoying every moment, exactly what im doing just enjoying every moment of the second chance ive been gifted with after my accident, talk about timing.
They showed me around the orphanage it really is an amazing job what they do for those kids, some coming from absolutely horrific beginnings. I didnt really get emotional about it but did later tonight, it certainly touches you in a special way. You can focus on the babies horrific beginnings but they do fall in to Colin and his families loving caring hands and they have found homes for over 500 abandoned babies all around the world, in Colin's words he is a grandfather to 507 children, what a man.
While I was there I just had this sense I was surrounded by little angels that had been blessed with the gift of life. I left them a little gift as well but there is no need to post what it was its not really important and they gave me a small gift in return which was totally unexpected, what an amazing day and to meet such a beautiful family giving so much to those beautiful babies.
Had a pretty good day today just hung around listening to my team the Tigers play there Friday night rugby league match on the internet. Got to love being able to keep up with all the good stuff while your away from home via the internet. Half time and im ready to give it away and stop listening, down 12 nil and playing like crap but im glad I stuck it out the tigeys made a great comeback to win the game 14-12. Go the Tigers.
Alexa had come around earlier and invited me to drop over and hang out with Channing while she was off getting her stuff ready for the markets, so jumped on the bike around 2ish and headed over. Played grand theft auto with Channing for a few hours then helped out with some of the market stuff cutting up lemons etc. Dinner was chicken soup, Alexa doesent do to bad a job of it actually, I like it considering it looks like crap. Hope she doesent read this part of the blog.
Me and Channing were having some fun, I was showing him how we beat up our children in Australia chasing him around the house, at one stage he ran and trip over the playstation lead, I saw the Tv nearly come off the wall now that would of been interesting, Alexa came out and shouted at us to settle down, come on mum weve been couped up in this house for hours cause of the rain its only natural we would get rumbling. It's great fun with Channing he is the same age as my boy Logan back home so it's like the son I don't have anymore, that's a terrible thing to say, I'll always love my Logie bear.
Stayed a little longer then thought id hit the road around 8 and come home and chill. As I went to leave Chris's Alexa's friend's daughters arrived with their boyfriends so had a quick chat to them. The young guys loved the bike, they were saying to each other, we should do that just get on some bikes and go riding. You never know a seed might of been planted.
Got home and just relaxed and later got a txt message saying if I can get some tickets to the Sharks v Cheeters game would you like to come. Well its not every day a good looking girl txts you asking you to the footy and out after so of course im in. Ciao
Alexa has a nice pad overlooking La Lucia, Durban
Got up reasonably early this morning and headed over to the markets where Alexa has her stall. Was really busy she was doing a roaring trade non stop customers which is good. Had a walk around and chatted with Channing for awhile then got a drink and chatted with a lady doing some fund rasing for the local enviroment group, slipped them a few bucks all good its nice to see someone trying to put back into the environment. Left there about 11:30 and headed back to Gateway to buy some new clothes, ive been wearing my one pair of jeans pretty much all the time so thought i might just lash out and get some new gear, im going to have to dump some of the other clothes to make room for it but ive been going out a bit lately and cant always be seen in the same old threads. Didnt have much time to choose as Helen was picking me up at 1 oclock.
Got into Gateway shopping centre its the biggest one in the southern hemisphere so you can imagine its just huge, I would of liked to find some cheaper stuff but in the end time was running short so I just hit one shop which wasnt the cheapest but they had a tailor that could take them up on the spot so that was another issue solved. Spent a fair bit more than I would of liked but the jeans and shirt I got from them were pretty decent and will do me all over the world or wherever I end up. While they steamed my short as it had a few creases in it I ducked downstairs to find a pair of shoes, walked in looked around and bought a pair, back up to get my shirt, back over to the tailor to get my Jeans and im out of there all in about and hour, to easy. Get back to the lodge and Helen arrived so had a quick shower got dressed, 20 minutes after arriving back we are in her car heading to the Wings club to grab a taxi over to Kings Park.
Arrive at Kings Park and have a beer in the club next door and meet up with Selwyn who had my ticket, then we were off into the box to watch the rugby. The Sharks won again so that was all good, they went to sleep in the second half but they smashed them in the first so was never really in doubt. We had a great time everyone was having a great time it was nice to be able to drink, last time I went to the footy with the crew I only had two beers all afternoon. There a funny bunch, cracking jokes, we ended up staying for a few hours after the game we were all getting pretty smashed by then. I remember the last drink JJ poured me it was like a 10 ounce glass of straight scotch ooops this is going to be a big night I thought at the time.
