learning to surfski


recreational mountain biking in SA


enjoying the beauty of nature


drinking, tasting and occasionally cooking with wine


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What happened?

The inactivity on this blog crept, no leaped up on me from out of nowhere.  It seemed like there would be enough regular paddles and mountain bike adventures to write about and keep this blog filled with regular posts and photos of my meandering in the Cape Winelands and False bay.

BUT an unexpected job opportunity came my way that I could not refuse…so back to corporate life in the Winelands for me and with the season time still in full swing, ZERO time for adventure. 

Well, not Zero time for adventure.  Running the marketing for a Wine Estate comes with its own little adventures. 

With the winter season approaching fast, I am slowly getting some more time for adventures of my own.  This past weekend the wife and I had an awesome, "stretch the back muscles", paddle in Gordon’s Bay.  The weather was perfect, the sunset amazing and the company excellent AND I did not tip over once (score).

This coming weekend the wife and I will stock up on some needed winter paddling gear, so watch this space for a report on the next paddle / mtb ride.

Surfski Rescue

A few weeks back, we had an incident where a paddler close to shore was in need of assistance. This got me thinking: ...What would be the best way to retrieve/tow/assist a paddler who can't stay upright or paddle...??

Photo from Charge Life 
So what do I do when I have a surfski related question?  Ask the guys on the forum off course. I started a new topic and soon paddlers from across the world gave their 2 cents worth.  There are some great ideas and one would need to figure out what would suit the situation and your abilities.  

Most important:
Know your own ability
Call the NSRI first thing (if nearby)
Be prepared and carry some safety gear (mirror, tow line, etc)

Should a basic competence and safety test be a pre-requisite before a paddler may paddle into the blue yonder?  It is for power and sail boats.

Safe paddling all

Walk on Water

Truly inspirational video of how kayaking helped a wheelchair bound man enjoy life again.  Definitely worth a watch.

Adventure or Torture

When @poplapmeisie (the wife) and I are on holiday, we like to take out mountain bikes along to enjoy some of the local nature and bike routes.  Usually we start with smaller routes and progress as the holiday goes along.  From a leg stretch 10km to a more gruelling 25km ride.

This year while we were in Wilderniss, late one afternoon we decided to go on a "stretch the legs" 10km ride and with my curios, yet sometimes determined wife, we ended up on a 25km adventure or should I say a 25km torture. Everyday's an adventure right?

OK, for some 25km sounds like a ride in the park, but just remember, we have not been on our bikes in a few months, and 25km on gravel and jeep track = roughly 50km plus on road.

The ride:

We headed out Island Lake Camp site and headed along the vlei/lakes road.  A beautiful ride along the many lakes in the area.  About 5-7 km in the road splits and you can take the road to Swart Vlei or left up a pass to Karatara.  Now here @poplapmeisie 's curiosity kicks - " I wonder how long the pass is"

So up we went along the very bad eroded gravel pass. It felt like it took forever, but after a few swear words and a few breaks we made the top.  What a View...

At the top, we soon found our second breath and was cycling along the winding gravel roads between cattle farms and green pastures.  Not wanting to take that bad pass back down, we decided to head on and boy, were we heading for an adventure.

First mistake for the day - since it was only going to be a short ride, we only packed half a bottle of water.
Second mistake of the day - we did not know the roads or how far it was.
Third Mistake - Cellphone battery almost dead, so no gps apps could run.

But even thou we were sort of lost in the middle of nowhere with little water, we continued.  Finally after an hours cycling we came to a cross roads and finally had a new sense of direction and energy.  Left to Hoekwil we go.

Now cycling on tar, the going was easy and the speed picked up and soon we were in Hoekwill....a mere few kilometres from our camp.

Going down the Hoekwill pass to the campsite was a real adrenaline rush.  After almost 2 hours and 25km we finally reached our camp. We both dropped the bikes, jumped into the lake for a cool down and reached for a cold beer.

Next time, we'll be more prepared for life's little adventures.