Day Seven

Up early today shopping for a phone. The big name models are too much but a local carrier branded Android phone is affordable. (See part two for why I am talking phones)
The phone stolen was 4 years old but still ran better than this new one. Reminds me of Windows 98, ha-ha.
I already sent an erase command to my stolen iphone via Apple so spend the day setting up the new one, washing and walk back to mall for Thai food at dinner.
Today is miserable weather and actually a good day to be indoors with heater on.

Day Eight

Leaving Port Elizabeth stopped at traffic lights two shifty guys size me up from the footpath then come towards me. One is unraveling a blanket and one is reaching for something in his pocket. As they get closer I just gas it and run the red light.

At subsequent traffic lights with shifty characters roaming between the cars I hang way back as long as I can. My eyes darting in all directions for where to position myself but nothing else goes down.

PE as the locals call it is rather unlawful. How do authorities let policing slip to this point? I was thinking PE could benefit from a bit of a clean up the way Rodrigo Duterte did in Davao.

200km of highway with cross wind on a small naked bike ahead of me this morning. I just hunker down and get on with it.
By the time I moved inland both the weather and I had calmed down and I could return to enjoying the wonderful scenery.
IMG_0748
Farms, quiet country roads, small towns. I’m enjoying the ride again as I cross from the Eastern to Western Cape.IMG_0756Turned off the tar to cut about 40km off my route. Very easy bike to ride on dirt.IMG_0761

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Nice Aussie style cafe at De Rust where I get a toasted ham, cheese and tomato sandwich and flat white to feel right at home and able to relax for a spell. IMG_0766
And then the fantastic roads and spectacular visuals of the Swartberg national park. You ride between the soaring stone walls of the canyon.DSC02635IMG_0796

It goes on like this for ages, well surveyed road which is an awesome ride.DSC02643Out the other side its more great scenery. Click to enlarge to see the scale.
Next I tackle the Swartberg pass. This is gravel but easy. I think anyone could ride it and you should, it is spectacular.DSC02686DSC02700

You start in canyons then work your way up a spectacular climb.I am having fun and start spinning up the Metzeler out of the corners but then tell myself to settle as it is long way down.DSC02716IMG_0829View from top. And the other side is also superb.IMG_0862
On the descent I dropped my little Sony QX10 camera I use while riding.
It bounced along and the cover and battery fell out then it miraculously stopped on a rock on edge of road so I was able to recover.
Even more incredible I put it back together and despite rolling with the lens extended it still worked! So relieved.DSC02760It landed on one of those stones in the photo above which prompted me to enjoy this view awhile.
I stay in a lovely BnB tonight in Oudtshoorn, again like whole apartment with private entrance which seems common here.
I start to walk to shops but a shady character turns towards me yelling something so I return to the BnB for the bike. I feel like pasta and stop at first pub that says pizza/pasta. Ride the bike up footpath right outside window, no ground clearance probs and plenty suspension travel on the G310. I watch three shifty dudes coming and going and pretending take selfies with my bike. Yeah right I am not that gullible here anymore. I move it into the courtyard of the pub. Shortly after this they return with a big bar but are out of luck. They then cross the road yelling out shit and swing the bar at a passing GS rider who narrowly missed being clubbed then start smashing stuff.It’s not my intention to sound negative.

Most everywhere in the world has issues however I am not going to lie either, it’s edgy in places here. Even this pretty country town only few streets seem safe, I turned down some and men were sizing me up and stepping out onto road so I rolled left through lights not stopping and returned back to the main road the only place I see other white people. It is unlawful on a level I have not encountered before. Even Philippines which has some issues has countered that with many layers of security and law enforcement where as here there is no security of law enforcement presence on the streets whatsoever leaving the black South African men free to do anything.

My dinner was kind of ruined but anyway the bike is safe and once I feel the coast is clear
I ride back with yet another bottle of fine South African wine in my messenger bag. Already put on lots of weight here but what the hell.

Regards,
Warren.

Part Two

Part Four

7 Comments

  1. Shit Warren! I think you are talking me right out of any S.A. motorcycle shenanigans, despite the scenery.
    Stay safe.

    • It's a beautiful place and I don't want to put people off. Not all areas have troubles. The scenery and roads and wine have all been great.

      I realise this blog has some influence and so gave some thought to what I publish and in the end decided I have to just tell things as they happened neither dwelling on those incidents nor omitting them.

  2. Lovely scenery but no thanks, you can keep that. No wonder every South African I speak to living here in oz says they'll never go back.

    • I think joining a tour here might have merit Steve. Most everywhere in the world has some issues and some solutions but it may be that here is a good place to be with a group.

      Besides the sense of achievement that I get from riding solo I find motorcycle tours prohibitively expensive, none more so than here and Patagonia which are the two most expensive destinations for motorcycle tours.

      Anyway don't let anything I say stop you from coming, it is superb riding, but probably a place where a tour would work best – even for independent people like me.

  3. Wow. The riding looks fantastic and the scenery awesome but I don’t think I will follow in your footsteps. Sounds all way to dangerous (day’s he from the safety of Japan). Hope the next leg goes well

    • Sorry again Richard your comment here and my previous reply Blogger never published.

      It certainly is a dangerous and lawless in some areas. I recall now in Port Elizabeth when I arrived downtown I was immediately being sized up at the lights but I never stopped more than a second before the turn to green so didn't take it seriously, then riding up to where the apartment was I was harassed by one of the mini vans that double as taxis full of black south africans but thought it was just anti biker sentiment not anti white person which I now realise was the case.

  4. No, thanks for posting it “warts and all”. That is why I read blogs like yours – it is real world experience from real world people, not pseudo advertising. Keep it coming!

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