Me and Helen left the the club and headed back over to the Wings club to have a drink and I walked in and straight away Sullivan from the BMW dealership comes up and grabs me saying hows it going. Got on the piss with him and his mates and Helen having a great time, the drinking is so cheap here compared to Aussie its not hard to get stuck in, the price is like 20 years ago over home, Im not sure if thats a good thing or a bad thing though. Alexa turned up at the club but this time I couldnt of told you what time it was, we had a heap more drinks doing shots of something, I couldn't even tell you what I was drinking they ordered, I drank, so all good. At one point Alexa had a go at me, well thats surprising ive friggin hammered im always going to make a dick of myself or say the wrong thing when im like that. Dont ask what I said or did, maybe she had come down to take me home and have her wicked way with me and I had gotten drunk, yeah that's got to be it.
Met heaps of people but dont ask me to tell you who they were other than this guy Charles who Helen was talking to, I had a bit of a talk to him. He is into welfare and all that so was nice to hear what he did, ok what was he did again oh well I got his card here somewhere what ever it was it was caring for kids so all good. We decided to hit the Cotton Fields club back up the road so I jumped in the car with Helen and off we went. They have drink driving laws over here but apparently you dont lose your license you just get a fine so the drink driving doesent seem to worry any of them at all It doesent worry me either as long as they dont hit a pole, as if a pole can stop me anyway after the truck tried ok silly I know but you live the moment don't you. Got to Cotton Fields safely without anyone dying, by this time im friggin shitfaced so I did the only thing left to me I ordered a few shots that will get the heart going. From there on it all gets a bit blurry but I ended up in the nightclub next door jibbering on. The same as it ever was in those late night clubs but its ok the piss is cheap.
By this time ive lost Alexa and Helen im guessing they were on the dance floor somewhere your not likely to see me in a hurry im at the bar dribbling shit with the riff raff having a laugh. Ended up leaving there at whatever time and headed out and got a taxi then headed up to the burger joint as I hadn't eaten most of the day, as I say eating is cheating when it comes to getting on the drink, would cost me an extra 100 bucks to get drunk if I ate.
Got home only to realize Helen had my keys to the lodge, oh ok here we go, f(8ked off my head trying to jump a high security wall, ok thats not going to work maybe I can crash through the bush over here, nope more fencing, bloody hell, dam the South Africans and there fear of being robbed. I sought of sat back and chomped on my burger for a few minutes, thats always going to help me think clearer and then I remembered the other day when me and Alexa saved the owls the guy showed me a secret path into his yard next door and with the back fence into the lodge being low'ish, ill give that a try.
Headed around there and im in, yehaaa now to jump the wire fence this shoudlnt be to much of an issue for a strapping young lad like myself ooops hang on, im a pissed and an old idiot so it was stumble stumble, stagger stagger and yep I was over, f&*king hilarious, in a heap on the ground but I was over all the same.
So im in the yard thinking to myself, thank christ they lock up the dogs or id be in some trouble big trouble, walk up to the front door and its open geez thats lucky, i was totally stuffed and sleeping in the garage with my motorbike otherwise, go in chomp on the rest of my burger in the lounge room txt Helen that I am locked out of my room.
She txts back, ill be home shortly, yeah whatever im eating the spare hamburger and grabbing another room key from the office and hitting the fart sack baby. What a day and night fantastic fun and sooooo many laughs even when I got home falling all over myself nothing better than laughing at idiots making fools of themselves., to bad I wasnt on video it would of made a ripper.
Met some great people again I must admit im not at my best when im like that but oh well ring Lifeline or Pizza Hut either way someone will listen to you.
Another day down.
The beautiful Caryn and Tizi were at the football this afternoon as well ummm yes please
Well today started off tough, had to get up and go watch Channing play soccer down in Virginia a few suburbs away. Was a nice morning but I have felt better thats for sure got to love the 9am kick off for kids soccer after you have had a big night but I did say I would be there.
Vern let me borrow the spare car which made it a bit better than being on the bike. Went over to his home ground and couldnt see anything that looked like Channings team so thought id ring Alexa to see if I was at the right ground. Cool, wrong ground bozo back a few suburbs the other way, back to the car and head off thinking i wonder if ill be late. Yeah so thats the coach in me, I get there Alexa and Channing and none of his team mates are even there yet so thought i better go make sure im at the right ground.
