December 11, 2011 GMT
To the bottom of Africa

Up to Addo Elephant Park where we got a camp spot and took a two hour tour, (they will not let motorcycles ride into the park). It was a real nice camp ground and we saw many animals:
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Leopard Tortoise, about 15 inches long. They said you should not pick them up because they will pee all there water out may not have enough water left to make it to water hole.

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Warthog, cute buggers

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Kudu (female)

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Burchelis Zebra

Red Hartebeast



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When we left the park we headed to Graff-Reinet after a breakfast of eggs, sausage and reheated fries. Passed through citrus groves and some alfalfa. Saw our first monkeys but did not get a picture. Got our first taste of African heat as it hit 38.5C (aka 101 F).
Lots of wind mills pumping water
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Cattle along the route
We got the G R and decided to go to the National Zebra Park where we hoped to get a camp site and tour. But they would not let us in with a motorcycle so we turned around and back to Graff-Reinet where we could get a camp sit, then it started to rain, then hail. So when I came past a neat old Guest House we gave up on camping. Graff-Reinet is an old town settled by the Dutch and would be a great place to wander around for a few days.
We could not pronounce Graff-Reinet right so we just called it "Grand Rapids"
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Guest house where we had good B&B with dinner too

Ostriches hiking across the plane
Springbok on a game reserve
More Springbok

Then on to Dirk van der Merwe farm where we had been invited. GPS is wonderful, just entered the numbers and it took us 14k down a dirt road right to their house. The farm has been in the family for five generations. They raise sheep, cattle, alfalfa and horses in a very dry area by diverting the river to flood irrigate the fields when (and if) it rains. If they get water once they get two cuttings of alfalfa and three cutting is they can water twice. There have been years when it did not rain enough to irrigate. Had a great braii of springbok backstrap and lamb chops and sausages. It really makes the trip to be able to meet people and understand their way of doing things.
checking out Dirk's cattle
Dirk's Wague bull (can't remember how to spell it) Japaneses breed of well marbled beef, top of the line for restaurants.
Martha and Dirk

After a great nights sleep and a walk to see the cattle and Dirk’s Waugo bull. We left for a little backtracking to Williston and then on to dirt road south ending in Leeu Gamka at an old road house (1885). It was the cooks night off so they set out supplies for a Braii (BBQ) and we had more good food.

You could spend days just riding the back roads here, most of the dirt/gravel roads are well maintained.

Rode through Prince Albert Road and beautiful valley with grapes and feedlots for ostriches. The land is very rugged here with some good riding over passes and down to the ocean. We went into George found information and location of BMW dealer so I could get a bolt. At dealer we found the bolt was broken off, not just unscrewed, so they pulled it into the shop and fixed it up with a new bolt and new mud guard. No cost as it was under warranty, can highly recommend this shop as friendly quick and efficient. It is differant than what we would find at home because it also sold BMW cars.

Ostrich feedlot

Road down through the clouds for a splendid ride

many of these "camp"

From George we headed on to Stillbaii (still bay) and got a camp site. We had made arrangements with Chris Louw to pick up a set of tyres (tires for you back home). Called and told him we were close and to get directions and he hopped in his truck and delivered the tyres. Then we talked for so long the local store and restaurant had closed so he took Martha to get a take away (aka take out) a few k from where we were. The next morning Chris was back with his motorcycle and took us to where we could get the tyres installed. It is one of those thing I could do myself but much easier if you have the right equipment. Once Elly had her new shoes Chris took us on a route up in the hills then down a dirt road, back to tar and great stop for lunch where owner is a biker (Harley) and bikers get 10% discount. Met a gentleman there that was 77 and out for a ride on his BWM. Finally Chris had to head home and we set off for Somerset West.

View in the mountains
View in the uplands, Seattle may not have the bluest sky
Off to get the tyres on, not all roads here are dirt

Elly with her new shoes

Where you want to stop for lunch if you are ever on Route 62

Mail delivery by bicycle

Martha and Chris

The view

Along the road


Small town with grain elevators

The Road

The address I had for Brian and Marganne would not come up on the GPS so we had to give them a call and get lead in to there house, where we are now getting really spoiled. When we got here Brian said we could go out on the rescue boat (he is a volunteer captain) that night as they were going to be doing some training on a new night vision unit that picks up inferred. Was a wonderful experience to see the bay at night and the city all lit up. I do not do well on water and this was no exception, very glad I went but not too well by the end.

Saturday we (Brian leading) set out on a tour of some of the best motorcycle roads I have traveled. We left at 9:30 with strict instructions from Marganne to be back by 4:30 and we did make it by 6:30. Absolutely stunning views and roads that are impossible to capture on film but some attempts are below. Saw our first Baboons along the road and Martha’s first picture was just of the wall it was sitting on. Told her I was going to post it as the concrete wall the baboon was sitting on. But we soon came to some more and got a few pictures. Ended the day by going out for a wonderful Chinese dinner.

the view on the ride




Martha on the beach ride, I think she is frowning due to long back side wear, we had been out about 8 hours here.

Today we do the laundry and update the Blog, tomorrow a hair cut, (getting a little fuzzy) then maybe Cape Town.

Posted by Robert Thode at December 11, 2011 02:47 PM GMT

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