TG Newsletter: TWISTED PEEL RALLY
(28 August 2014)
Time has nothing to do with it
One day a long, long time ago… okay maybe just a few weeks ago… there was this rally down in Wilderness. Every year I’ve been missing it because of stuff like, ‘life’ just getting in the way. But then Dan chucked me with an invite and the first paragraph read: What kak ex-queues you got now?
*kak – Afrikaans swear word*
How can a girl say no to an invite like that?
I normally do these trips on my selwers but with all the excitement of the last year with flying-killer-geysers and all, I decided to rope a side-kick in. Michelle be a biker that has never done an out-of-town trip before?
*selwers – by myself*
Looking after my self is one thing… take Jack and wuntyme bikini - and the rest just flows. But being responsible for another biker chicken, made us take a quick tyre change crash course the week before with Johan Gray.
*wuntyme – one time*
We were all settled to leave the Thursday morning when Johan pointed out that my front rubber wouldn’t make the trip. I am known to get every last drop of Daniels out of the Jack, but I guess this was pushing it too far.
Christiaan Voges offered me a new tyre and we made a quick pit stop at Johan C’s place to fit it. Over and over we heard – don’t pinch the tube. I haven’t pinched anything in years, why would I start with a tube?
Courage has nothing to do with it
The next morning we left Gauteng and our first big stop was in Bloemfontein.
We were only planning on fueling up when the joggie pointed out my flat tyre… So, some pinching did go down last night.
*joggie – petrol attendant*
We were already late and decided to go with the GOO option. Filled up the tube (luckily we had all the tools). Psst Pauli – it’s called a valve-core-tool, not that valve-dingetjie.
*dingetjie – something*
As I circled the parking lot to spread the goo, I saw a little girl in a Birchleigh Laerskool uniform. My alma mater! Third time I passed them I ripped loose with a,
“Birchleigh! Birchleigh! Birchleigh BO!!!”
They stood in wonder…
We quickly fueled ALL the tanks!
Success has nothing to do with it
En route Jagersfontein:
Jagersfontein, the place of the big gat . Apparently bigger than Kimberley’s gat. It is the deepest hand-excavated hole in the world. But… no visitors allowed! We drove around town which took all of 16 seconds, going past four liquor stores, three pubs and five churches. Don’t you just love small Saffer towns?
*gat – hole*
*Saffer – South African*
We stopped at a garage where the auntie was selling the world’s BESTEST ESTEST koeksisters and she explained that a little boy fell into the whole a while ago and therefor they closed the visitor’s site.
*koeksister – a sweet South African confectionery*
I decided that I didn’t want to disappoint Michelle on her first trip and I showed her another gat. Maybe not as big as the other one, but no little boy has ever fallen into it…
Zipped up, we headed down the road to the next small Saffer town – Fauresmith.
Fauresmith is the only town in SA where the railway line runs down the center of the main road.
We stopped for some kiekies and got interrupted by Fanie… Fanie… oh… Fanie… Where do I start?
*kiekies – photos*
Fanie explained to us that he lived in Boksburg for 30 years, got shot 4 times; were shot at with an AK47. He told us his wife is a very jealous woman, but that they would be glad to host us for the evening. They have a Jacuzzi!!! They’ve switched it off as it costs them R200 a day to keep it running, but for us they would make an exception. As he was telling us about his jealous wife, an old Toyota Corolla came creeping past behind him. He turned around and waved. It was his jealous wife checking up on him…
Just before we left, he asked us if we had any guns on us… How do you answer that?!? We just smiled. He told us that his wife has a little Baby-Brown. You know… the jealous one… that just came past…!
We made spore… quickly!
*spore – tracks (meaning we ran away quickly)*
Destiny has nothing to do with it
Last stop was Philippolis that we reached via a beautiful stof road.
*stof – dirt*
It was just before dark when we stopped in front of the old jail – our accommodation for the night.
Contact Harry During: email@example.com
The lady came to lock open… or… lock us in… I’m not sure how you word it for a jail cell?!?
But… there were no power. Harry During, the owner of the jail, phoned to find out if we were enjoying our sentences. Told him about the electricity and within minutes Harry had half the town running around in the jail trying to solve the problem. It was actually cozy having all the people in jail. Tell Oscar it really ain’t that bad!
