Tag Archives: BMW

Integrity

“When we know deep down that we’re acting with integrity despite impulses to do otherwise, we feel gates of higher energy and inspiration open inside of us” – Dan Millman

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What to do before sunrise when the clouds are thick and it’s drizzling.. No prospect of seeing any sun. There is still colour and beauty to be found.

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Canon 6D, ISO 200, F9, shutter speed via AV, tripod, RAW, LR edit

SMG Umhlanga in Durban, South Africa

New Barns Farm & the trip into London

In the last post we were off to see the Queen.

After landing at Birmingham Airport, which we found to be really user-friendly, we went to the Avis kiosk to collect our car.

The sales person knew I wouldn’t be able to resist the upgrade he offered for a few more GBP.

After all it was a BMW 1-series red in colour. Lucky he told me how to start it otherwise I would still be looking for the keyhole; door and ignition.

 

We rented a Tom Tom GPS, inserted the post code of New Barns Farm and before you knew it, we were there.

Amazing stuff – no long address or getting lost. All one needs is the post code.

 

It was a little chilly when we arrived and getting dark so Mr Canon 550 stayed indoors in his bag most of the time.

 

The drive to the farm was very interesting and, had we stayed longer, we would have gone crazy taking pictures of cows, old buildings, churches, pubs, horses, the local inhabitants and dogs.

The underfloor heating and wireless inside New Barns was a bonus.

The company that evening was superb – we shared food, wines, laughter and tales with a couple that were due to get married, as well as other guests.

 

The next morning we drove from New Barns to Wimbledon where we left the car in a parking garage.

The pic above was part of another discovery called “services”, well signposted on the road. Garages for fuel, toilets, shops, restaurants, accommodation and so on.

We loved the free wireless and Upper Crust Baguettes. Their takeaway stores seemed to be all over the place.

Upon entering Wimbledon station we bought a 24 hour travel card for trains & buses.

I only managed one pic (shown above) on the train from Wimbledon to Waterloo station.

 

The trains were very clean and on time.

 

Mind the Gap!

 

 

 

It was not long before we reached Waterloo and I was soon reminded how snobbish and rude some Londoners can be.

We hadn’t even left the station before one information kiosk chap showed us “unfriendly”. This happened later in the day inside a famous store.

Maybe they were just having a bad day or decade.

Or it could be that us South Africans are just so friendly.

A routine Sunday bike ride (not)

Craig suggested a routine bike ride about two weeks back. I agreed. Hadn’t seen the silly fella in a while.

It was going to be a short ride from 07h30 to somewhere nearby, followed by a long relaxing juicy breakfast and then home by 11h00 latest.

I subsequently invited Neil, who rides a KTM motor cycle, to join us.

What could go wrong?

I nearly wore short pants as I usually do.

Really now, I was on a superior beautiful Kawasaki KLR 650 and the other chaps were on BMW’s, a KTM and a Yamaha.

We met at Pavilion Westville at 07h30 as planned. Routine then fell apart.

Snag 1: Neil was not there. A quick telephone call revealed that he had overslept.

I asked Craig where we were going. He said “straight to the pub across from Sakabula Golf Course near Howick”.

Neil said he would hop out of bed straight away and meet us there shortly. This is where the next snag (2) came along.

The leader of the pack (an advocate I believe) vaguely mentioned to one or two riders that we were going to detour into

a valley (sounds like ONE valley doesn’t it) along the way. I did not hear this but followed the pack like a blind sheep.

One valley became MANY valleys; lots of valleys.

The temperature started to drop…

Now a few years back, whilst driving up Sani Pass into Lesotho, I saw some motor cycle riders who were also travelling in the snow.

It was cold enough in the car and I mentioned to my companion that one must need really specialized and warm gear to travel in such conditions. I planned to do this “bike / snow thing” one day; with some PLANNING of course.

Anyway, let’s get back to our little bike ride.

The detour became one of many.

Before I knew it, we were closing in on snow-capped mountain peaks!

Whilst the temperature was 6 degrees Centigrade on the BMW bike thermometer, one needs to consider the following:

  • The wind was blowing hard (wind chill)
  • We were travelling at a good speed
  • We were dressed for a standard Sunday bike ride i.e. to the local diner and back
  • In Durban (our hometown) a winter day temperature of 21 degrees is standard
  • The BMW thermometer was probably playing up

After a while my fingers (in gloves) were no longer part of my body.

We were soon in the snow-capped mountains. Freezing cold I tell you!

Perhaps we should have check the weather report below

 

There was a very quick pit-stop (not the best photographs – they were taken using a cellular telephone) on the roadside

 

 

Yes, we survived and had HOT coffee and brunch (juicy burger and chips) at Dulce Cafe in Hilton.

Have a look at their menu.

 

A lovely view of the quarry below from the Cafe (a must if you are in the area)

 

Our travels shown below

 

The routine (not) trip was roughly 386 kilometres and 5 hours 39 minutes (well not quite that long I think).

Well it was not at all well-planned but certainly turned out to be one of the most scenic and interesting rides that I have done in a long time.

Thank you Gentlemen.