It was time for the BIG-Five to go for a local ride again. Local meaning within the South African Borders, since the previous two years the Big Five were driving in Europe. The original idea was to drive as many mountain passes in the western Cape as possible. Klaus, Franz (our regular German component) and Lou decided to fly to Cape Town and rent Bikes locally. Hansi and Ryan left Johannesburg the day before and drove the whole way to destination Cape Town, where we all met at Klaus's Apartment in Mouille Point right at the sea to stay overnight.The weather played ball during the day. Beautiful sunshine but cool. By the afternoon we finally were all together, sat around for a few hours and then decided to take a walk to the Waterfront which was not too far away. There we sat at 'The Fishermans' Restaurant under heaters and tried to enjoy our food. At about 10 pm it turned out to be rather chilly and we trekked back to the apartment, chatted a bit more and then hit the sack to be ready for the next days bike ride.
Saturday 18th August 2012
Up and about around 8am to walk to a place down the road for breakfast. Then back to the flat, picked up our rental bikes and off we went towards Somerset West on a nice but very cold day. Hansi followed in his Bakkie as our support crew. In Strand we had a quick stop to stretch our legs the first time. Then on past Gordons Bay to a little Bikers Pub in Mountainside for some refreshments. There Klaus wanted a simple burger to eat, but gave up after a half hours wait.
Quick stop at Strand - what a beautiful view it is.
For the next few hours we had a fantastic ride along the coast to Pringle Bay then Bettys Bay, Kleinmond, around the Botrivier Lagoon to Hermanus.There we arrived at our final destination for the day 'Baleens Guest House'at about 2.30. After some required refreshments we booked a boat togo Whale Watching at 16.00 hours.Just before we wanted to leave for the boat harbour, Michael our 'Big Boy' Scooter driver arrived at the Guest House, but not before driving right past us and the Guest House. He obviously did not see all of us standing and waving to him. Now, Michael our sixth member of the team, flew to Cape Town only on Saturday morning, picked up his Big Boy Scooter at the Airport and then drove by himself directly to Hermanus to meet the rest of the Team.
Baleens Guest House
Whale Watching Advert
After a bit of chit chat we all piled onto Hansi's Bakkie,all dressed in our bike suites, since it turned already rather cool by then, and drove to the Boat Harbour to catch the 'Whale Boat' at 4.15 pm. This Boat ride turned out to be quite an experience not to be forgotten in a hurry. The Waves/Swells were up to 4.5m high and took us on a really 'Berg und Tal' ride. Once we arrived at the actual Whale spotting area we were all allowed to climb onto the top of the boat. There we appreciated all the 'Holding onto' features of the boat. We had some tremendous views of a pair of big Whales frolicking around our boat. They are large magnificent animals. After an hour of heavy seas we went down into the relative safety of the cabin again. All of us except Michael. He most likely wanted to digest the heavy price tag of this Whale watching trip alone and then decided to empty his earlier lunch into the sea via the cabin windows. Once back on solid footing in the harbour we decided to quench our thirst and hunger at the local 'Harbor Rock' Restaurant. By then the weather turned miserably icy cold. By about 9.00pm we piled back onto Hansi's bakkie and froze our arses off on the way back to the guest house, except Klaus who had the privilege of joining Hansie in the drivers cab. Another warm up drink and then for a good nights sleep. All in all a very exciting and eventful day.
This is our Whale Watching boat
Sunday 19th August 2012
Up at 8.00 for a very good and solid breakfast. Then Klaus, Franz, Lou and Ryan set off in the direction of Bot River to Grabouw. To start with the weather played nicely along until we hit Grabouw. Then the temperature hit the 4 degree mark. In addition to gale force winds and a bit of rain it became sometimes rather difficult and unpleasant to drive. The first pass we encountered (The Hou hoek Pass) was rather disappointing. We basically did not even realise that it was a pass. But then we started to drive through some beautiful country mountain sites on fantastic roads. These routes are definitely bikers dream routes (on a nice day).
