RIDING MY OWN BIOGRAPHY . . .
I have decided to start living my dream. Taking to the roads and hopefully some back roads too.
Lady alone, on my motor bike.
I enjoy writing and love photography, so I want to take you along with me via my pics and words. - 'Four wheels may move the body ... but two wheels move the soul.'
My day started at 4am when the cat decided he needed to
climb the cupboards in our bedroom. After letting him out, I could not get back
to sleep and was up shortly after 5 to start packing. The reason? Well, last
night when I was (what I thought) done packing, I still had a ton of stuff that
would not fit in the top box or tog bag. Since I had not gone to sleep before
3.30 the previous morning, I decided to try and get some early shut eye and
figure things out in the morning.
After repacking the bag twice – now only 3 shirts for two
weeks, (but I can get them washed halfway), I decided to load another bag on
the back. Must admit I am not sure I feel so comfortable with the thought of my
luggage so high, but it’s all I can do for now. (So anyone reading this and
have soft panniers they want to sell, please let me know!!).
I got away an hour later than I planned, as I tied and
re-tied my luggage several times. The extra bag meant I had to off-load, and
scratch in my top box for the spare strap. Fortunately this happened, as I
realized then that my top box could not be opened while other things were tied
to the back. But genius that I am, I made a plan and it (sorta) works now!
It was a glorious day. I had a wonderful time driving past
orchards in full bloom and dams full for the first time in quite a while. I
have never seen this part of the country so green. The fact that I can stop
anywhere I please and take pics as much as I want, really appeals to me.
I was attacked by some form of mass sworm!
Met up in Oudshoorn with a dear friend, who said that I
should shout, any time I had a problem along the way, so that is quite a big
relief to know help will come racing at my beck and call! From there I rode
direction Langkloof. This road is parallel to the N2, the coastal national road
from CT to Durban;
obviously there was a lot of rain, since you see full dams and overflowing
“wetlands” as far as you go. One literally rides between two mountain ranges. I
had the Swartberge (Black mountain) on my left and the Langeberg range (Long Mountain)
to my right. Green pastures, cattle and sheep as far as the eye can see – OK,
till where the mountains start! This is an incredibly beautiful area.
Unfortunately my battery started dying on me, not to mention that the terribly
strong wind from front/right was icy, so I did not stop much.
I rode up a pass with exquisite views of the Langkloof and
into the town of Uniondale,
where I stay for the night. Uniondale is best known
for the lady hitch hiker often seen along the road. Here the story:
It happened on an icy cold Easter weekend in
1968 on a highway just outside the Route 62 town of Uniondale.
A newly engaged couple, Maria Roux and
GM Pretorius are travelling between Graaf Reinet to Riversdal. Maria, with her
long dark hair and clothed in a dark blouse and long pants, is sleeping on the
backseat when her fiancé loses control of the car in the stormy weather, just
20km outside of the town. The horrible accident only injures Pretorius but his
fiancée's fate is far worse as she is killed.
Legend has it that a woman, matching
the description of the unfortunate Miss Roux, can be seen walking alongside the
road where the accident took place. Some have ventured to pick her up. But
minutes later they would hear a shrill laugh, the sound of a car door closing, chilliness
inside the car and then a total disappearance of the woman.
Sometimes a smell of apple blossom
would accompany her - which would make sense, given that the town of Uniondale is
predominantly a sheep, goat, and apple farming community. After she disappears,
only the smell of apple blossoms reportedly remains.
The tragedy of the Ghost of Uniondale
is believed to have been caused by Pretorius' marriage to another woman a year
after the tragic accident - causing Maria's soul to become restless as her
fiancé had found love in the arms of another woman.
The first recorded sighting is said to
have been during the Easter weekend of 1976.
Since that first weekend, many people
have experienced the same sighting. During Easter the local police department
even keeps some sugar water on tap, just in case a Uniondale
ghost sighting occurs.
But who knows, if you ever drive up to
Uniondale on an Eastern weekend you might pick
up a smallish female hitchhiker. If you suddenly become aware of an apple
blossom smell and get a cold chill down your spine, you should know that the Uniondale Ghost has hitched a ride with you.
I often saw a lonely fruittree in full blossom, guessing someone must have thrown a pip out the window and it founds its spot to grow?
Tomorrow I do more of the Langkloof and end up with family in Port Elizabeth.
Over all, today was absolutely super! Nice weather to travel in and stunning
views all the way! Wish I could have shared it with someone …
Distance today: 353km
knows not where [s]he's going,
For the road will decide -
It's not the destination....
....it's the glory of the ride!