Sunday, May 29, 2011

Overberg Overjoy

It was 8:20 on the clock and 7 degrees on the mercury when we left the BP garage in Klapmuts. I was the only fool who rocked up with a summer jacket, but I was sure that my three T-shirts were going to give me enough "layers" to survive. In any case I was hoping for sunshine, but clearly forgot that Mother Nature follows her own head when it comes to dishing out "the elements". Dave was in front and the rest of us were playing follow-the-leader like usual. I had two objectives for the day besides sharing my fun with like-minded people. The first was to do around 400 kilometres so that my bike would be on 20 000 when I take it in for its service on Monday, and secondly to try out my fresh set of Heidenau K60's which I only bought two days ago.

The road was wet and the wind was cold and pretty soon after departure I wasn't sure whether the Heidenau's and/or the summer jacket were good choices. Before we reached Franschhoek hypothermia had already set in and my back was sliding on the wet tar 5 times more than what it ever did on the Anakees tyres. When we stopped at the bridge over the Sonderend River it was freezing cold. I looked back in the direction of the Franschhoek Mountains and were wondering if turning back would not be a better option than heading on towards a certain death. Some guys let down their tyres for the gravel ahead and I still haven't yet tried the Heidenaus on the gravel, so I decided to stay put.

After yesterday's rain we were a bit worried about the condition of the gravel roads we were planning to ride, but it was surprisingly dry. It was only after a few kilometres on the gravel that I realized that my decision to get a tyre with more knobbly was not a bad choice after all. I'm definitely not as technical as the athlete who claimed he came close second because he used 4 millimeter spikes instead of 5 millimeters, so I wasn't expecting to feel much of a difference between a dual purpose tyre and a knobbly, but I was amazed. It was in the turns where I realized that the traction was just so much better and I was really having more fun on the gravel than ever before. All I had to do now was to get the traction on tar sorted and then Bob's your uncle.

Just before Greyton our ride was shortly interrupted when Nick got a puncture in the front wheel. Thanks to Graham's "First Aid Kit for Bikes" and the invention of the tubeless tyre it didn't take long to sort out that problem. The sun was also starting to show its head and I was glad that I didn't turn around at the bridge. Herman started complaining about feeling "thin" and I think we all were pleased when we stopped in front of the Oak & Vigne Restaurant for a well deserved breakfast. It was here where we met up with Brent who joined us for breakfast.

After the usual discussions on bikes and accessories and how overinflated some  KTM riders can be, we were ready to leave with more wisdom and fuller stomachs. We headed on in the direction of Riviersonderend but stopped where Brent showed us the farm he is working on. John was discussing the possibility of staying over there some time in the future and exploring the area from there. If that is going to happen you can count me in. Jonathan who was doing remarkably well on his first gravel ride with his new 1200 agreed. He is also taking his bike in on Monday for a service. His 1000 km service.

We left the farm and headed further south towards the N2. We took the N2 towards Cape Town and later turned off onto the R326 towards Stanford. When we hit the tar again I felt like an ex-alcoholic who does not want to hang out with his mates at the local pub anymore. We passed several gravel turn-offs and I was getting anxious to get back onto the gravel again where I now believe my bike with its Heidenaus belong. I don't want to do tar anymore. We did eventually get back onto the gravel again but it was about here where I lost track of where we exactly were. I was just following Dave who was still leading us better than what John Smith could ever have led the Bokke. My GPS just said "Driving on Road". After riding through some spectacular scenery eventually reached the R320 coming down from Caledon. By now I was so used to my new tyres that I wondered how I ever managed gravel without them. We drove down through the Hemel and Aarde Valley and stopped near Onrus where some guys filled up and some were planning their routes back home to Cape Town.

At Onrus the group dispersed and it was also here where the fun also basically ended. I decided to take the scenic route via Kleinmond but the weather was turning nasty. Nick and Alex joined me. Just outside Betty's Bay I stopped to remove my GPS and cell phone from my handle bars because the rain was starting to close in on us. The wind was getting really miserable and was klapping my helmet around like a bouncer klapping some sense into a drunken schoolboy in an over-18's nightclub. Alex got a bit impatient when I put on my rain gear, but after that it was the first time since we left Klapmuts that I actually regained feeling in my upper body again. At this point I just wanted to get home and completely forgot that I had new slippery tyres designed mostly for "gravel-ous fun". They were performing just fantastic. Just after Gordon's Bay I waved goodbye to the other two and headed towards the N2. Strangely enough the N2 was as dry as an NG predikant on a Saturday evening and I rode back with only the wind still trying to klap some more sense into my head. When I reached home is was seriously suffering from whiplash and frostbite, but I arrived with a feeling of great satisfaction. Not only did I achieve my two objectives for the day, but I also learned and confirmed two things:

1) Summer jackets are made for the summer, no matter how many layers you wear.
2) Knobbly tyres can do sharp bends on tar too, you just need a reason to ride fast and try them out.

