..just a few pictures to give a glimpse of our recent ride in South Africa.
To start at the beginning: we originally come from a town called Somerset West about 50km east of Cape Town. In our youth (many, many years ago...) we used to do a lot of riding in the area. As we are now getting into our dotage, we decided it would be nice to go retrace some of our footsteps...., um, make that "wheel tracks".
And on our Italy ride in 2013 we learned a very valuable lesson: we are NOT dual sport people! Seeing as we went riding in Italy we thought it was probably "The Right Think To Do" to ride an Italian motorcycle: ended up renting a Ducati Multistrada. Turns out it is just not our thing: we are just used to sportbikes. So for the SA trip we decided we would do one of two things: i) rent a sportbike or ii) ship our own bike there and back. I won't bore you with the sordid details but option ii) just turned out to be unaffordable. And option i) turned out to be impossible! NOBODY in SA rents out sportbikes. Probably makes sense when you think of it: must be a rather high risk venture...
So the closest thing to a smaller, nimble bike turned out to be a BMW F700GS. All of 75hp... but at least it handles and rides well. And you can always just use more throttle...
Anyway: it was a delightful little bike and the company we rented from (GS Africa) were an absolute delight to deal with. Fantastic service: a pretty, bright red BMW was waiting for us when we got there to pick it up: fully fuelled, spotless condition and all of 3,000km on the clock!
Before the ride started: had to spend some time on the beach where I spent many, many hours as a youth. This is about 5km as the crow flies from where I grew up:
From Somerset West we rode along the coast to Cape Agulhas (most southernmost point of Africa) and on to George, Knysna and Jeffreys Bay (BIG name in surfing circles). A few pics:
First day: on the way to Hangklip (Hanging rock):
And then: the lighthouse at Cape Agulhas:
Where we stayed the first night:
Turns out the owner of the place we stayed was one of the helicopter pilots that rescued hundreds of people off the sinking cruise ship the Oceanos in 1991:
For people not familiar with those remarkable events: see here for a short summary: http://www.nbcnews.com/video/dateline/37283786#37283786 and here for a 6 chapter Youtube video:
Taking it easy at our B&B in Knysna
View from the "Heads" at Knysna
At the small boat harbour:
And yes: we were actually there by bike...
OK, end Part 1: Part 2 to follow