During the Horizons Unlimited event we met Philippe, Gérard and Juan, three riders from Europe who we discovered were heading in the same direction for the next day or so. We decided that we would travel together towards Lesotho. After lunch on Sunday the riders departed first and we followed watching the grey storm clouds gathering in our direction of travel. Sometimes it’s good to be in an enclosed vehicle, just kidding, we will take our chances with the elements, let me just adjust the heating and aircon….
We agreed to meet in Petrus Styen, a small town with limited accommodations. We arrive expecting the ‘boys’ to be there, but no sign of them. We are concerned, given the weather that our ‘children’, as we now refer to them as, are lost, but maybe they found a more interesting route or different destination. We get settled in ready for a fine dinner of biscuits and cold meats, washed down with good red wine and they arrive. We must have taken different routes although both had a large dirt component. An advantage of a 4×4 over a motorbike is storage! We can carry more food and drink, so dinner for all is available.
Anne has booked a surprise location for my birthday on the 8 November, the Kiara lodge, outside Clarens, close to the Golden Gate Highlands National Park, which I have never visited. We invite our new friends, and they accept, to join us for a pre birthday dinner there. We offer to lighten their loads as they plan some dirt road riding to Clarens. Bags quickly loaded and we become the ‘support vehicle’ following their twists and turns on good dirt roads. We are a little envious as we watch them ride through some great countryside. We are offered the opportunity to ride, but without any safety gear, thanks, but no thanks.
Dinner is a fine South African ‘braai’, or ‘barbie’ as we say at home. It is great to cook with wood again – in Australia we use gas at home. Wood is so much more interesting to cook with, well for me anyway.
Anne has chosen the location well as usual, we have wonderful views which the photos do better justice than I can with my mere words. We travel into the National Park on two occasions, the lighting and scenery is spectacular. What a wonderful way to spend a birthday, I have now spent the last four birthdays on different continents, where will I be in 2017?