Early on Friday morning various groups met at their designated departure points. Everyone was in good spirits & sharing pics on the What’sApp Group.
It was fairly early in the morning when we received news from the ‘Dirt Group’ that there has been an accident – Mike & Sheena were riding with the dirt group & about 15km outside of Vrede they took a sharp corner too wide & ‘went farming’. Mike sustained multiple fractures & an assortment of soft tissue damage. Sheena did not fare as well and sustained a head injury. Currently she is about to begin rehab & we all wish her the absolute best. Michael, Sheena & Brogan (their son) thank us all for our prayers, thoughts & positive energy.
Lunch was an informal affair under the trees at Metamorphisis in Wakkerstroom town.
The various parties then converged on Wetlands Country House or next door at the Hares Rest. Alison made some new friends :-). The RoF bunch took themselves off to the Wakkerstroom Country Inn – but more about them later.
The plan for the afternoon was to relax or to take a walk around the grounds at Wetlands to ‘see what we could see’. Unfortunately as we were scheduled to leave the heavens opened in a very menacing manner. Wakkerstroom is notorious for rain & in fact every time Rod & I have ever been to Wakkerstroom it has rained.
Dinner was catered at Wetlands and I believe it is safe to say everyone loved the food including the dessert which was the club favourite Malva Pudding 🙂
Day 2 – Biking & Birding
Rod & I need to take this opportunity to thank Paul Munnik for all this planning for the dirt rides. From all accounts the dirt riding was great. As you see from the photo the skies were very moody but the scenery all around Wakkerstroom & environs is spectacular.
Just before 06h00 the birders met for a quick cup of coffee & a rusk. Rod had arranged for transport in a local taxi – driven by The Doctor 🙂
I think all of the birders can attest to the fact that Lucky, our guide from Bird Life South Africa, makes maximum use of ‘local knowledge’ & we raced off to various birding ‘hot spots’ to see what we could see. I think on of the highlight was a pair of Grey Crowned Cranes in a display dance in an open patch between the reeds with a couple of very bemused looking Nguni cows looking on.
While the Birders were Birding the Bikers were Biking – specifically Paul & Patricia who took to the roads & spent some time exploring – by all accounts the sub-title to their adventure should have been ‘bikers in the mist’.
Looks like they saw some interesting sites & they have some Travel Show worthy pics.
The birders then headed back to Wetlands for a hearty breakfast & much debate as to which routes to follow centred around which routes would remain most dry. Eventually we set off, some sensibly attired in their rain gear. Riding towards Piet Retief we encountered mist & rain & cold & wet – Rod & I turned back to explore the um ‘road’ to Luneburg, Charles & his gang onward to ride almost 400kms in the previously mentioned mist/rain/cold/wet. The road towards Luneburg was frankly mostly missing but the views were good!
As promised, meanwhile our RoF Friends. I think there should be a saying something along the lines of ‘the best placed for a rainy Saturday afternoon is a cosy put’ & having rounded up a posy they enjoyed themselves.
After a lovely dinner with much chatting & banter & discussion of the days activities interspersed with planning the routes home it was time for bed.
Day 3 – Birding & Birding & heading home
Due to various commitments including work / family some of the bikers headed out early, others had a leisurely breakfast and rode off home on thankfully dry roads.
The birders were reunited with Lucky & The Doctor and we headed out to look for the Yellow-breasted Pipit (tick) & the Ground Woodpecker (not tick) & some grasslands birds such as the White-bellied Bustard which was quite a spot. We all agreed that Roly won the ‘Birding Fashionista’ award – well done Roly 🙂
After another delicious hearty breakfast including home-made flap jacks various groups made there way home & I am certain there were a lot of bikes being washed on Sunday afternoon.
The weekend would not have been the success it was without Marilyn & Lizzy & Lucky & the Doctor & ‘Bill next door’ so thank you to all of them. Thank you to Paul & Patricia for managing the dirt rides.
a HUGE thank you to Rod for masterminding a great weekend & an even HUGERER thank you to all of our Club Central friends who joined us.