Saturday, December 29, 2012

Active participant traveller

"...completely in contact with the environment..."

Our next meandering on Mother's day, May 2009, ended up in Bronkhorspruit the little town which boasts the biggest Buddhist temple in South Africa. Named the Nan Hua Temple, it is part of the Fo Guang Shan Humanistic Buddhist order.

"An uploaded video someone took of the temple"

Our first bike, Kawasaki KLR 650 took us to many interesting places.  Entering into this place known for promoting enlightenment felt like you were placing yourself slap bang into a scene from a martial arts movie.

It's amazing to think this small farming town on the border of Gauteng and Mpumalanga Map view, houses the largest temple in Africa.

A visit to the temple is an interesting aesthetic treat. The large scale of the front gates, the buildings and the steps to the temple are impressive.

It was here in the huge auditorium that I felt like I could transport my imagination to a scene of a whole lot of martial artists practising their art form

.............................something like this: taken from website with picture of martial artists

Prior to entering the shrine we had to remove our shoes

Before heading back home, we stopped at Sizanani Village, a place embodying Catholic values for people with intellectual and physical disabilities.  I particularly love the Ndebele African art patterns and wanted to get a photo.  The mother and child statue depict the care that this place provides and the three crosses typify the religious stand point.

In the spirit above it makes sense to end this blog with two thoughts:
Zen Quotes by Lao Tzu
The journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step
         Judges 18:6
         The priest answered them, "Go in peace.  Your journey has the Lord's approval"

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A place of rest

A place we love to ride to is called "Weesgerus" an Afrikaans word meaning "Rest" It is found in the Limpopo province of South Africa in the Bushveld (

"All creatures great and small"
I find tranquility for my soul best when I am surrounded by nature and that is exactly what this place provides! The sights, smells and sounds of the bush rejuvenate.
On the kawasaki klr 650...

...and another time on the Triumph Tiger 1050

All South Africans love their braai's (barbecue), I love watching the flames and the different colors almost mesmerizing!

South African Braai Etiquette - a funny :- D

Another stimuli of tranquility for me is found in water and Weesgerus has just that, hot mineral pools both indoor and outdoor, a cold pool and super tube slide.

...and a restaurant overlooking a dam is another place of calm

So after a stay and a ride back on the bike, life is all that much brighter and the poem rings so true! 
Serenity flows through the natural worldListen and you can hearThe beating of your own heartAnd the deepening of your breathIn rhythm and connectionWith the powerful tranquillity of creationThat becomes fully alive in youAs you return to the roots of your being                              ---Bella Bleue

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Vaal river meander

There is something about the presence of water to calm one's soul, that is exactly what the sound of moving water does for what better place to ride to than the river close by - The Vaal river,  in the Free State, South Africa

4 April 2009

We visited , a popular breakfast run for bikers

The "Wholesome and Hearty English Farmhouse Breakfast" was most welcome...
...together with the warm cappuccinos, as the ride had been on the chilly side!

The view from the restaurant where we had breakfast at Stonehaven

The restaurant as viewed from the waters edge

A chapel and wedding reception area

Vaal Boat River Cruises excited passenger!

We drove a little distance away, on a rugged,stony,sand road which the klr handled with ease to get a closer view of the river rapids
Some fly fishermen were fishing for yellow fish...
...a closer look
...another onlooker
the lunchbox came in handy

and so ended our ride for the day but it wasn't the end to our visit to the Vaal river 
...but that is another page in my diary

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The quaint little town of Cullinan

The sleepy little  mining town of Cullinan has become one of our favorite breakfast runs and we have visited the place many times.  You feel as if you are going back in time.  The town is made famous with the discovery of the Cullinan diamond in 1905.  The 3106 carat diamond was so large it had to be cut into nine major pieces and 96 smaller brilliant cut diamonds.  (see more on the following website

google map of the town of Cullinan with the mine

Our very first breakfast stop was at Sir Thomas restaurant named after the mining magnate who discovered the Cullinan diamond.

Curious to see where this diamond mine was we followed a small sand road,
I was nervous as this was the first time the bike had been off-road and it brought back memories of when I had been dating John.  He and his buddies (friends) favorite weekend jol (South African term for having a good time) was to ride off road in the old mine dumps...

We also visited the museum in the main street.

We have been back time and time again to visit this little town, Sundays is a particular favorite breakfast run and the town comes alive with both tourists,locals and bikers alike.
The following photo's tell the story...
as they say a picture paints a thousand words...

Our next bike we owned and are currently riding is a Triumph tiger 1050, the ride is a lot more comfortable with its gel seat.

Whispering Oaks tea garden, Cullinan

My parents stayed one weekend at one of the bed and breakfast accommodation spots in the town and we visited them on the bike.

Cullinan Inn
Harries Pancake restaurant is a popular stop for bikers and they are dotted all over South Africa, Cullinan boasts its own too.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

"There's no looking back"

My first blog:
The diary of my biking rides...
From being someone who wasn't interested in bikes I am now converted and have joined the ranks of biker chick.
After four years of riding pillion I am sold!  There is no going back! There is nothing nicer than the open road, the smells both good and bad and the exhilarating feelings of content when you walk back in the door after a ride.  I have become an "All Weather Biker", having ridden through all kinds of harsh elements including riding all the way back from the coast in the pouring rain!  We have visited many interesting places, there is so much to see and explore and the experience is SO much nicer on the back of the bike.  I am quite happy to remain pillion, have enormous faith in the expertise and safe riding of my partner,Johnny!

This was our very first bike...the Kawasaki KLR 650 and this was my very first ride.  I was very apprehensive on that first journey, feeling very vulnerable and afraid that perhaps we would have an accident along the way.  People warn you that riding a bike isn't safe but then driving a car isn't either!

My very first long ride was to the Vaal dam...
Vaal dam bridge on the way to Dennysville, Northern Free State, South Africa

23 March 2009

After the hour long journey and not being "bike fit"  I got all sorts of aches and pains, and on the way back asked John to pull over on the side of the road so I could rest.  However despite that minor discomfort, nothing could take away the exhilarating freedom the ride brought!  Over time I have also learnt to accept that after I take my helmet off I am not going to always look my best but that is just one of those things which can also be hidden under a hat.

...and so ends my first blog!