Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Moto S.A. DAY 23. Zastron to Aberdeen.

22 February 2010
Of course, as everyday, it was an early start for me. Having paid the R250 for the accommodation the night before, and not taking breakfast, I left before anyone else was up and about. In fact I was reluctant to leave Zastron. Like so many South African towns, Zastron had an attractive 'feel' about it. The towns are so anti-rat-race, relaxed but with loads of character.

This is the road out of Zastron.

The R702 is very scenic. The whole area around Zastron is mountainous and picturesque.

Look at this beautiful vista. Every country road in South Africa seems to be well-catered for with resting places.

There a tree, a table and a chair in 1 km!

At this time of the day you don't need a tree. Anyway there is one down the road!

At Rouxville I decided to have a little ride around. These kids are on their way to school.

This old colonial building looks like perhaps it has seen a lot of history. I'm sure these walls have been witness to some interesting events!

This old ox-wagon could have belonged to Sir Percy Fitzpatrick for instance! It's possible!

The main church in Rouxville. I think it is N.G.

At Rouxville I refuelled (Trip: 5,565 km) and then took the N6 to Aliwal North. 35 km is only about 20 minutes. Maybe I can get some breakfast there?

It looks like I am about to leave the Free State! The Eastern Cape people say it's 'Naturally South Africa's Best'. I think that I am almost qualified to express an opinion!

Having crossed the 'Vaal' into the Free State, the 'Orange' is the border of the 'Cape Province'.

The approach to the Hertzog Bridge.

Says it all!

I like this type of bridge.

The Orange is my favourite river.

Just across the river is Aliwal North. And right on the river bank is the Riverside Lodge.

I stopped here for breakfast. Breakfast was served on the 'deck' overlooking the river.

The view of the Orange River from the veranda deck. Breakfast was very good and I had the company of two lovely ladies - Nicky and Val - also breakfasting here. They live in Pretoria, but were travelling the country in a 4x4. Their next port of call was going to by Lady Grey where Val grew up. After breakfast they headed east and I headed southwest!

From Aliwal North it was the R58 to Burgersdorp.

56 km later this sign came up! I knew exactly where I was.

The north side of Burgersdorp was very pleasant with beautiful houses.

To me, this house is beautiful, especially the roof ...........

..... and so is this house.

I could live here ..........

........... or here!

Shopping here was tempting, but I didn't need any of this stuff!

Yup, the northern suburbs are classy.

The town centre is also very nice. I had an interesting conversation with a farmer near this corner. I had parked the bike and was walking to an ATM. He was interested in the bike, the gear and my travels. It was very nice to chat with him.

This is a shop on the southern side of town. It looks interesting.

This shop also looks interesting. I should have gone inside for a looksee, but didn't!

Great little places. I could imagine having a beer on the stoep in the evening .....

......... or maybe across the road at my friend's place!

This is Mr Abel Lambert's house. We had a chat. He said that he needed somebody from Europe to finance renovating the place! I thought about it for .... hmmm, a nano-second!

Here is Mr Abel Lambert at his top gate. What's not to like about this town?

This is the R391 to Steynsburg.

The R391 had its fair share of these wonderful inventions - windpumps.

This is a biking report after all. What's wrong with grass and motorbikes.

OK - let's get rid of the grass. I really enjoyed this motorcycle.

This is the traffic on the R391 to Steynsburg.

Travelling light is the best way. It frees your mind. Removal van-size panniers are not for me. My soap powder, piece of string and 6 pegs are in there somewhere! The Kriega backpack worked very well too.

This is a brilliant way to manage roadworks.

You get two speed restrictions before the flag. 80 and 60. This is the ..... 60!

From here it is the R56 to Steynsburg - direction Middelburg.

Entering Steynsburg on the R56.

Having just entered Steynsburg this brilliant little Street Cafe appeared on the left.

It looked beautiful, so .....

..... I stopped the bike and parked right outside.