As im talking to one of the local club guys a lady walks up and says the girls toilets are dirty. The bloke just sits there and thinks what do you want me to do about it, he says we have cleaners for them but they put off the guy and hadn't replaced him. Im pretty sure the local crew over here dont know what looking after amentities means they just have the local coloured people do all that kind of stuff for them. So I say to the lady give me a second and I'll sort it out, havent been at the club for 10 minutes and im cleaning their clubhouse shithouse's and opening it up for the lady and her daughter to use.
Alexa and Channing turn up about 10 minutes before kick off, she would be feeling a little shakey too, im pretty sure she left before me last night but it would of still been late. Channing's team had a 0-0 draw, he didnt have much to do in goal but in the end made a great save right at the end. Im glad I got up to watch them, its always good to see the kids playing soccer and enjoying themselves. Said my goodbyes to Alexa and Channing and headed home to die, I felt like absolute poo. Didnt do anything other than buy some KfC on the way home, that'll tied me over till whenever.
The rest of the day was a pretty non event as you can imgine just relaxed around the lodge chillaxing.
Got up and relaxed around the lodge for awhile then went for a ride down to the beach front I really like it down there the boardwalk promenade is a really nice place to hang out. Had to go over to the Yamaha dealer to see about getting this screen extension I bought installed and yeah they could do it, great. Jason sorted it out and did a good job its an extension off a KTM but its the only one that fitted into the screen on the BMW well maybe not the only one but the only one the guys at Gear Up had in stock.
Installed it unfortunatly the bases of the bracket are flimsy crap and it cracked but its all bolted to the screen now and I cant see it being to much of an issue coming loose. While I was there got a call from Alexa, her and her friend Chris and Channing were at the Chinese restaruant having a late lunch so headed over there in La Lucia to grab something to eat with them.
Got back on the bike and went for another ride for about an hour just cruising around im loving riding this bike its so easy to ride. The extension is great works a treat its so noticable straight away. I ended up back down the beachfront and went for a walk. Its funny over here all the apartments are built right on the coast and in a few spots the boardwalk is falling into the sea, you can see the ocean coming to claim some of these places eventually, there only like 100 feet from raging seas im not sure if id like to be owning one of them you can see whats coming a mile away, unless they dump bucket loads of rock out off the coast a little to stem to wave surge a little
Had the feeling like its time to go again so that day is certainly coming sooner rather than later, I wonder if i can hang out till the Test match between the Aussies and the Springboks I've been invited to go to in a few weeks, it's really very nice of them to offer the ticket to me a corporate box ticket for a rugby test match is like gold around here, if I do stay, its another night on the piss which standard takes a few days to recover fully from so if do go I'm not leaving till at least the 17th of July which means I will have spent almost 5 weeks in Durban. I know hurry up and start this adventure for christ's sake.
Had a quiet day today just went for a ride to La lucia for coffee with Helen and her friend Jaymie lee, saw Caryn and Tizi down having a coffee, said hello then went off to find Helen. Bumped into Antwon from the other week as well, he came over and said hello and then went off and joined his mate.
Left the coffee shop and went and bought a book, 150 years of South African Rugby for JJ to say thank you for inviting me into the box at Kings Park over the last few weeks, gave it to Helen to give to him just in case I'm out of here without seeing him again. While we were sitting there enjoying our coffee and walking through the mall I seemed to bump into quite a few people I had met over the last few weeks and Helen said to me you know more people around here than I do and I've lived here all my life, we both had a laugh it was just a coincidence that a lot of the people I had met all over the place where there this morning.
After our coffee I said my goodbyes to Helen jumped back on my bike and went for a ride to nowhere, ended up down the beachfront again and hung out down there for while, the new wind screen extension works a treat going to make riding on the highways so much better, paid all my bills up for my accomadation to Vern so the day is coming that I will leave Durban as much as I love it here.
Strangely today im really missing my little guy Logan ive been so good with protecting myself from mising the little fella but something just got me today, dont know what it was but was really difficult little time, maybe it was cause I was thinking of leaving here and leaving Channing as well brought it all home. I ended up back at the lodge just blogging listening to some music just chilling out, I havent been sleeping to well lately my neck and back are giving me grief but oh well tell someone that cares.