This was quite a good ride. Next time I am going back doing it at my pace to leave ample time for taking photographs as well. The Overberg is really beuatiful at this time of the year.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Another Cape Town Sunset

I am back in Cape Town from my trip to Chad. My son wanted to go camping tonight, but when we reached the "Ou Skip" (Old Ship) camping grounds we were told that we cannot go in after five if we haven't reserved a stand. After we've convinced the lady at the gate to break the rules a little, we changed our minds when she told us it was going to cost R155, plus R50 deposit for the key. We only had R150 on us and I was thinking that spending that much money only to pitch a tent for the night was a bit too steep. On our way home with a very upset little boy in the back, we saw the colour of the sky change in a matter of minutes. I quickly rushed to the beach and grabbed my camera. Yet again not pictures that would win any National Geographic awards, but the little boy completely forgot about the camping that didn't happen and was very keen to enjoy the sunset with his mom and dad. Definitely one of the best sunsets we've had in the past few months.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Kome in Pictures

OK, taking pictures in Chad can only be done with a permit as mentioned in one of my previous posts. I had to discreetly take these pictures on the way to a well site. Not the best, but it gives some idea of the vegetation found here. Apparently in the rainy season it is much greener. It felt like driving in the Kruger National Park, except there were just no animals other than goats. I didn't take any pictures of locals. What an amazing feeling driving in the under African skies while the sun is setting.....

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Bad impressions from the "promised land"

Before I tell you about an interesting discussion I had this morning with some Chadian locals, let me just put the record straight on something I said in my previous post about unfriendly people and the countries where they reside. When I travel in Africa, one of the things that is quite striking is the difference in treatment you get when you arrive at an airport, the hotel, shops, whatever. It really differs from country to country, from feeling like a welcomed guess to a unwelcomed intruder. Even in the countries where I get bad treatment at any kind of reception I still work with and meet locals and many times they are not nearly comparable with some of the people I've dealt with. Like here in Chad. Arriving at the airport is not fun, but some of the people I have met are really interesting and friendly blokes. This brings me to the story I want to tell...

I have been here for a few days giving training to some locals. Because the company I work for send the French speaking employees to Cape Town for English Language Training, many that I do meet on my travels have been to Cape Town before. They usually stay about 3 months for the training and I have to admit, if I could've mastered French like they've mastered English I probably would've lived in the Seychelles by now teaching sexy French ladies how to kitesurf ...or something in that line. One thing I ALWAYS hear from my colleaques is how beautiful Cape Town is and that they would love to return one day. I think they see South Africa as the Promised Land and basically treat me as a prophet coming to visit his flock, with a lot of respect of course. Especially now with my hair that's longer than usual....

This morning however I was chatting to some locals when one guy out of the blue asked me: "Do you smoke?" I said no, why are you asking? They looked surprised, just as much as I was, and another guy repeated sceptically, "You don't smoke"? Curious as to why they would want to know if I smoke, I eventually got the story. One of the things they have noticed in South Africa, or Cape Town where they spend most of their time, is that so many people smoke. So much that it actually made an impression on them, a bad one I should add immediately. According to them nearly everyone in Caspe Town smokes, and what surprized them most is that so many children and women smoke as well. Living there I never actually noticed it myself. With the new smoking legislation prohibiting people from smoking in public places, it is even more difficult to see I guess. But these guys picked that up and it stayed with them as one of their "memories" about Cape Town. They all think it is "very unhealthy". When I told them that I don't smoke, have never smoked before and have no intention of starting either, they were even more impressed with me. After my long explanation about my dad that smoked and his heart attack and the dangers of smoking, etc, etc, one guy said: "That is so good, you are an angel then". Well, I come from the "Promised Land" don't I? I'm just wondering what the smokers are doing there then?

