Friends and film makers Louis and Bridgette Bolton live in the Dargle in the KwaZulu Natal Midlands and are not adverse to playing a little truant when the mood takes them. Bridget wrote the text and shot the pics. Louis did the post production and riding:
Louis and I were headed towards our office when we looked at each other and in a split second decided to grab our bike helmets instead! Our five-year-old daughter was at school, our 12-week-old Retriever was home with Queenie, our trusty home-carer, and the foothills of the KwaZulu Natal Midlands were calling.
The BMW 800 felt stable as it churned up the dust on the Petrus Stroom road, a little bumpy with the graders so we had to take it slowly, but finally we emerged onto the R103. We skipped all our favourite coffee stops, like Steampunk and the Farmers Daughter and decided instead to explore and go the long-way round to Blueberry café which is scenically set on the top of a hill, just off the Nottingham Road, overlooking the mountains of the Berg.
I’m no techie when it comes to bikes; I don’t give a hoot about cylinders and horsepower, but I do care about comfort. And my husband’s BMW is really comfortable. I feel safe with him, even when I’m a little nervous about the angle we take a corner, the blind bend or the windy sand road.
We headed through Howick towards the gorgeous Karkloof valley. We passed numerous dairy farms on the tar and then took a left passed the Karkloof Polo club onto unknown dirt roads. With little on our minds except being on the motorbike together we were already having fun.
We followed signs to a monument that we’d never noticed before. We descended down a decent dirt track through the Sappi forests where we found the well-preserved monument to Mr John Goodman. He apparently undertook two flights in the late 18 hundred’s on a self-constructed glider, the first in South Africa …who knew!
Climbing back out of the quiet forests we noticed a Sappi team working in the treetops and in the mood for a chat we stopped and asked them what they were doing. What an education we got. We were told that all the trees were numbered to indicate the members of the same family. A select few trees within a family effectively get their pollen “farmed”. The process involves little more than a cap to cover the flower into which the pollen spills, the pollen is captured in the bag and this is then stored for cross pollination, voila!
Our adventure ended with a good, strong cappuccino made form freshly roasted beans and a hot scone with Blueberry preserve and cream at the Blueberry Café. We chatted while we ate, we ate while we watched the view and we watched the view while we felt that deep sense of gratitude. The sense that although our lives are tormented with daily worries, we have this, this amazing life, together, to share and love and enjoy with each other.