R62 Part Two

... and other tales of intrigue & adventure •  20 - 25 May 2009
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Saturday, Route 62 part two. We awake to a valley filled with mist and are agreed that we will stop along the road for a photograph next to a Route 62 sign. This turns out to be just a few hundred metres from the "Bike Stop". We've been on the road only for a few seconds, before we are stopped again.

Once more, not too many Kilometres today, so a relaxed and spectacular ride to Montagu through the early morning mist. It is here in the high street that we find "The Orchard", a wonderful breakfast stop.

Mike is not well. He manages to find a doctor and gets a jab. Says that he's soon feeling better.

The road continues through "the whole in the wall" and on to Robertson. There's a breeze and the mist now all blown away. Besides being known for many great wines, this also the home of Klipdrift, where we continue our brandy tour.

A friendly, smiling and somewhat plump lady in a T shirt with the word "Eishbreker" printed in large letters greets us. We realise that she is expecting us. "Yes, they called from the gate." A complimentary drink of brandy and fruit juice is offered. Renier spies a cabinet with a selection of cigars. It's not long before I find myself with a cigar in one hand, cigar cutter in the other. Seconds later the cigar is alight. "No! No!, you can't smoke in here." And so we are chased outside. I pass the cigar to Renier. We pay for and enjoy the "formal tasting", a selection of four different brandies.

The map shows that our route (no longer the 62) will cross the N1 at Worcester. It does, but the way is not clearly marked and there is an excursion into the residential area where I have to ask for directions before we continue. We now have a deadline, to reach Maitjiesfontein before the start of the Rugby. I calculate that there will be time to continue on our chosen course, a loop through Ceres which will avoid a good section of the N1.

Its a busy Saturday lunchtime as we pass through Ceres and onwards. Suddenly the road runs out, turns to dirt. No one is going to like this. I turn around and return to find that the road has in fact made a right turn. We wait to re-group and notice the trucks that are using this route to avoid the toll fees on the N1, and amuse ourselves by asking them to blast their air horns.

Apparently, there is only one TV in Maitjiesfontein and there is an urgency to find it before the start of the game. The screen is big enough, but the room small and not well laid out. It soon fills with an assortment of odd characters all interested to watch the rugby. As the room becomes more crowded I leave to sort out our accommodation and to explore the immediate surroundings.

Later we enjoy a guided tour in the Routemaster double-decker London bus. From there into the bar where we are entertained by a local playing the piano and another with a tin whistle. It is a well rehearsed performance, no doubt prepared for the large number of tourists during the season. This is the real thing and it is very good.

Dinner is a formal affair and no doubt we should have dressed with a tie - if only we had one.

The accommodation which we have booked is described as a self-catering cottage and is inexpensive. It seems to me to be the servants quarters, around the back of this old and majestic hotel. No matter, it is comfortable enough.

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