I also asked him about the braai-pack, wood and Blitz that I didn’t see anywhere. It was getting dark and started to drizzle.
*braai – barbeque*
*Blitz – fire starters*
And on the first day – there were lights! They found the switch and flicked it on. The lady brought us two frozen tjops, half a bag of Charka and a pakkie Blitz. We still had about half a bottle of tekwiela left – HEAVEN!
*tjops – chops*
*Charka – charcoal*
*pakkie – packet*
*tekwiela – tequila*
Harry phoned again to hear if we got bread along the way, as I said we would do. But we completely forgot about a broodjie. Back came the auntie with a wit-brood-onner-die-arm and half a tub of margarine. Michelle said we would pay her for it but she protested… furiously! Until Michelle took two 20’s out of her wallet. Auntie quickly grabbed the 20’s accompanied by lots of DANKIE’s and reversed herself out of jail. Guess she knows how to play Monopoly!
*broodjie – bread*
*wit-brood-onner-die-arm – an Afrikaans saying for someone that’s privileged*
*Dankie – Thank you*
According to folk-lore there is a violin playing ghost called Willem Bitter that lives in this jail, but I think he was moved to maximum security as we could only hear chains rattling and doors creaking – no violin music...
Trust has nothing to do with it
The next morning we were let out on bail, not that we applied for bail – we were enjoying ourselves waaay too much, though I think we misunderstood the term ‘bars’…! But before someone could bust a cap, we were out on the road.
We headed in the direction of Colesberg on a magnificent dirt road.
Then on to Middelburg via the N9 and was only planning to fuel up in town, but… By the time we made it to Carlton Heights the snow was drawing white lines on the outside of the road. IT WAS FREEZING!
Before the trip, my brother warned me that they all know Skinny can climb a frozen mountain, kaalvoet, and laugh to tell the story… But that I was not allowed to put Michelle through anything remotely like that! I had to promise…
*kaalvoet – bare feet*
…and here we were, promises broken! The closer we got to Middelburg, the colder it got. It goes beyond the point of not feeling your hands or feet anymore, to where they actually start BURNING.
We pulled into town and I looked for the first pub I could find so we could get out of the cold and get something warm into our binnegoed.
*binnegoed – innards*
As Michelle took off her helmet, I saw one speck of tear running down her cheek!!! While I was still contemplating on what our next move would be, I got a tap on my shoulder. Like a skim-in-die-nag… there stood Charley Cooper on the sidewalk with a piece of egg on a fork. I’m still wondering who came first…
*skim-in-die-nag – ghost at night*
Charley, writing a Chat…
Charley, Nardo and Kevin decided to rather go down to the rally in a cage. Ninnies!!!
They said we should leave the bikes in town and hitch a lift with them for the rest of the trip.
I think it took a full three sluks of coffee before we declined the offer… with enough conviction to convince even ourselves. We were frozen chickens, but we knew we would thaw quickly.
*sluk – swallow*
Then Nardo told us that Naudesberg pass was closed because of the snow. The guys planned on heading down to Beaufort West to see if they could get over the mountain from there. But that’s a murova loooong way round – no pun intended Charley!
We sat scratching our combs when we remembered that Johan Gray said there’s another dirt road to Nieu Bethesda if you left Middelburg heading west. We thought the dirt road might just have better grip in the snow and would probably still be open. So we put our expedition helmets on!
Luck has nothing to do with it
We headed out west and found a dirt road generally heading in the right direction. We fear not – these chickens cross a road just for pure excitement.
About 30km out on the dirt road we came across an old farm gate – LOCKED!
We just figured the farmers of the area must be very security conscious.
We dug into our luggage and found the tyre levers… It took a few angles and attempts, but we finally broke the lock open.
We might have slept in jail the night before, but we ain’t tjotsies, so… Michelle ripped out another two 20’s and wrapped them in a Jiffy bag. She then frommeled the bag up into the broken lock. The farmer would probably think it’s was his yearly government subsidy. Plus some…
*frommeled – crumbled up*
We continued on this road that became smaller and less traveled until we found another UNLOCKED gate. We passed through.
A few kilos later, there was yet another LOCKED gate and we started to wonder if this was the path going through 7 gates to hell? However, the road on the other side of this gate hadn’t been used in years and the lock was a HUGE rusted old Viro lock. We would need an extra stick of dynamite for this one.