Went for a walk down the waterfront again, on dusk this time, it really is nice here, I love it but while i was there had the feeling it was time to go again, so decide i did and tomorrow im leaving Durban. Txt Alexa and Helen with my decision and Alexa said straight away well come round for dinner. I really will miss her and Channing ive really enjoyed spending time with both of them.
Sat down for a nice roast dinner which was really nice and had a chat for awhile and then headed off at about 8 to come home and pack the bike up. Was a bit sad to say goodbye to Channing we've had alot of fun. Left Alexa's and Chris's place she certainly doesent hold back on the hugs, she was a little sad so i gave her Channings new catch phrase harden up princess, im sure everytime that gets said in that house ill be thought of we certainly had some fun, ill miss you guys.
The only other person i havent mentioned in my blogs lately is Caryn, I know I would of liked to get to know her better but that wasnt to be, we had such a fun day and night together the other weekend then have txt back and forwards for the next fortnight but never hooked up again. I used to say it takes 2 weeks for every year your with someone to go out on another date after you break up, well that means after my few weekss in Durban it should only take me approximately 90 minutes to get over ummm whats her name, only joking.
Oh well as they say in the good book Next!!!! Chicks cant live with them and pass the corn chips.
Packed it all up ready to almost now its 11:30 im going to try and go to sleep so i can get up at a reasonable hour and hit the road to somewhere.
Left at around 10 after saying my goodbyes to Vern and Mickey she was having a cry, made me cry a bit ok, I wasnt crying i had something in my eye, they really are nice people and ive enjoyed my time with them so much.
Alexa had come around a bit earlier and gave me another bear hug, got to love her cuddles, squeeze the living shit out of you, Im going to miss her and Channing have I mentioned that yet
Went down the waterfront for the last time ive really enjoyed my time here and will miss Durban but had to make a move eventually. Went down to La Lucia to pick up my sunnies which I had left with Caryn so that was the last thing I had to pick up that I had left around, then it was time to hit the road.
Was just going south didnt have anywhere in mind just ride till I felt like stopping. Had done an hour or so and was getting thirsty so stopped at a service station for a drink and fuel. While I was there Brad came over and said hi and asked where i was heading and I just said I dont know that way somewhere and pointed down the road, he said you got to go ride the Sani Pass so that was it, I was going there. I did have that on my sort of agenda but hadnt even looked at where it was on the map in conjuntion to where I was and were I was heading.
Brad wrote all the turn offs etc and off I went to the Sani Pass. While I was at the servo a crew of heavily armed cops came in with machine guns obviously protecting something or someone. I thought id grab a photo and as I did one of them came over to ask me what I was taking pictures of. I just said just you guys its not something we see in Oz, he asked me to delete them so I tried. All very friendly mind you. You know how those guys can be about someone taking pictures. He asked me where I was going said down the N2 to the Sani Pass and off he walked. Got on my bike at the same time as they were leaving, three cars, one van and I think a Range Rover but I couldnt be sure he was with them, but by the way he sped past then came behind he was the undercover part of whatever they were doing.
Got going along the N2 and they went past me, all of them waved as they bolted past so I hooked onto the convoys and followed them. Nice having a cop car on the wrong side of the road ahead of you with his lights flashing makes for easier overtaking. Cruising at around 120 to 140 so was making good time with these guys. Followed them for about 80 k's so, was a good quick trip to the next turn off.
Brad had told me about a little pink church to look out for and as I was going along I was thinking to myself have I missed it, well when I found it you soon realize you couldn't miss it, it's this little old church painted in bright pink, it sticks out like dogs balls so this is where I'm meant to turn so ok turned off there onto a dirt road followed that for a few k's then turned right to Underberg , cant remember how far Underberg was exactly maybe a 100 k's, whatever it is its not to bad a road, a few pot holes but nothing to worry about, actually hit one while I was overtaking a copper on one stretch that was funny what do you do sit behind them all day long.
Got into Underberg and got some fuel and had KFC for an early dinner, the chicken burgers over here in KFC are so much better than home, tomato lettuce on them just not a chicken fillet and a bun with sauce.
Headed to the next town where Brad had told me stay which is only a few k's down the road. Got into Himeville, nice little town sweet f%^k all here but its got a really nice feel to it kids out in the streets playing no security all over the place like other towns, the snow capped mountains in the background, very nice. Went to a few places, first one no one home and ended up just down the road and staying at the Arbuckle B&B only 350 a night so cheap.