I learned a lesson this morning. Not only do I have first impressions of other countries, but so do people that visit South Africa, and they are not always good. It is a pity that our unhealthy smoking habits should be one of the things they remember about Cape Town. We might live in some "promised land", but we mess up our lungs and pollute the environment and it paints a bad picture of South Africans. Sad isn't it?

Friday, May 20, 2011

You have reached your destination

After nearly three days of traveling I have reached my destination at last. I am in Kome, a small oilfield settlement in the southern parts of Chad. When I left South Africa I was wondering of I should take my point-and-shoot or my proper camera. From previous experience I knew that I won't see much of the surroundings. Because of security we are not allowed to move around much, so there would not have been much time for finding nice pictures. Secondly, there is not much to take pictures of. Basically this is just a flat piece of land with a few rivers and a lot of trees and shrubs. No grass. While we were coming in to land I was looking for any signs of wild life. Except for a few birds, I couldn't spot any. I asked a local here if there is any wild life left and he said yes, some goats and cattle. He later corrected himself and said no.

It is good that I didn't take my descent camera. My point-and-shoot was nearly confiscated when we checked in at N'Djamena. I wasn't sure if he wanted the camera or the batteries. He said something about batteries but my French is as bad as his English, so I played dumb. After he looked at the camera he passed it back to me. I asked a colleaque about taking pictures and he told me that in Chad you need a permit to take pictures in public. He mentioned a few incidents where people were actually locked up for more than 24 hrs, fines that had to be paid, cameras that were confiscated, all just because they took pictures in the streets. For a moment I was very relieved that I didn't take pictures of the mothers and kids that slept overnight on reed mats in the middle of the road. It seems like they've slept right there despite the dust and mosquitoes. It is so dry and hot here, people seem to sleep wherever they feel like it. I guess wherever they lay their mats, that's their home.

Needless to say I don't have any pictures of Kome and I couldn't find much on the Internet either. As we were driving from the small airport with the gravel runway I was wondering why anyone would want to live here. I know that the discovery of oil attracted a lot of people to this desolate part of the country looking for work, but most of the people I saw next to the road looked more like subsistence farmers with little hope of harvesting much again this year, if anything. I was wondering about the meaning of life and what each individual eventually wants to achieve in his or her few years on this earth. The people living here definitely have different dreams and goals than what Westeners have. I would like to know if they are inherently happy or not. Even in the small rural towns, which does not have much more than a shop or two, there is nothing that the people here could want. They never see televisions and computers, or eat ice creams and drink milkshakes. Do they miss that in their lives, or are they content with what they have? They also do not have irritating neighbours or sit in traffic jams, or have to go to work every day and live by that time piece around their wrists like we have to do. That sounds quite attractive to me.

But in Kome there is not much to take pictures of, so I am glad I came without my camera. I will capture what I've seen in my head and remember how this place made me think about my life once again. Do I have too much? Do I want too much? Am I better of than these people, or could I do with a simple and relaxed lifestyle like theirs and learn from them? Maybe I have reached my destination today in more than one way, Kome and my destination for some deep introspection.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Queen of Sheba

I had a couple of options to get from South Africa to Chad, but all of them involved passing through another country. In the past I used to go through Paris, but that meant flying straight over Chad to Paris and then halfway back. Other options included Cameroun and Kenia, but I have seen them before and was more interested in trying a new destination where I have never been before. This is why I had the privilege of spending one night in Addis Ababa. I was pleasantly surprized by the professional manner Air Ethiopia was handling the transfers. I even received my luggage in N'Djamena this afternoon after it stayed in transit while I stayed at the magnificent 5-star Intercontinental Hotel. I never knew much about Ethiopia, except for the distasteful jokes we made as kids about the famine in the country and then of course that His Emperial Haile Selassie hails from Ethiopia. My love for reggae provided me with that last bit of knowledge. I guess one night in Addis cannot really give a good indication of what a country and its people are like, but believe me first impressions definitely can add to your final opinion. 

From Wikipedia I learned some interesting facts about Ethiopia that I didn't know. The fact like it is the most populous landlocked country in the world, despite the fact that millions died in the 80's due to the famine. Today it has one of the fastest growing economies in the world. It is the place where the coffee bean originated and is the top coffee and honey producer in Africa. It was also one of the first Christian countries in the world, having officially adopted Christianity as the state religion in the 4th century already. What really surprized me was that Ethiopia has its own alphabet, and then some people still believe nothing has ever been invented in Africa. Lastly Ethiopia also seems to have very beautiful women (that comes from personal observation and not from Wikipedia). My first contact with Ethiopia left a good impression. But like a true scientist I believe that all findings should be reproducible while providing the same results. So next week when I travel via Addis again, I will be more certain if my first impression was fact or just coincidence.

