R62 Part One

... and other tales of intrigue & adventure •  20 - 25 May 2009
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It has taken a day and a half to reach Herold's Bay. This to set us up for the "Route 62", of which this will be the first of two days. No pressure, no great distance to cover today. We enjoy breakfast over-looking the bay as the sun rises from behind the hill.

After yesterday's fright coming down the Outeniqua Pass, we approach with some caution, only to get stuck behind a police car. This is of course like waving a red rag at a bull for John and its not long before he finds an opportunity to blast past it. We all immediately follow.

Parked at a pavement cafe in Oudtshoorn it is remarked how clean and well kept the town is. But then this after all god-Zille country! We stop at a pub, the Lemon and Lime, for a quick beer and then we are at last on the R62 for real. I have in mind to tour the various distilleries producing pot-still brandy, of which four are to be found along this route. The first of these is 10 Ks off the road, down a dirt track, so we give that one a miss. We ride on to Calitzdorp and wait at the side of the road in front of the "Rose of the Karoo" to regroup. In first gear through the tiny side streets we reach the Boplaas wine cellar, famous for port, good wines and of course the pot-still brandy. A few mixed cases are ordered and dispatched back to Ficksburg by courier.

Continuing along the R62 we arrive at Ladismith. A quick fuel stop and then we search the town for the site of the Rev-Limiters sleep-over rally. John, the most experienced when it comes to rallies, is quick to fork over the R200 entry fee, in return for which a small plastic bag of goodies is received, including a metal badge. The rest of us, one by one also surrender our money, but not without asking what we are doing. Are we spending the rest of the day here? We are amongst the first arrivals, but there's no beer. No beer! "That's it!", and we're on our way, somewhat confused at the events of the last half hour and a little sore at having dumped R1200 on the Rev-Limiters. As we ride the next 70K stretch the thought occurs that we have made a donation to a charitable cause.

The sombre mood is immediately dispelled arriving at Ronnie's Sex Shop. A place of joy. Mike is delighted to be greeted by a group of Texan tourists, large ladies who call us the "Wild Men of Africa". It seems as if we may have spent a couple of hours drinking beer in the afternoon sun, but it probably wasn't that long. After all the photos are taken, we're on the road to Barrydale where we are booked in at the "Bike Stop".

I am sad to realise that the restaurants, two of which I have visited previously, are all closed. No problem. Off to the supermarket where we collect meat and charcoal for a braai.

continue ...

Ronnies Sex Shop is a pub, in the middle of the desert.