On the Way to Franschhoek we came past the Theewaterskloofdam were we watched some bikers going 300km/h racing up and down the road.Without number plates of course. on the bikes, needless to say.In Franschhoek we stopped at the Dutch-East restaurant for a hot soup and an espresso to warm us up a little. Then on the road again towards Southern Paarl and to be followed over the 'Du Toits Kloof Pass'. This pass again is a must for any discerning biker.On arrival at the 'Habit' in Worcester, our overnight stay, we caught up with Michael who went by himself on a direct route to Worcester since his Big-Boy scooter was not able to keep up with the bikers the whole way. A lot of snow could be seen all around us. In the evening we went to the local 'Bros 'restaurant for an enjoyable dinner in our private little alcove. Franz, Michael Lou and Ryan had to walk the way back to the residency in a very windy,cold and frosty evening, while Klaus again had the pleasure of a ride back with Hansi in his bakkie. After another heart warming brandy or whatever tickled your fancy it was bed time again for a hopefully good sleep.
Monday 20th August 2012
Heavy rains during the night put a big damper on our plans for the day. So we had a very leisurely breakfast to discuss our options. At around 10am the rain stopped and we thought we should take a chance and go for a ride. Hansi had to go for a quick repair job on his bakkie, which thankfully turned out to be fairly easy and we all decided to ride together. Even Michael on his Big Boy. So we set out to Robertson, Ashton, then over the Kogmanskloof Pass to Montagu.By then the weather decided to change again to bitterly cold and moist. At Montagu we turned towards the Burgers Pass. There it started to drizzle and the temperature dropped to around 4 deg. to make driving a bit unpleasant. From the 'Burgers Pass' we carried on over the 'Rooihoogte Pass' and ended up at the Karoo 1 Hotel Village were we had some food and coffee to warm us up a bit. There Hansi caught up to us in his bakkie. He was a bit annoyed with us bikers, because he seemed to think that we should have waited for him in Montagu. Sorry about that Hansi. Needless to say that Michael on his Big Boy could not keep up with us the whole way. Therefore he had to travel the whole route by himself. After we left the Karoo 1 Hotel Village to return to Worcester, we caught up with Michael standing on the side of the road were he finally run out of petrol in the middle of nowhere.(which everybody knew that it had to happen) Hansi had to find petrol for him so poor Michael could finally make it back to the Habit. On the way back to Worcester we also managed to drive over the 'Hex Pass'. By then the weather also improved considerable. For dinner that night we again piled onto the back of Hansi's bakkie to drive to Damas, a recommended restaurant. We had good food, drinks a nice chat and a lot of good laughs. Since the restaurant was not too far away from the Habit, a few of us decided to walk back in freezing conditions.
Typical view from some passes
Tuesday 21st August 2012
Waking up to a very clear, crispy and sunny morning. After a leisurely breakfast it was On The Road again. We all left Worcester at about 9am in the direction of Wellington. That brought us over the 'Bains Kloof Pass', which is another exciting driving experience and a must for any biker. In Wellington we stopped over at a lovely Kaffee for a hot cup of coffee and a piece of cake. Here I have to say again that the Big Boy driver did not drive with us but met us at Wellington for coffee. After a short rest on the road again in the direction of Malmesbury to Darling. We met each other again at 'Darling Station'. This place came to fame, when 'Evita Bezuidenhout'(Pieter Dirk Uys) bought the old railway station and converted it into the 'Évita se Perron Darling Station'. Here we all ate a 'Pik se Boerewors Roll' Then straight back on the bikes and off towards Cape Town. We turned off into Melkbosstrand and waited on the Main road for Michael to catch up with us, but he seemed intentionally to ignore us and carried on alone towards our accommodation the 'Fritz Hotel'. The rest of us had a lovely ride through Melkbosstrand then Bloubergstrand to Cape Town. In Cape Town we got caught in the rain just before we arrived at our destination. After we settled in our designated rooms Klaus ,Franz, Lou, Ryan and Hansi smoked a nice cigar to relax and discuss the events of the day.For dinner we walked in the rain to the 'Millers Thumb', a very cosy restaurant closed by to have good food and drink, good service and good company. Then the short walk back to the hotel for a good nights sleep.