Will ride the sani Pass tomorrow, that should be fun.
Got up at 7:15 and went and had breakfeast bacon and eggs the usual plus a bowl of cereal with orange juice. Had taken all my panniers etc off the bike ready to ride the Sani Pass with as little weight as possible so went back to the room kitted up and hit the road at 8:30. Rode to the border check point and got my passport stamped. The guys at the border office told me the Pass was closed, i asked them can I give it a go and they just said you might be able to get up there on the bike. I said im going there and back if im not back here in a few hours you know im stuck.
The views are amazing, the road pretty crap actually, the drop offs arent to bad at the beginning but you go from 1500 metres to 3000 metres in a few k's so its pretty steep but nothing serios till you near the top. Unfortunatly I couldnt get to the top my Gps was showing 2734 metres so just over 150 metres from reaching the summit and Lesotho. It was just some of the last steep section iced over I had no chance of doing, I got to one of the hairpins at the steep section and it was just deep ice. I did really well not to drop it but struggled for traction so I realised I wasnt going anywhere further. Got off and the bike was basically standing there by itself stuck in the ice.
Now the trick was to turn the bike around and it wasn't going to be easy. The back wheel was bogged down nearly to the rear sprocket in ice so I could just get off the bike and it stayed upright so that made things a little easier, ok now how the hell am I going to do this i thought. Well I just grabbed the bash plate frame and dragged it around, sweet done all without dropping the thing. Not easy dragging a 200 kilo bike around in the ice im sure ill pay for that tomorrow with my back. Got it heading back downhill and jumped back on and away I went not an easy task that but it worked out ok.
Got back down the border post everyone was there asking how did I go all the 4x4 guys were there asking about the grader that was heading up and if he had started on the top section. When I past him he was sitting on the side of the road getting stuck into his lunch still a long way from the top, I dont hold much hope he'll have it done anytime soon. Stopped off a bit further back down to take some pics, more 4x4's stopped to ask how it is Io guess they could see I had attempted it as my bike was covered in mud. Eventually arrived back at the lodge and dropped my jacket off as it was warming up and off I headed to the Atm in Underberg to get some money out of the bank.
Ok its a 40 zone up the road here but not anywhere in South Africa have seen anyone taking any notice of the road rules, ok some sort of notice but not much. So here I am overtaking 3 cars and a truck in a 40 zone flying off down the highway at 130 odd k's an hour and yep you guessed it coppers flying up behind me sirens blaring..
He ask me for my license and ID, oh sorry I got none its back at the lodge, im just going to the Atm in Underberg. He says you know that was a 40 zone and no overtaking area, no mate I didnt know I just saw everyone going slow and hooked it past them. He got around to asking me why I was speeding and I just said "mate two weeks ago my wife ran off with a copper and when I heard the siren I sped up because I thought you were bringing the bitch back". He pissed himself laughing and just said next time carry your license with you, yeah ok no probs. Had a bit more of a chat he gets back in his car and off I go, still yet to meet anyone from South Africa that hasnt been anything but totally friendly.
Get back to the lodge in time to stream the second half of my favourite rugby team back in OZ playing, the Tigers were down 8-0 but from when I started listening it was all tigers pretty nuch go you good things, nice win.
Went down the road to take a few pictures of the snow covered mountains and came across two little sisters 5 and 7 selling cordial, so cute in the middle of nowhere on a dead end road. There was hardly anyone around so they were out for fun more than to make money. I stopped and talked to them for awhile, sweet kids, really love the place they live which is nice to hear, telling me all about where they walk and play, then they tell me that their father is the local police officer, no it couldnt be ahahaha
Told them I had no money but they gave me a drink anyway I said ill go grab some money and come back as I want more. They were selling the drinks for to 2 rand a about 10 cents. I gave them like 20 rand in change and then said id like another one please so they gave another and i pulled a hundred Rand note. Should of seen there little eyes light up rideforsmiles.com. its not much like 15 bucks or something but they thought all their christmas's had come at once. As I left I gave them a card and said give that to daddy when he gets home from work, I'm sure he would of thought, oh I got the bastard anyway.
Got a call from Helen and JJ this afternoon telling to be careful and if theres anything at all I need just to call them and that they are my backstop if i have any problems at all. Seriously I fell in with a great crew of people in Durban I was very fortunate to meet such nice people. Thanks for everything guys.
