It was a beautiful sunny 'Northern Cape' morning.
05 February 2010
I left Kathu at dawn. Situation normal - no breakfast required by me at the accommodation. The time for breakfast would be in a hour or two when I had a few miles behind me. Time to GO!
The mielies (corn on the cob) were ripening nicely. They made me hungry. I stopped at the Wimpy in Vryburg for breakfast; a hashdown splashdown and coffee. Very good.
At the Kameel and Verplig intersection I turned off the tarmac highway and stopped under a shady tree.
I was tired and needed a rest. Also I wanted to dry some of my clothes that had not dried in the shower room overnight.
So, hanging my jacket on the tree .......
...... I stretched the cargo net from the handlebars to the luggage rack and hung my stuff on it in the sunshine. Bike becomes clotheshorse - as opposed to iron horse!!
The opportunity was taken to catch up on updating my journal. The night before had been so sociable that there had been no time to write it up.
After about 40 minutes two men appeared out of nowhere and approached me. It could have been interesting should they been minded to take me out and appropriate my worldly goods. But, of course, that was not their intention. They admired the bike and the equipment and then, of course, said, "We have no work. There is no work." It must be so tough for so many people. In fact it seems to me that life is tough for about 90% of the population of this world.
I was in the process of packing up and heading onwards. There is always a handful of coins in my pants pocket. I put my hand in my pocket and pulled out two R5 coins which I handed to each of the men. If I had given them a £50 note each the response couldn't have been more effusive. They each shook my hand, African-style, kissed my hand and said, "We love you." Bless them. Who says that you can't buy love. You can. It costs R5.
This is a little school in the country.
My original intention had been to stop overnight in Lichtenburg. But I realised that I COULD make Johannesburg by about 17:30 without too much problem. So I stopped, took off my helmet and phoned my cousin Alan in Johannesburg .....
.... so I walked a little way from the bike, and checked with Alan that it was okay to stay at his place that night.
"Of course you can Johnny!" was the response.
"See you at 5:30 Al. I'll phone again if I am going to be much later!"
"OK. See you then. Ride safe!"
By now you know that I like farm houses and wind pumps. Well I also like water tanks, so I pulled up and parked .....
..... to photograph this one .....
41 km later on the N14, I saw a most attractive little restaurant and arts & crafts shop. So I rode into the sunny car park and parked right next to the stoep.
The place is an ex-railway station at Sannieshof. It is called The Turning Point. The bike is parked just behind the VW.
It was a lovely place. Very restful. It even had a windpump vanes thing. The gekkos in these parts are enormous.
Then it was back on the N14 and making good progress towards Johannesburg. This was one of the only hold-ups I encountered. The wait here was less than 2 minutes. The car in front IS a Toyota!
It started raining very heavily just before Ventersdorp. Thunder and lightning .... but not in that order! The downpour was so heavy that the road was flooded in a very short time. Transvaal afternoon thunderstorms are fierce, but short. Soon the sun was shining again. The temperature had dropped from 35 to 18 as I traversed the storm front. Now it was getting warmer again!
At Carltonville there was a detour off the N14, but soon I was able to rejoin the main road to Krugersdorp; direction Centurion. The traffic was getting much heavier now. There were cars and taxis everywhere. But the N14 was a good road and had now turned into a 2-lane highway.
At Lanseria North Petroport I stopped to refuel (Trip: 2,395. 1,611 from Cape Town) and to check where to turn off for Fourways, where my cousin lives.
I took the next off-ramp: Haartebeespoort and Sandton. The direction to Sandton was the road that I needed. It eventually took me to Fourways on Cedar Avenue and I was able to find Witkoppen Road and then Alan's & Mary's house at Jukskei Park.
This is the room I had. There is a picture of Alan's English niece and husband on the chest of drawers, and also a tennis doubles trophy that he and my brother won in the 1970's. I don't know who painted the flowers.
Distance from Cape Town 1645 km.