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Citrusdal - a rest haven

As I had arrived in Worcester in the dark I'd not seen the magnificent mountain scenery surrounding the city.

Above: The views over the park.

The brekky at the hotel was not included in the room rate and was exhorbitantly expensive, as the night-manager whispered to me on the side when I was booking in. So I left the hotel for the local Wimpys, only to find them shut on Sundays. Off around the corner to the local "in" place". Chatted to a couple of guys on a Honda (Blackbird??) who were just leaving, then sat looking out over the park to the mountains while having brekky. It certainly could be a worse view!

The thought of staying in Cape Town didn't really appeal to me, so I worked out a route north-west of Worcester towards the wild flower areas. This would take me through and across the mountains ringing Worcester. Sounded like a good plan! Didn't get very far at all (just outside the town boundary!) before I'd stopped and had the camera out, snapping the snow-capped peaks across wonderfully verdant valleys and smaller peaks.

It was sooooo European! I could have been anywhere in Europe. Absolutely stunning scenery. It's a joy to be riding through landscapes such as this, in delightfully pleasant weather.

Above and Below: I spotted these two Blue Cranes a fair way off, in a paddock. Beautiful, beautiful birds. But it took the full 78 x zoom on the handycam to get these photos.

Above and Below: Quite close to the Blue Cranes, I couldn't believe my eyes! A pair of ostrich quite close to the road, although they moved off when I pulled over and parked. It's not the sort of place one expects to see ostrich - in a totally European mountain setting!

There was a lot of roadworks going on on the N7 highway, entailing three wait periods of various lengths. The majority of the work was being done on Piekenierskloof Pass, which gave stunning views, while waiting, down into the valley from the peak of the Pass, and while carefully traversing the peak. Just after I crested the Pass, I came across a delightful little homemade food/craft store/cafe, with 2 R1200GSs parked out the front, so I stopped and went in for a wander around, buying lots of their dried fruits as they were so reasonably priced. Chatted to the two biker guys from Johannesburg for a while, then kept on going, as I had yet to find somewhere to camp for the night.

The dear GPS said there was a campground down a certain road, so I turned off and went down about 8km, then it turned to gravel for a km, then it became deep, deep sand! Naturally, I gave it a miss, and turned around and went back. Also, there was a good possibility that it wasn't yet open for the summer season, being up in the mountain valleys.

By this stage I was getting a bit testy, so decided to get a hotel for the night, as it was almost dusk. Back on the main road again, I pulled up in the nearby little town of Citrusdal to check the GPS again. Under Hotels, it listed Citrus Creek campground, all of 450 metres from me! Funny how it hadn't shown up when I asked for campgrounds.

Round I went. Pulled up at the barrier, and saw this critter ambling across the driveway.

Above and Below: It was HUGE, as evidenced by comparing it with my mobile/cell phone.

Citrus Creek campground was exactly what I wanted! Perfect - well almost, if they had had wifi set up it would have been perfect! A country style atmosphere, with an elderly horse wandering through the park at will. The onduty lady wasn't on duty, so another lady told me to set up, and fix them up the next day.

I picked a great site, with shade all day, as it was reasonably warm. And it had grass, too, as well as a swimming pool! And some lovely lillies growing wild along the creek just outside the boundary fence.

So here I stayed for four nights, as it was so restful and relaxing. Peaceful and quiet at night; only 2 small blocks to the main street supermarkets and coffee shops. The only problem with this town is that there is NO public wifi. But on the last afternoon I was there, I scored a hit! The owner of the local computer shop (a biker) allowed me to use his shop wifi, free of charge. And I could've used it at any other time wanted, as well, even during the night, if I so wanted.

Above and Below: The beauty of simplicity

But, as always, time kept inexorably passing on, so I had to make a move to get down to Cape Town, to get a new rear tyre and a service for the bike. It's definitely time to go when one gets treated like a regular customer - I'd walk into a certain coffee shop and the owner would say " The usual?" meaning my bacon, eggs and toast and a coffee - for lunch!

Karen, the owner of the park, suggested I go to Chapman's Peak campground as it is in the area from which she comes, and she said it was good, that I would like it. And it was a country atmosphere one, too.

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