So, we turned back…
Fate has nothing to do with it
Back in Middelburg we decided to try the CLOSED pass. Who would stop us?!?
We headed out on the N9 again and went around the ROAD CLOSED signs. It started to sleet a few kilos on and at the turn-off to Nieu Bethesda we stopped at the farm stalletjie. Looking out the window, I said that we would have to skip the Owl House. The dirt road leading out to Nieu Bethesda was snowed under and the mountains looked like icing sugar heaps.
*farm stalletjie – roadside shop*
Standing there and wondering what the road condition would be up ahead on the N9, three BMW 1200’s came down from the pass. Michelle excitedly exclaimed that it should therefore be possible to cross. I reminded her that the BM’s have got high screens; heated grips; probably heated seats and some even have heated onnas!
*onnas – underwear*
But time was a few and we decided to druk voort. The pass was snowed over and there was ice all over the road. I reminded her there should be no sudden movements and to LOOK UP.
*druk voort – push on through*
We made it over Naudesberg & Lootsberg pass and rode into Graaff-Reinet at 16:30. We were frozen and our bodies were sore from clamming up against the cold.
These ice blocks tumbled into the nearest restaurant and started phoning around for accommodation. We found a guy that had a room at a very reasonable price. Told him we would just finish dinner and then meet him at his cottage that was just up the road.
Greg from Kambro Cottage was waiting outside for us – how he knew that the two biker chickens were his guests for the evening, we don’t know?
Contact Greg Kapper: firstname.lastname@example.org
Greg is also a biker and he welcomed us into the most beautiful homestead with a sherry to warm the wings.
Contentment has nothing to do with it
The next morning we shared the left-over pizza, before Greg came to say good morning.
I told him that I wanted to take Michelle up to the Valley of Desolation before we left town and he offered us his Wild Card for free entrance into the Camdeboo National Park.
We snaked our way to the top of the mountain.
Here we filled the ‘complete emptiness’ with a swig of Jack and a bite of fudge while looking over the valley.
We returned Greg’s card and then hit the long road to Willowmore. There was a farm stall next to the road (Oppi-Vlak Padstal) and we stopped for a quick cuppa to warm the hands.
Contact San-Marie van der Bijl: email@example.com
But the auntie invited us in for roosterkoek that just came out of the oven. The roosterkoek was followed by a few cups of moer-koffie.
*roosterkoek – home made bread*
*moer-koffie – home ground coffee*
“Proe ‘n pure plaas!”
Goodness has nothing to do with it
The old oom outside came to chat to us and then declared that Brom would make Prince Alfred’s pass, but not the British bike – NADA! We had some spectators that dropped into the conversation and they made a few suggestions for other roads, but the oom kept on saying that the Triumph wouldn’t make the dirt roads. We tried to convince him that we both know how to handle dirt, but he stuck to his guns.
*oom – uncle*
He then scratched his pip and came up with a route he thought that both of us would make AND enjoy. Past Uniondale there was a turn off to the left – think the name board read ‘De Vlugt’. He drew us a map in the sand.
We found the road and what a stunning peace of stof! It winded between green mountains, through valleys and along a dry river bed.
We got to an intersection with an Olympic size mud-pool. We inflated our vlerkies and swam through without drowning. On the other side we found the connection to Prince Alfred’s pass… which was closed because of bad conditions. Thanks oom – we would have had to rewind if we didn’t follow your advice!
*vlerkies – wings*
On the other side of the connection was a couple of peeps drinking tee under a tree, but the lady wasn’t all too friendly. She ordered that we first remove our bikes out of the road and then explained that she didn’t think we would make it all the way to Knysna on the rest of the dirt road. We smiled and decided to go test her theory.
But, only about 150m further – there was Angie’s G Spot! A well know biker’s pit stop with lots of booze. We had to take a round before we headed straight-up, on the rocks.
Contact Angie Beaumont: firstname.lastname@example.org
After the much appreciated refreshments, we mounted our steeds and took the shortest road to Knysna from there.
We road under a forest canopy for more than 20 kilometers, through some slippery mud patches where we left a few Kringe in die Bos, but nothing we couldn’t handle.
