Friday 12 July 2013

Last day of our West Coast trip with my dad. May

Redelinghuys - Piketberg - Riebeeck Kasteel - Wellington - Bainskloof - Rawsonville - Montagu

We were actually ready and left just after 9am as planned. Although a cold morning, the crisp air and peering sunrays promised a lovely day. 10 Km after leaving the farm, we turned off on a gravel road that would connect with the Velddrif/Piketberg road. 

The road later snaked up over a mountain, where we took a few turn-offs to higher grounds so to speak. From there we could look out over the entire valley.

I was so impressed with my dad taking on new challenges and mastering the bike so well and so quickly

. He doesn't know it yet, but he will be lined up for a few more rides in MY biking future!!

This back road was quite long, winding through farms and Sandveld, the surface pretty good. 

 We found a nice spot to stop for lunch of sandwiches, naartjies and water – no flask to speak of! 

Once we hit the tar, we went via Piketberg and the N7 to take the turnoff to Riebeeck West and Riebeek Kasteel. 

Cannas growing in all their glory looked beautiful just before the entrance of town.

We stopped just outside the town for a drink and something to eat. I wanted to go through a ditch – to show my dad what a smart and skilled rider I was – forgot the suspension had been lowered and got stuck! Needed my dad to help me out there! Sometimes best not to brag!!  

I was glad to go through Wellington, the town where I studied more than 20 years ago – it has expanded enormously, as probably most of South Africa?! 

Bainskloof was awesome as only a tarred twisty heaven can be! 

We stopped at the top for some pics and halfway down the other side too.

 From there we turned off the Worcester road to go via the beautiful Slanghoek valley before passing Rawsonville. Home James!

We got home late afternoon, tired but happy and content. 

I am soo proud of my dad who was not only willing to take on such a trip with me, but also managed it so well. 

I love you dad, thanks for being my inspiration in life!

And thanks to my Lord who kept us safe and brought us home to our loved ones. We are blessed!

Thursday 11 July 2013

Day 2 of our West Coast trip - May

Day 2

The cold air took my breath away as I hit the road at 7.45am. Dawn was breaking and birds of all kinds were accompanying me as I passed. Or would they just be scattering away due to the noisy bike?! Most of the way was dusty gravel, paved with corrugated patches, potholes and deep, loose sand.

Yet the concentration could not dampen my spirits. I was on my way to meet a great friend I had not seen for ages. We were going to meet at the foot of a mountain (where I would leave my bike) and then have a picnic up in the mountains.

Filling up at the single petrol pump in the small town of Redelinghuys, the clouds made beautiful patterns around the rising sun.
Once at the meeting point, I discovered I could not leave my bike there and made my way up the steep rocky little road. Thankfully my dad did not come along, as the road became severely technical and the first part might have had him down already.

The road turned and twisted around the hillside, climbing fast. At some places there were openings in the rocks only large enough for a vehicle to go through.

Right at the top we reached the private nature reserve that could also accommodate guests in wooden huts scattered around.

It was after 11 by the time we had settled down and found a really nice spot to sit and visit. Overlooking the immense valley and just making out the St Helena bay in the distance, we had coffee and rusks right on top of the mountain. The rock formations were exquisite and I loved visiting out in nature. Unfortunately we both had to get back soon and the long trek up the mountain had gobbled up most of our time.

But the views and company was well worth the ride out!

By now the sun was baking and I made my way back much faster than I came. I noticed an awesome mural passing the town again. Done in the form of a little house, the painted windows were actually the real windows! 

I got home sweaty, dusty and… happy! And the evening was closed off with a lovely sunset.