So, as you could've guessed by now, I made it to N'Djamena in one piece. Luggage as well. What a difference it is to Ethiopia. The same reception your get from the other West African countries which I so frequently bitch about met me here. Although Chad is smack bang in the middle of Africa, it is also French-speaking like most of the West African countries and just as tourist UNfriendly. The attitude is just so different to what I've experienced last night. In Addis I felt as if I was welcome there, here I feel like I am intruding. Just the way things work at the airport, or let me rather say NOT WORK, the way people speak to you, or don't speak to you, the whole atmosphere and attitude is just so different. Why? What makes one country a pleasure to visit and another a "pleasure to avoid"? Is it the people, the history, the circumstances? I guess one can have a whole debate over that topic, but traveling from a country with the fastest growing economy to one of the poorest and most corrupt countries surely make you wonder if that might not be the reason. Are the countries unfriendly because they are poor, or are they poor because they are unfriendly? I guess when your country is also referred to as the "Dead Heart of Africa" it doesn't contribute much to your happiness and positive personality traits either.

The Queen of Sheba maybe...?
So, the natives are still restless in Kome, a small oilfield camp further south in Chad. This is where I will be heading tomorrow on a small charter plane. We've received special permission to travel and will hopefully be able to arrive and depart without problems. Departing is the main concern, I would like to be back in South Africa by the end of next week and don't want to jeopardize any chances of that happening. I am actually looking forward to the trip down further south, seeing places which not many people will ever have the privilege of seeing. Who knows, maybe I can find the beautiful Queen of Sheba there. Oh no I remember now, apparently she was from Ethiopia. Go figure!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

"Nervous" Traveller

A few years ago our inhouse travel agent called me a "nervous traveller". This only because I wanted to know that everything was confirmed and right before I stepped onto the plane; my tickets, my visas, my accommodation, everything. I just wanted to avoid any problems down the line and didn't want to leave anything to chance. Tonight I travelled to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia for the first time. I didn't know where I was going to sleep and wasn't sure if I needed a visa either. I wasn't even sure if I was in transit. I have never stayed over for a night while being in transit and wasn't sure if one can call it in transit if your flight is only leaving the next day. All I knew was that I was already booked in for the next flight and that I had some cash and a credit card on me. Can you imagine how "nervous" I was supposed to be according to the travel agent's definition...?

Check-in in Johannesburg went smooth with Ethiopian Airlines. The only problem which I only discovered too late was that my luggage was booked in straight to N'Djamena and I was supposed to stay over in Addis Ababa. No way to change that, but there was still hope that I might locate it in Addis Ababa on my arrival. The flight left on time and I was rather impressed with the service as well as the friendliness of the crew. Even the food was very similar to what you would get on any SAA flight and I opted for the chicken this time. Turned out to be a good choice. I tried not to think about what was lying ahead, seeing that I was on the plane and that worry wouldn't change a thing until we arrive at the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport. The flight was not full and I even got an aisle seat with an empty seat next to me. The inflight movie was the latest release of The Fockers but I didn't feel like watching, I read a book about a guy circling the Karoo on his motorcycle instead.

When we arrived I just decided to follow the other passengers and see where they take me. When we entered the building I heard people shouting out destinations; London, Khartoum, Dar Es Salaam, Jerusalem... I asked one of the ground staff about N'Djamena and she told me to keep on walking. Fortunately the people in Addis speaks English very well, so at no point was I feeling lost like I normally feel when I am in one of those Francophonic African countries. Eventually I reached a nice lady shouting "overnight transit". I asked and was informed that I am indeed in transit and that I need to queue with the rest of the passengers who are staying over for the night. I was issued a transit visa at no cost, even though I overheard someone saying that a transit visa is 70 USD. Then I went through immigration, received a hotel voucher and was met by another nice lady who took us to a bus waiting outside. I was taken to the Intercontinental Hotel, and booked into a very nice room. We also received a free meal voucher which I made good use of. If everything else falls into place then tomorrow morning after breakfast a bus will take us back to the airport. My luggage unfortunately I could not retrieve and is hopefully waiting for me at the airport. Fortunately I am not on some chronic medication, except for my malaria tablets I have to take. It is the first time in about 5 years that I am taking malaria tablets, so I hope one missing tablet won't make a huge difference.