So in the washup had a great day rode most of the Sani Pass got let off by the cops and the Tigers team back home got up in a come from behind win you could call the day the 3 great escapes I guess with my Sani Pass adventure my run in with the copper and my team winning.
Electricity is off at the moment so when the battery dies on this thing im stuffed but atleast I got my blogging done. Tomorrow I head south again thought about staying on and doing the Sani Pass tomorrow but with the weather coming in it might only get worse not better over the next few days.
Don't know where i'll end up that will work itself out as usual.
The Sani Pass
A bit further up the road i got stuck in the ice.
Got up this morning and started to pack up met a few of the guys who had got in last night Barry and his friends were doing the Sani Pass today whether its open or not is another thing. Another guy sorry bud ive forgotten your name turned up with a 1200 adventurer on a trailer and was hoping to ride the pass he told me he was thinking the Garden route so might catch up somewhere along the line.
Finally finished packing and said my goodbyes to Geraldine the owner and hit the road. Had a freezing cold ride over to East London from Himeville. I was riding and the thermometer on the bike was reading 0'celcius brrrr absolutely freezing.
Stopped off at one stage in the middle of nowhere cause it had started snowing to funny I was absolutely loving it, even if I was freezing my balls off. just love the extremes of weather.
Just north of Kokstad came across an accident this was no ordinary accident a high ace minvan had done a U turn in front of a bus and both vechiles had ended up in a creek off the road. There were bodies all over the place, just what you need to see.
Talked to one of the rescue guys who was just suiting up to go look for a kid that was missing probably under the bus. Hung around and of course took a few pictures but the picture of them loading bodies into body bags is etched in my head. 8 dead with two still not accounted for not the kind of accident you want to come across and see. Oh well shit happens i guess but very sad.
Anyway got on my way and rode on still bloody freezing stopped a few times shaking I was so cold. Just kept riding didnt expect to get as far as I did as the weather was so crap rained nearly all the way so to do 600k's in it was a big effort one I actually enjoyed.
There was a section as you enter the wild coast the road is great was doing up to 140 kmh winding through the hills, just love this beemer to ride is so much fun and handles really well. Had a few dogs come running out on the road but been keeping an eye out for wandering animals so had already slowed down then hit the anchors otherwise it was beemer one dog zero, very close call.
Got into East London and tried a few b&b's seems to be the standard 3rd time lucky again. Met Trish & Kevin and their kids and grand kids seem like a nice family.
Got unpacked and relaxed for awhile then headed down to grab something to eat in the local shopping centre around the corner. Now just sitting back chilling eating dinner all nice and warm so all good. Will stay here till Monday morning have a look around tomorrow then head off to Port Elizabeth about 300k's down the coast.
Went for a ride around East London today, seems to be a a little on the dodgy side but nothing I didnt feel comfortable with.
I was down the beach front and had a walk around the local market where I met a nice family as I walked around. Asked them where i could fix my slow leaking front tyre and they gave me the tip on that and also where I could have a nice beer and feed just down the road.
Took off and rode around for awhile just trying to see as much as East London as I could. Came across a football game so thought id go watch for awhile, wasnt real high quality but nice to watch the local crew playing all the same. I was just sitting on my bike and one of the local lads came over to say gday and have a chat its always nice to meet the local football fraternity and be able to talk about the game even if it is in a broken english and a little hard to communicate.
Left there after the game whih the local boys lost unfortunatly then rode back home, had my Gps with me but wasnt using it and rode straight past the street and shopping centre I was staying at and eneded up back down the beach front then just backtracked the way I knew, it wasnt as if it was far only 5 or so minutes away anyway, it wasnt till I came back to it I realised I had driven straight past where I was staying.
Just chilled out for the rest of the night went over for a walk over the the shopping centre with one of the young crew that had just moved from Joburg and was working in a local restaraunt and grabbed some dinner but other than that East London didnt get to see much of me but it was just a stop off point to get down to Jefferys Bay and I had racked up alot of k's and riding in the last few days.
Leaving in the morning, Joan the other lady that works here have been really friendly as well and had a nice chat with her over breakfeast this morning. funny she had another story of home invasion and very voilent seems to be everyone im bumping into lately has been the victim or has had a family member brutally attacked. Just reminds me not to let my guard down and stay aware of where I am so I can stay out of trouble.
