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December 17th, 2007 | Africa

Nelspruit to Swaziland

Nelspruit to Pigg’s Peak

S 25° 05’ 90” – E 31° 15’ 14”

(Swaziland Plantations)

I woke up to a very misty morning in White River, had a quick cup of coffee with Jenny, (Guy was still “man down” after the strain of the previous night’s indulgences!!) and then kitted out in my rain suit for the very first time, made my way gingerly off the farm, onto the tar and down into Nelspruit. It drizzled all the way down into the valley, and I was delighted to find that the BMW Motorrad rain suit kept me completely dry… My “delight” would wear off on later stages when the rain was a lot heavier…

Pointing down my driveway in Nelspruit, ready for the run to Pigg’s Peak…

Rain continued to fall throughout the morning, and I delayed my start for Swaziland by a few hours. The power was off for a while and with the thick cloud cover, the house was in almost complete darkness. I had to pack my bags by a battery powered lantern….not an auspicious start to the day… I went through the house, room by room, making sure all was in order, thinking about leaving this amazing home… We would be moving out at the end of March to make way for the new owners who had bought our dream house… I thought about all the work that we had put into this home since we bought it in 2004, the happy times we had spent here, and the unhappy circumstances under which we were forced to sell it…

I finally left Nelspruit at 1.00 pm, filled up my tank and headed east along the N4 to Malelane, through the Crocodile River Gorge, passing the spot where I was shot in 2001 during an attempted hijacking, past the turnoff to Barberton, remembering the many rides Vanessa and I had taken together down this road… Shortly after Malelane, I turned south for the Jeppe’s Reef border post. I zoomed along, passing the sugar cane fields and the banana plantations on the way to the border. I met four guys and their partners on their Harley’s at the border and helped them through customs and into Swaziland.

I rode the 45km to Pigg’s Peak carefully, enjoying the scenery… I arrived at Hendrik and Renske’s house at a little after 3.00pm. Their guests poured out of the house and I was treated to a loud and happy greeting by all.

The cleanly shaven version that greeted the folk in Pigg’s Peak…

The afternoon went by in a bit of a blur. I remember having a tasty plate of food and lots of wine. (Hence the “blur”…) We sat out on the patio, and I listened to the banter between the guests before they turned their attention to me and the trip that I had planned. I went through the route I had in mind with them, and saw the skeptical looks that passed between people at the table… I smiled to myself and thought “Let’s talk again next March…” Much of my determination to complete this journey came from the shaking heads and skeptical comments made by people on numerous occasions along the way… I was going to enjoy the look on their faces when I returned…

I remember some of the girls getting onto the bike and me starting it up on its centre stand so that they could feel the “good vibrations”… Renske and Marli were suitably impressed and requested that their husbands get them a GS, post haste…

High Jinks in Pigg’s Peak, Renske and Marli….

Evening came, and with it light rain began to fall. I wondered aloud how the road back off the farm would be… “Slippery as hell!” came the chorused reply!! Stoffel seemed to take glee in his reply, a large grin spreading over his face… “Jy gaan jou gat sien as dit vanaand probeer!” was his encouraging advice…

I was thankful that I would be spending the night on the farm…

© 2008 TBMH


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