So, after having a delicious Indian curry my stomach is full and I have a place to sleep. The 5-star hotel provides toothbrushes and toothpaste. Unfortunately tomorrow I will have to get into the same clothes I was wearing today. But this is Africa and sometimes you just have to adapt. After being received so well a day without clean underpants is a small price to pay.

(I just heard that there are strikes in Kome and that my scheduled flight to Kome has been postponed until further notice. I hope the natives will calm down and allow me to complete my trip as planned. I will probably have more information by tomorrow evening when I reach N'Djamena.)

Have you encouraged the bastards today? (L)

While millions of South Africans are flocking towards the polling stations today, I am on a flight heading towards Ethiopia. In the first democratic elections I didn’t care to cast my vote, it was like farting against thunder. This is different today, especially in the Western Cape. I couldn’t draw my cross this morning as I only had one hour to vote before the taxi came to fetch me for the airport. I did put some effort in though, but when I arrived at the polling station this morning the queue was already so long that one hour would not have been enough. So I feel like a real deserter today. My wife said that I shouldn’t worry because one vote was not going to swing the election, but that is not entirely the case. Each vote counts, especially here where there is a chance to get some responsible people to govern the province.

I was browsing through a bookstore at the airport before my flight and saw a book by PJ O’Rourke with the title “Don’t vote, it just encourages the bastards”. I had to smile. If you follow the news on a daily basis in South Africa, you have to agree. Ministers flying to foreign countries to visit their girlfriends in prisons, staying in expensive hotels when they have mansions that they could live in just around the corner, corruption at a scale South Africa has never experienced before while the poor still stays poor and only a few selected are getting richer by the day, one cannot really call our current government anything else. Things that make the average tax payer sick in the stomach, and then you still find people voting for these guys. It somehow says something about the intelligence of many voters, but on the other hand, when you are hungry you probably vote for the one with the sweetest promises. Anyway, I guess it is each one to his own, politics has never been much of a success in South Africa’s history in any case. I still feel however that I should’ve made my cross today, but there was no time to cast a special vote for me, my trip to Chad came at the last moment.

So yes, I am on my way to Chad. Tonight I am actually staying over in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. Tomorrow morning I will fly to N’Djamena in Chad, and from there on I will take a charter to Kome. I will write more about that the closer I get to the place. Some advice: If you don’t want tens of notification emails from my blog in your inbox then unsubscribe now, because I will be spending plenty of time on planes, airports and lonely rooms before I get to Kome, so I will have too much time on my hands and will obviously write to kill some time. It’s going to take me three days of traveling to get to Kome. Today I fly to Ethiopia via Johannesburg. I still have no place to sleep tonight; will have to sort that out when I arrive in Addis Ababa tonight. Wish me luck. Then tomorrow I fly to N’Djamena, the capital of Chad. There I will stay over one night and then it is a 2 hour flight to Kome, a camp somewhere in the southern parts of Chad, hopefully the more peaceful part of Chad. In the meantime all I can do is hope that South Africans will vote with their heads today and not with their hearts. Oh, and contrary to what some politicians believe, you DON’T go to heaven when you vote for a particular party. You go to heaven when you deliver on your promises and you don’t steal from the rich to fill your own pockets. Bastards.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

"Surviving" Koeberg

Today was one of those days where I didn't know what to do to get some "excitement". On Wednesday I am traveling to Chad and will be away for 10 days, so I wanted to at least do something nice over the weekend. The weather unfortunately wasn't playing along. It was very misty and a bit chilly. In a last attempt to do something we decided to go to Koeberg Nature Reserve and do another "Ultimate Survival" with the little survivor man.

Koeberg Nature Reserve is just outside Melkbos and adjacent to the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station, the only nuclear power station in South Africa. Having a nature reserve around a nuclear power station is like the lollipop the dentist used to give us as children after he relentlessly tortured us with his drill. Some sort of atonement gift for for the pain he caused. I wonder sometimes if the animals are not only kept there to see if the radiation affects them or not, some sort of early warning that we all have to get the hell out of there. I wasn't keen on going there in the first place, but my wife as many other mountain bikers frequently make use of the reserve. She mentioned that there were hiking trails as well, and of course some wild animals roaming around freely. The entrance is free and that was probably the only attraction and the fact that it is very close from where we live. So no need to spend the best part of the day behind the wheel again.

