Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Africa Bike Week - Getting There.

This year saw the 3rd Africa Bike Week, held – as in the previous 2yrs – in the busy town of Margate, on the KwaZuluNatal South Coast. Thanks to ‘working in’ days, Hubs was able to take a magic 2wk holiday over the Easter break. We loaded up the bikes & spent the first 5 days of our break at a lovely B&B Belvedere-on-River in Malelane, which overlooks the Crocodile River & is close to the Kruger National Park.

We spent our time basically just chilling out, with occasional game watching. This was the view we looked out to most mornings, whilst savouring rather lovely bacon & egg breakfasts :-)

One day we treated ourselves to a ‘flutter’ at a nearby casino, which resulted in a welcome win of about $1000 – kewl – spending money for Bike Week!
The days seemed to fly by & before we knew it, we were on the road. When we planned our trip, we decided it'd be best to drive down to Umhlanga on the KZN North Coast, stop overnight & then drive to Margate the following day. Now, like many other folk I know, we have personalised our GPS by naming it Doris. Our Doris has a mind of her own – she re-calculates & offers advice when it really isn’t necessary & she also has the tendency to take you where SHE wants to go. Sad to say, Doris had ‘one of those days’ when we set off for our next destination, which was Umhlanga - 739km away. She took it upon herself to guide us via Swaziland, which is a self-contained kingdom within the boundries of South Africa. We had no intention of venturing through any other countries, so needless to say we didn’t have our passports or any vehicle papers with us. We got stopped by traffic cops on the way – for speeding – which resulted in a 25minute ‘chat’ with an officer, who told us not to vote for the ANC because the party is too corrupt & who then told us to have a nice journey when Mike informed him of his profession, which involves quite a bit to do with The Law *ahem* .  (He didn’t give us a fine & he didn’t get the bribe he was aiming for). The 150km round trip took over 2hrs thanks to Doris’ directions & traffic cop wanting to chew the cud. The muttered curses of “Doris, you stupid fucking bitch!” were voiced at regular intervals.
We eventually got on the right road, which turned out to be a nightmare! Coal trucks have destroyed much of the surface & with no repairs done due to bankrupted municipalities, we ended up driving less than 500km in 7hrs. Darkness fell & driving conditions were worse than ever. After numerous forced stops, I managed to pursuade Hubs that we should check into a nearby hotel for the night. A few weeks ago, we invested in a Samsung Galaxy Tab. I tried to open a favoured website which searches for accommodation in South Africa & kept getting the 'error' message, which basically told me there was no coverage. It was henceforth deposited in the glove box with a few choice swear words! Plan B - my trusty DingleBerry! I phoned ahead to make a reservation & boy, was I glad when we pulled into what the website described as a a 'boutique hotel' (Whoever did the write-up for the place is an absolute liar!). We checked in & the receptionist suggested we walk through the gardens to see where our room was, before taking the car & trailer round, just in case there wasn’t enough space to turn the vehicles around. We’d gone about 15m when we were greeted by the sight of one of our prime examples of 'historically disadvantaged compatriots' (read pissed out of his bracket flatnose), who’d thrown up copious amounts of chunky vomit & then passed out  in a flowerbed. We were not amused! Walking just that little bit faster, we found our room – thankfully very adequate – so decided to bring the car & trailer around & then go for dinner. The restaurant appeared to be quite busy, but as we walked in, there was a cleaner on her hands & knees, with dustpan & brush in hand, sweeping up………….you guessed it………..about a 3m trail of very fresh & very chunky vomit! Gawd Almighty, it was not an appealing sight! We turned around & made a hasty exit, opting to sit outside & eat. The food – or shall I rather say the few things that were not “off” the menu – was edible & it filled a gap. We got back to the room, undressed & fell into bed, utterly exhausted.

The following day had to be better, right?

*NB An abridged/heavily edited version of this appears on a biker based website - which I also write for - so if you read something very similar to this, it's MINE!


john.g. said...

Sounds very eventful!

john.g. said...

Got the beer festivals menu on my blog!

Jimmy said...

Chunky vomit huh? Nice... very nice doll.

Wreckless Euroafrican said...

Eish - Drunken PDI's throwing up all aver the lace? That's me, loaded up and out of there! I would opt to sleep in my car, parked outside a Police Station, or at a filling station..... Can't wait for the next piece! (No pun intended)

Jin said...

John - that leg of the journey was a friggin nightmare, never mind eventful!

Wreckless - Eish! You wouldn't chuckle!

Jimmy, your comment is floating somewhere around aimlessly in the blogosphere :-(

At the moment, time is in short supply, so Part 2 will follow sometime next week :-)

Paraglider said...

The new blog's looking good :)