Got up reasonably early and had a bowl of cereal and toast for breakfeast then got into packing my bike up, its a bit of a nuisance takes about 30 or 40 nminutes if I strip all the gear off it which I had done here cause I just didnt have the feeling it was safe even though it was behind a wire fence and security gate. Hit the road about 9:30 after saying my goodbyes to Trish, Kevin and Joan. Was thinking of getting the slow leak on the front tyre fixed but Joans daughter lives in Jeffreys Bay and she told me that id be able to get it fixed there so I thought rather than stuffing around here Id get on the road.
First rule is dont leave something till later if you can do it now especially when your talking about fuel, repairs to the bike or something you need, ok i'll learn but its not that bad ive got a compressor with me that has been working fine to pump it up and its only a slow leak and going down over night, so i thought.
The ride down to Port Elizabeth took me through Port Alfred now this looks like a nice spot could of easily gone in and stopped there for the night,very up market marina with very nice houses all around, stopped off and took a few photos at the river crossing but other than that didnt spend much time there which looking back I probably should of stopped for more of a look, next time. Cant stop everywhere, this trip will take me a million years if I do.
Even the guy at the servo that filled my tank up was really friendly with a welcome to Port Alfred, then another guy came up and had a chat as i sat and had a drink for a minute or two. The road around there had some pretty ordianary potholes the worst of the trip so far but nothing to dangerous that you and the bike are going to disapear into but still wasnt able to relax like I have been, just makes for a bit of a longer day in the saddle having to concentrate that little bit harder.
Rode of the N2 into Port Elizabeth was a good ride winding road, was really nice and mostly 120k's all the way. Port Elizabeth seems like a really nice town everyone was really friendly people coming over to say hi when I stopped. Rode right into the central business area and stopped and had a look around, only stayed about 30 minutes as it was starting to get after lunch and wanted to get to Jefferys Bay about 45 minutes away early in the afternoon. Headed off in a southerly direction even though the Gps was telling me to turn around and go back to the highway the other way. Just kept heading south and the Gps kept recalculating but still had me turning around for at least 10 minutes and then finally it had me heading south.
I saw a KFC so thought id stop for a munch so pulled in and jumped off the bike. The tyre was flat again so I got the compressor out and pumped it up and one of the security guys from KFC came over and had a chat for a few minutes, ive forgotten his name but he was a nice guy. I had all good intentions of getting something to eat but after a chat, ciggie and a drink didnt really feel hungry so I just got on the bike and headed off.
Headed out of town and wasnt far from hitting the highway when on the last turn to pull onto the N2 i noticed the front wheel was all flat again, ok great that took less than 10 minutes to go down, so I pulled over and got the compressor out again and pumped it up again. I thought I wonder if I could make JefferysBay with it like that pulling over to pump it up every 5 or 10 minutes after all it was only 50 k's away.
Well im glad I didnt hit the highway I decided to head back to the otherside of town where I had noticed a Yamaha dealer and thought they might be able to help me out so off I go back towards them and get 3 k's down the road and the tyre is flat again, at that rate I made the right decision to head back to Yamaha i would of never of made Jefferys with it like that.
Get back into the Yamaha dealer and walk in and yeah no probs bring it around the side to the workshop cool that was easy as it was 2:30 when I arrived and I was starting to think I might have to spend the night here in Port Elizabeth which wouldnt of been a problem of course, I sort of like the feel of Port Elizabeth compared to East London.
Parked my bike in there and Winston got straight to work on it while me and Dylan had a chat so was all good and 30 or 40 minutes later its finished, my new tube and the old one patched for a spare.. I asked Dylan how much and he said not to worry about it, I tell you everyone has been so welcoming in South Africa I couldnt speak highly enough of the people here, ok everywhere has there good and bad people but from my experience from Johannasburg to Soweto, Pretoria over to Dundee through the hills to Greytown and into Durban, Kruger Park and Swaziland everyone has been absolutely fantasticly friendly and im having the best time meeting great people.
Slipped Winston a few bucks to grab a beer or a dinner or whatever then packed my bike up said good bye to the boys and hit the road again. Was getting on a bit so thought i better get stuck into it didnt want to be turning up in Jbay in the dark. It was only another 50 or 60 k's to Jbay so didnt take long and the road was 120 nearly all the way so not a problem at all. Arrived in Jbay and had a guesthouse in the Gps and took me straight there, got off and asked and yep im in. That was to easy.