We weren't even five minutes on the trail when I realized that the feeling of being out in nature far away from civilization was not going to happen today. I tried to take a few pictures but 90% of them had some sort of power cable in the background. When we walked underneath the high power transmission lines that was providing electric energy to basically the whole Western Cape, I could feel my sperm count diminishes as the static discharge was buzzing in our ears like a swarm of bees stuck inside a jar of honey. Definitely not what anyone would like to hear when searching for peace and tranquility. The wet air obviously increases the noise that these transmission lines are making and it was really not a pleasant feeling walking underneath it. That was unfortunately the only way to get to the trail which we were about to take. The trails are clearly indicated, but there is no worry that one would get lost. The whole reserve is basically just a flat sand dune with Fynbos. At times I walked bare feet, easier that losing your flip flops in the sand the whole time.

The animals were few and far between. I saw more mice than anything else, and when we got closer to some Springbok and Zebra, it felt more like I was in a zoo than in a wild enclosure. The only other living things we saw was a Bontebok and some mountain bikers. My son lost interest in "survival" soon after we've started, so he was talking non-stop and disturbing the peace instead...and the few animals that was kind enough to stick around so that I could snap them. But each time I wanted to take a nice "wild life" picture, there was either a power cable or building in the way. At one point when I had the best angle on the Bontebok, I couldn't help but notice that there was a white bus in the background that was more prominent than the antelope in the foreground. As a matter of fact, my camera kept focusing on the bus instead of the animal. Halfway on the trail we decided to take a shortcut and head back to the car. Definitely NOT one of our best discoveries up to date and NOT a place I will ever go back to have a hike again. In the meantime I cannot wait for for the sun to go down, I am pretty sure we are all going to fluoresce in the dark tonight....

Friday, May 13, 2011

It's Friday, let's go BRAAI...!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Exploring the West Coast

I wasn't very optimistic this morning when we hit the West Coast Road on our way to Jacobsbaai. The West Coast road at the best of times is nothing more than a straight boring road going nowhere. Halfway on our way to Jacobsbaai I was already dreading the return against the southeastern that was predicted for the day. Going there with the southeastern in our back was quite nice though, it pushed against my reluctance to be on this road. I didn't pack my proper camera either, I wasn't expecting to see anything worthwhile snapping. I've been on one or two trips on the lower part of the West Coast before, but it is as if I am disappointed every time and then I promise never to return. This morning was different because the three Musketeers were going on a breakfast run and seeing that one of the three comes from this part of the world, I was believing that at least one of us would enjoy it. It was when his knowledge and experience of this area came to our rescue that we eventually arrived 3 hours later than anticipated back home because we were really exploring and discovering the West Coast.

At Langebaan we turned off from the West Coast Road and just before the town we took a very short gravel road further up the coast towards Saldanha. Saldanha is really a very sad looking town, but here we went to the 3.1 km artificial breakwater which protects the deepest and largest natural harbour in South Africa. At the end of the breakwater is a natural array of rocks with a huge population of sea birds. This area used to be fenced off, but today we walked in and appreciated the quietness and views that this little forgotten island presented to us. This area is called the Marcus Island Reserve and is not visited by many people, if any at all. Suddenly I wished that I had brought my real camera along, so what you see is what I took with my little point-and-shoot. We spend about an hour in this little reserve and suddenly the 'road to nowhere" proved me wrong.

From Salhanda we took another gravel road towards Jacobsbaai. At Jacobsbaai we had breakfast at one of South Africa's famous singer's restaurant, Die Weskusplekkie. I never thought that I would ever support Steve Hofmeyer in any way, but we were hungry and we had to eat. The food was better than his singing and filled our stomachs at least, but only after we had to order more toast. Feeling satisfied about our West Coast trip we headed back to Cape Town, but via Hopefield and Malmesbury to avoid the boring stretch of road we came on. We didn't want to hit the southeast head-on on the West Coast Road either. This was a little bit of a detour but still worth it. Who knows, I might do the West Coast again. I am pretty sure after today that there are plenty more places to discover.

Just before we reached Cape Town I made quick stop to take a picture of Table Mountain with that familiar cloud cover which forms when the southeastern is blowing. Yet another memorable trip, but always good to be home again too...especially if you are forunate enough to live in Cape Town.

Friday, May 6, 2011

It's Friday, let's go BRAAI...!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Foot of Table Mountain