Tag Archives: cold

There is Hope

Dundee Hope

“No matter how far you might think you have come from grace, your connection to Spirit is always right there, right at your centre. All you have to do is remember it.” – Luitha K. Tamaya

In the past few months I have opportunity to drive through Tugela Ferry in KZN and then through Dundee. The drive there is very scenic and beautiful. The Ferry and surrounding area has been the location of many fierce battles and clashes amongst the locals throughout its history, as far as I know.

Lately, the area seems very peaceful (or at least it looks that way), but there is certainly another silent battle going on. I was taken aback upon entering Dundee at the number of funeral parlours that almost seem to be on every street in the CBD. I would challenge anyone to show me the same concentration of parlours in say Durban, Cape Town or JHB. My facts may be a little skewed or very accurate, but something is not well.

On a positive note – I hauled my Canon 550D along on the trip instead of my master-blaster 6D. The accompanying photo was taken on the outskirts of Dundee at sunrise. The ground was frosted over and there was a little mist about in pockets here and there. It was amazing!

The 550D battled with the low light in places although I admittedly stretched the RAW image past it accepted capabilities. This resulted in noise which I mostly cancelled out.

550D settings F 9, 1/400 sec, ISO 100 using 24/105L @ 35mm

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.