Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Day 108 - Cape Town to Barrydale, South Africa

RobT:  Part of the morning was spent organizing all our gear and trying to repack our bikes a little more efficiently for the big trip through Africa.  After all, it has been a couple of weeks since our last real ride and we’ve gotten out of our regular routine.  We said our goodbyes to Sheryl (wife of Tony Heath who is riding in Argentina) at Colts Villa Apartments and headed for Hamman BMW once again, but this time to meet with Ronny, Chris and Chris’s father John.  Chris had arranged a “lunch and learn” with Ronny, an expert on everything related to motorcycles, routes and places along the routes from South Africa to Kenya. 

We spent a few hours poring over the maps at Dros, a very nice rustic local steak house.  I had an ostrich burger, supposedly the leanest meat you can eat, with no cholesterol (and RobC had a smoked salmon salad, as he was meat-saturated).  It was fantastic!  Ronny and Chris are the types of riders that find the most difficult “roads” to ride.  We had to keep them focused on our relatively tame route, plus the fact that it is probably best to stick to the "tar" roads in the case of our heavy-laden bikes.  We came away with some great information including our next stop, a place along R62, Karoo Saloon.  Soon after that RobC and I hit the road to start our long African journey.

We rode along N1 north to Paarl where we stopped at the Afrikaans Language Monument. Even though it seemed like a somewhat strange place to visit, RobC said that, as a linguist, he could not consciously drive past it. After a brief visit, we were back on the road.  

Very interesting curved spires protruding into the air, with each form and shape symbolizing some part of the origin and evolution and significance of the Afrikaans language.

A complete wall of Afrikaans sayings, to RobC's delight.

This Afrikaans monument was erected in 1975 and is one of three monuments dedicated to the language.

From N1 to R60 through Robertson we made it onto R62.  This road is similar in fame to Route 66 in the US, a lot of bikers ride this route.  Historically, it was the main road that linked all the wineries and ostrich farms to Cape Town.  This industry has grown here and the road has now become more popular as a tourist route. 

Well, thanks to Chris’s advice, we arrived at Karoo Saloon around 6:30 pm but for food, drink and lodging .... but, alas, it was closed.  Looked like a very nice place.  I guess Chris's expert advice is limited to motorcycles.  :-)

 Karoo Saloon - Closed!


Instead, we ended up at an excellent spot called Barrydale Backpackers and the Dung Beetle Bar.  What an amazing place!!  Mark, his wife Quinton and Bella their retriever, the owners, were extremely hospitable.  Before we even stepped foot onto their property we were offered beer and for a couple of bikers after a day of riding, there is no better way to greet someone.  

We finally settled in for a good night's rest after a great supper consisting of "kingklip" fish in a garlic lemon sauce, interesting conversation, loads of laughs, blues playing on the stereo, some further pointers on our route, a couple more beers and some brandy and coke (the preferred drink in South Africa) and a swim in the salt water pool to cool off from the hot day (a high of 37 Celsius - 105 F).  Another great day in South Africa.

Dung Beetle Bar in Barrydale along R62. The lodging was off to the left. Sorry, no picture.

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