03 February 2010
From today I am Solo and hoping to make my first night stop at Calvinia. I left my son at Cape Town International Airport at 10:00 and made my way across to the N7 for the ride north. This routing was a deliberate choice as I wished to avoid the 'normal' roads to Johannesburg the N1 and the N12.
Also, I wanted to pop in for coffee with an old friend who lives in Moorreesburg.
I reached Moorreesburg at about 11:30. It was good to see my old mate again, but I could really only stay for about an hour. Then it was the N7 again with Calvinia as my goal.
The N7 is a wonderful road with little traffic and a good surface. At Piketburg (126 km from Cape Town) I stopped for fuel (Trip: 910 km) at the Engen service station.I was tempted to stop for a bite, but I wanted to get on and anyway I was not hungry yet!
Although there was a fair distance to ride that day, I still took time out to stop and stretch and take a few pictures. The whole route was beautiful.
See what I mean about the surface and the scenery? There were a few cars and trucks, but not many. I also overtook (more than once) a long haul passenger coach going to Namibia.
I just HAD to stop at these rocks. Being on the bike alone and experiencing this remarkable scenery was very special for me.
What is it about little South African houses that I find so attractive? Maybe it's the corrugated iron roofs and the stoeps. But mainly because they lack pretentiousness.
These must be school kids in their red jerseys! OK, it's the R27 from here to Calvinia .... and beyond!
Oooops! A large truck had overturned on Vanrhyns Pass shedding its load over the whole carriageway. There was a traffic jam of trucks, but cars and bikes got through without too much difficulty.
The policeman directed me into the culvert. A shingle ramp had been placed opposite the police car. Because of the loose stones I nearly lost control of the snaking bike as I exited the drain and almost crashed into the police car. But I managed to keep it together and live to fight another day. Whew! I was past the lorry logjam!!
Let's see which direction this road is going! Should be about east to Calvinia according to the map!
Made it with some time to spare before sundown! Now I just have to find somewhere to stay. In fact I was looking for either the 'Rolbos' or 'Die Blou Naartjie'. I never found the 'Rolbos' and 'Die Blou Naartjie' was full. This was lucky because I found this beautiful self-catering place called 'Steenkamp se Gastewoonstel'.
This is the back garden of Steenkamp's. It had chickens and goats, a little water reservoir and a vegetable garden. I could live here!
I had the end apartment on the corner of the house. It had a huge bedroom and living room. A large kitchen and also large bathroom. It was brilliant.
Just to the right of this picture is a really lovely restaurant called 'Myl 250'. After a shower, shampoo and shave, I went there for a very good pepper steak and chips and a couple of Castle beers. Some people talking on their mobile phones at a table near me said, "Ag, sorry for the noise hey!" This is my kind of town. Not only does it have character and style, it has manners!
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