*Kringe in die Bos – circles in the bush (popular Afrikaans story book)*
Confidence has nothing to do with it
We made it to point B before dark – the Twisted Peel rally. We found so many bikers and even more cars?!? Seems like the snow scared a few of the burleys into their bakkies.
*bakkies – pick-up trucks*
I saw old friends I haven’t seen in years: Watty and Butch still look the same – ROF!
*rof – ruff*
We met Piet Botha – LEGEN… wait for it… DARY!
They introduced Albert Frost – to us?!? We almost felt like celebr-titties.
That evening we kuiered and kuiered with some of SA’s best rock musicians, listening to kop-skud tjunes.
*kuier – visit*
*kop-skud – head banging*
*tjunes – music/songs*
The next morning we woke up with a tequila and crack headache… the beauty of skuurslaap!
*skuurslaap – sleeping in a shed*
We bombed my flat tyre (it still had a slow leak & we had to pump it every other station) and went in search of oysters in Wilderness, but everything was still closed. Decided to see if we could possibly dive some out ourselves, but I think as biker chickens we got confused with terms like clutching and bivalves. We came out dry…
We got pulled off in a road block in George. I immediately switched off the bike and jumped off; smiled a white-teeth-all-the-way-to-the-molars smile; offered him my newly printed still wet drivers license and mentioned that he was the first copper to lay his hands on it.
The poliesman glanced at the license and said that this was a general safety inspection, “Thanks ladies – drive save.”
*poliesman – policeman*
As we left; one without a number plate, one with a number plate with plasters all over it, one without a license disc, both of us skipping the next red light… he must have thought, “What nice ladies!” – or something in that line…
Gender has nothing to do with it
Outeniekwa pass was as always – twist, twist, twist!
We topped up in Uniondale and it seems that the residents are a nervous lot – what, with ghosts running wild, who wouldn’t be? After we filled up, Michelle started her bike and he gave a rather loud cough… just as the joggie stood behind him to take the number plate. Those are onnas that will never ever be usable again. We all laughed so much, even the people in the car at the next pump had tears streaming!
At Sophie’s Choice in Willowmore, we stopped for a hi-T before heading back to Graaff-Reinet.
Desire has nothing to do with it
Seems we got this timing thing down, cause we had enough of it left to go see the Uilhuis is Nieu Bethesda.
Helen Martin’s sculptures is all about light and seeing, as if she wanted to show the people a world they couldn’t see. She was a recluse, but had one best friend called Elsa.
Fugard wrote about this relationship:
“I was in awe, respect, fascination all my life of the little intimations I'd been given of what passes between women in a meaningful relationship when men are excluded. I talk about the chemistry of male relationships - chemistry is a realm of the predictable; you put iron filings together with sulfuric acid, you get a very calculated, no-arguments result. But… put two women together in a meaningful relationship and I think you pass from chemistry into alchemy. You pass into an area of the mysterious, the unpredictable.”
Hope has nothing to do with it
The sun was setting and we still needed to get to our last stop-over.
Last stop was Colesberg where we parked of at my usual fav spot – The Horse and Mill.
Contact The Horse & Mill: email@example.com
We chatted with all the other travelers on their way to find excitement, happiness and money – in no particular order or volume.
Devotion has nothing to do with it
The last day we took the quick road home and the only adventure we fell into was the traffic on the N1 in Gauteng. This was probably the scariest and most life-threatening part of our trip. We were glad to be back at point A.
YOU have everything to do with it!
You are the only one that sets limits and boundaries, that see obstacles where there are none. Allow yourself to dive into the adventure and receive the purest form of happiness. Cause happiness is a state of mind. We make up our minds how happy we want to be. It’s waking up with excitement; answering the phone with a smile; listening to a conversation with interest. You make your own rules – break them every day!
If you're familiar with the rural concept of the honesty bar, this honesty newsletter ain't much different... I'm a completely un-paid journalist, relying instead on readers using the honour system. You read the newsletter and then leave an amount you see fit for the entertainment you've received.
If you don't find it particularly amusing, then you fork out NO dosh. I won't stop sending you the letter – it is still mahala to those that count their coins and... I love sharing my stories.
As requested by my overseas readers, you can donate to this newsletter on my PayPal account:
You can do an EFT transfer to the account below
Tjeers to YOU!
www.pinterest.com/skinny400 YouTube: Skinny van Schalkwyk