The inside was just as nice as the outside. The menu looked enticing. This could be lunch! Fresh scone with cream & strawberry jam @ R12 and a cup of Ceylon tea. No-brainer!!

There was a mirror which helped spying on the cook!

Here it is - AS ADVERTISED. Delicious!

After afternoon tea and lunch, all-in-one, it was again time to press on.

Steynsburg is a great little place. I would have liked to STOP in this town longer.

The R56 TO Middelburg has some interesting cacti.

I stopped often. There was no schedule. The idea was to enjoy the country. I DID.

This is perfect motorcycling country AND weather. It rained later!

By now you know that I have a thing about rivers and bridges (and buildings).

If I remember correctly, this is the Groot-Brak River.

This is definitely Middelburg.

What a classic old building! The history in these parts must be very interesting. Soon after Middelburg on the N9 it started to rain (but not too much) until I reached Graaff-Reinet. So the next photo is taken in that beautiful town ...

The main church in Graaff-Reinet. If any one can put names to this and the following buildings I would be grateful. Maybe a burger of Graaff-Reinet is reading this?

Cape Dutch style?

Not only is the architecture wonderful, the buildings in this town have been beautifully maintained.

Late 1800s?

I need names people! Post a Comment!

Maybe this is the town hall?

Within a block or two of the town centre one can find interesting dwellings like this one ...

... and this one!

Having explored the town a little, I needed to get some fuel and also to stretch my legs. So it was back to the centre. More great buildings.

One last picture of Graaff-Reinet before getting off the bike for fuel (Trip: 6,017 km) and for a cup of tea. My intention was not to stay the night in Graaff-Reinet, but to continue southwest on the N9 and find a B&B before 17:30.

About 55 km after Graaff-Reinet is the turn off onto the R338 to the little town of Aberdeen. I took the turn off to have a 'look' at Aberdeen.

Well Aberdeen looked just fine. After a ride around the town I found the Pagel House B&B. It looked interesting so I rang the doorbell. There was accommodation available and the welcome was warm. The house is large and beautifully appointed and decorated. Lyn Dugmore owner/proprietor has style in spades.
The room I had was perfect and had a four-poster bed.
Lyn invited me for a beer on her back stoep over-looking the garden. The garden is also beautiful and there are two dogs, two cats and 'n' chickens. The 'sundowner' was very welcome.
"Can I get a meal in the town?" I asked.
"No," said Lyn, "but I will cook you something."
"Brilliant" I said.
"About 7 o'clock okay?" she asked.
So after a shower and brush-up, I went for a walk to have a look at this little town. It is lovely. I could live here. I know, I know ..... I have said that about so many little towns! But this amazing little dorp has peace and tranquility. It reminded me of Lismore in Ireland - but, of course, it is nothing like Ireland!

How is this for a picture of peace and tranquility?

What do you think? 1890s?

This is the main street I think. The church is in the background.

Walking up one of the streets I heard some beautiful music coming from a house. There was a man sitting on the stoep having a sundowner. I said, "Nice music." He said, "Won't you buy my house and all my stuff?" he said. His name is Patrick Logie Swanepoel and he showed me his house and his furniture and his trophies and linen and antiques.

"You can have everything for R1.3 million" he said. Actually, I AM thinking about it!

I'm not sure about the moose head, but hey, it sounds like a good deal to me! I'll get back to you Patrick!

My evening walk took me past this beautiful house ....

.... and this one, a B&B I think ....

.... and the Magistrates' Court ....

.... and this mini-market. It is owned and run by Chinese people. They have been in South Africa for 8 months. Good for them. Shame about the name ....

I wonder how much this house would be on the market? Any suggestions?

How is this for a stoep? Anyway, time to get back to Pagel House ....

.... and here it is in the evening light at about 7 o'clock. Lyn had prepared a lovely meal, and even joined me for a glass of wine and a chat. It was a pleasant evening.
I would be up at dawn and not staying for breakfast. So it was that big comfortable four-poster bed for me.

Pagel House B+B
Aberdeen 6270
Tel: 049 846 0611

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