Wednesday 22nd August 2012
Up for an early leisurely breakfast and discussion for the daily plan of action of the team. Weather was still overcast with a good chance of rain. We finally sat on our bikes after drying the saddles and everything else that could splatter us with excess water. Then on the road again to Hout Bay. Just on arrival there the skies opened up to give us a free shower. So on with the wet suits and carrying on over Chapmans Peak, another fantastic ride (in dry conditions). From Chapmans Peak Drive to Kommetjie and on to Scarborough to show off Lou's Holiday house. By then as usual we lost Hansi and Michael through miscommunication. But never mind we carried on over the Redhill road into Simons Town. There we stopped over for a bite to eat to increase our energy levels again. By then the sun beat the rain clouds into the background. From Simons Town over Boys Drive towards Muizenberg and then over the 'Ou Kaapseweg' back over Chapmans Peak. In sunshine this time. Then along the Atlantic Seaboard back to the Fritz hotel. In the evening we decided to enjoy some wholesome Italian food. The team, except Lou, who went for an extended walk, found a nice place by the name of Mitico in Kloof street.When Lou finally arrived there he found to his great surprise one of his old Italian connections to be the owner of this establishments. After typical Italian embracing and back slapping for a while, Lou was henceforth known as Luigi.
Thursday 23rd August 2012
Again up for a leisurely breakfast but this time in sunshine. Temperature is supposed to increase to 16 deg. But lets wait and see. This day was an individual day i.e. everybody had something personal to do. Luigi went to see his brother in law in St James, Ryan had to catch up with some work, Klaus wanted to visit Cape Town Castle and Franz had to get a Pool cleaner and so on. At 14.00 hours however we all met at the Cape Town World Cup Soccer stadium for a guided Tour. Turned out to be very interesting. Hansi, Klaus and Michael turned up in the bakkie. Franz and Luigi arrived with their bikes and went afterwards for another coastal tour and then up Signal Hill. Since it was a beautiful clear day the view from Signal Hill was magnificent.
The evening has been closed out at the Ocean Basket with Prawns and a few bottles of wine. Again we were able to walk the short distance back to the hotel around the corner. Another beautiful and exciting day gone past.
Friday 24th August 2012
We woke up to a brilliant sunshiny day. So this day was dedicated to a full day of Bike driving. So Klaus, Ryan Franz and Lou set out for a long days ride. Michael decided to take a break and stay in Cape Town to do some personal things. First stop was Stellenbosch were we had our first Cappuccino on the Stellenbosch square. Then on to Franschhoek over a nice pass to Villiersdorp. Past Theewatersdam again towards Bot River for a refuelling stop on the way to Kleinmond. There we stopped over at the Harbour to devour some fish and chips and also enjoyed a lovely view of the sea which really is very relaxing.Then on the road again past Bettys Bay to Gordons Bay with the final end station ,the Fritz Hotel in Cape Town.This day we rode about 385km and it took us in total approx 6 hours. It has been an absolute beautiful sunshiny day made for motorbike riding. In the evening we again went to Mitico, our italian connection to eat and drink. Ryan, Hansi and Luigi went afterwards for a walk down Long street to digest their food. On their return to the Hotel after about 90 minutes they found everybody already in their sleeping quarters.
What a beautiful and exciting day it has been.
Saturday 25th August 2012
Heavy showers and gale force winds woke us up a few times during the night. As lovely and sunny the previous day has been, this day turned out to be miserable, rainy and extremely windy. Michael left from the Fritz Hotel directly to the Airport. The rest of the team went back to Mouille Point to Klaus's Place were we put Ryans Bike back onto Hansi's bakkie so the two Guys could take the long drive back to Jo,burg. Klaus, Franz and Lou stayed back at Klaus's apartment. In the evening the three boys and Klaus's 'granddaughter' and her friend (two lovely ladies) went for a last dinner at Millers Thumb for an exciting evening full of fun.Next morning back to the airport to fly back to normal life in Johannesburg and Germany for Franz. Good Bye Boys.