Anura Training Adventure

Charles Oertel's picture

Points: 4

It is possible to have a fantastic adventure 45 minutes from your home - even if you live near  Muizenberg.

Julie hadn't ridden for almost two years, and I had just started riding again after 4 months recovery from a collarbone fracture.  The BMW Club Training held at Anura every month in collaboration with Donford Motorrad was the perfect opportunity to get us back into the swing of things.

A day of training is a long day when you are not bike fit.  And I didn't relish the idea of Julie being on the road in the dark on her first ride in two years, on her way to Anura in the early hours.  So I booked us a room at the Muldersvlei Estate.

We set off at our leisure on Saturday afternoon - taking a relaxed ride up Baden Powell, through Stellenbosch and to Muldersvlei Estate - which is just a few minutes away from Klapmuts.

Due to a mixup with our booking, Helen, the owner, was expecting us much later that night, so there was nobody to check us in when we arrived.  We ended up riding up and down the estate trying to find reception.  We eventually raised Helen on the phone and she arrived to welcome us.

What a bonus - Helen is the epitome of a lady.  An ex-nurse by  profession and a farmer's wife, we had a lot to talk about. We also met the neighbour's daughter, and Helen's 3 wonderful daughters.

I was hoping to be able to have dinner on the farm, or an early supper nearby, just to avoid having to kit up and ride in the dark.  But it was not to be.  The girls recommended Asta La Pasta in Stellenbosch, and we set off early to:

  1. Avoid the 6 - 8pm load shedding the farm was going to experience, and
  2. Get home before dark.

After managing to park in Dorp Street between the deep channels next to the road and negotiating narrow pedestrian crossings, we eventually get into Asta.  The place is completely empty apart from what must be the owners.  We ask for a table for two.  He says we are fully booked.  I say it doesn't look like it.  They cannot help us.

So it's back to kitting up again, traipsing down the road until we hap upon Hudsons.  No place inside since the rugby is on.  We are kitted for cold so sit outside and have a lovely dinner, watching the youngsters get drunk.  We finish with hot chocolate and face the dark cold ride back to Muldersvlei.  The GPS helps me anticipate turnoffs, and with constant bluetooth  communication I can keep Julie informed and warn her.

Due to the load shedding it is darker than dark.  As we arrive at the BnB, the lights come on again.  Perfect timing.

As this is a family website I won't tell you how Julie and I ended up in cramps from the day's riding...

Julie books breakfast for 7am so that we have time to get to Anura between 8 and 8:30.  But, due to the load shedding, there is no power in the dining hall, and after some delay Helen arrives in the Fortuner to take us to the Manor House for breakfast.  What a magnificent house:  yellow-wood floors, oregon beams, incredible art and beautiful decor.

I hang my day off of breakfast, and this was a feast of note.  All too soon we are rushing to get to Anura.  I accidently hit the wrong button on the GPS, and only after I realize we have definitely passed the turnoff do I realize the mistake.

No worries, we get there late, but only miss introductions.  Julie will catch up quickly enough, and I don't care enough.

I join John Carr with the level 2 group.  We start with cones to warm up.  I am not sure how my shoulder will hold up, and whether I could handle a fall.

I am happy to report that I haven't lost it yet.  I found the exercises easy - and I am glad I held back a bit, because by the end of the day all my muscles were reporting distress and pain, and they didn't even have the courtesy to wait for the next morning before  stiffening up.

Jumping the shark

Julie doing cones

Level 2 group

Julie with her group

Jumping the sloot

After lunch the level 2 group did an outride to the top of the forested mountain on the right in the picture with the Anura sign.  It was along forestry roads, and some places were muddy, others were steep and rutted, and the switchbacks had us all exercising our turning skills.

We encountered a group of quads and bakkies near the top and had to turn around there.

The views were spectacular (see below).  Then we made our way  back down.  I could feel that the long day had taken it out of me and was extra careful.  I had had two offs during the course of the day, and wanted to end on a high

When we got back to the centre, Julie asked if we could give Thomas a lift back as he had burned out his clutch.  As much as I wanted to help, I knew I was about to seize up, and needed to chaperone Julie home through the drunk Sunday afternoon drivers with the day fading.  We were not in a position to help without endangering ourselves, so I was glad when John offered to give him a lift.

We rode another 45 minutes into the sun and managed to not fall off our bikes in our driveway when we got home.  No sooner had we had a cup of tea and toasted hot-cross buns than we were load shed from 6pm to 8pm.  So we had a shower and crawled into bed.

Don't let anyone tell you that riding an adventure bike is not good exercise.

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