Sat down and had a chat to Marian and Dave really nice couple, they run two places one down the near Supertubes across the road and as Marianne has bookings tomororrow ill be heading over the road closer to the beach.
Went for a walk over to the beach to see Jbay as ive been waiting 25 or 30 years to see it so off I went was small 4 to 5 foot but still you could see it couple of guys pulling into barrels at supertubes and others riding nice walls down the point, looks like a magic wave, if I had to compare it with a wave from home its like Lennox Point but the length or more of The Pass you would be doing well to surf one all the way through even if you were fit, Lennox Point is long but this place is like 5 times as long it really is amazing.
Got back to the B&B and had a bit more of a chat to Dave and Marianne the left to go up to the room and hit the fart sack around 9 and that was today done. Not to exciting some great riding meeting some nice people all part of the adventure, pretty good day in the wash up.
Sprcial thanks to Dylan, Winston and the guys at Port Elizabeth Yamaha for their help was fantastic. Cheers guys.
Port Alfred was a really nice town
Arriving in Port Elizabeth
My first flat tyre of the trip, fortunatly it happned not far from Port Elizabeth and was able to put the compressor on and get it up enough to ride a few k's before doing that all over again till I reached Yamaha Dealer.
Got up at a reasonable hour and had breakfeast then got organised to move over to Dave and Marians other B&B closer the the surf a few metres from Supertubes. Loaded my gear into Daves car to save me packing the bike back up which made it easier then headed on over.
Moved into a full one bedroom apartment for only 200 rand about 26 bucks a night dirt cheap, if I eat well will be saving money on the budget I have set, Will try and build my bank up for things I might like to do as ive spent a little over budget slinging the orphanage a few bucks Not to mention even though it is so far away Europe wont be cheap when I eventually get there so I need to keep that in mind and try and save for that part of the trip.
So basically got into the pad chilled out going for a walk over to check the surf out and then rode into town to have a look around. Just going to hang in Jeffreys Bay always wanted to come here as much as in the old days it was to surf, unfortunately with my injuries to my back and neck surfing is off the agenda these days, its still nice to be here though. First impressions so far its pretty ok, the real estate is dirt cheap you could buy a really nice house over here for a fraction of what they are in Australia.
My first view of Jeffreys Bay South Africa.
Accommodation is really nicely priced, i think im out of season but 26 AUD a night for a one bedroom furnished apartment 100 metres to the point is good value.
Sunset looking down the point from Supertubes
Pretty crappy day today cold overcast and blowy so just hung out watched some tv and a movie on the pc. Its really nice not having to go and do anything and just being able to relaz in my own space for awhile. No intentions of going anywhere other than over to watch the surf for awhile, its a good 10 foot plus today.
Had a ride around town today went and booked into the Savoy for the weekend Jeffreys Bay is a real quite town out of season. Checked out the other surf spots which there is a few around town but i would imagine its all about Supertubes the Point etc the wave is so long. Went to the big shopping Mall built about 3 k's out of town its amazing these big shopping centres they build everywhere these days. Was pretty briskish today and I was riding around in boardshorts and flip flops so headed back home to chill and get warm.
Met a nice girl down the shops and had a chat with Neilia I hope I spelt that right she was in town from Pretoria and used to work in Jbay. Chatted for about 20 or 30 minutes its always nice to have a chat and hear peoples attitudes to South Africa and the issues that it has to deal with, which is many as you can imagine.
Went for a ride over to Cape St Francis today through Paradise Beach and all the back roads. There is some strange suburbs here just so far from anywhere but still nice in the same breath. The average age of people in these places is i think about 150 years old, theres just so many oldies here. Cape St Francis was a nice place though, lots of nice houses and areas, stopped off at the lighhouse and had a look around then rode down to the point to check the surf out which looks like a nice fun wave for all the geriatric's that live around here. Hung around for awhile then rode the 30 odd k's back to Jefferys Bay. Jeffery's Bay is a pretty dead town if your not surfing every day and as my back and neck limit me to that im not going to hang around to long probably, a few more days, the good thing is im saving so much money staying here with it only costing 25 bucks a night and im buying food out of the supermarket so thats a real positive to the bank balance. Will be heading into the Savoy tomorrow and will watch the Rugby Union test match in town somewhere.