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Posted on: Monday, 8 March 2010

A Gonubie affair – Stories from the road by Ruan Smit

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Ruan in GonubieHonestly, before I ended up in Gonubie during this cycle tour I was never aware of its existence… let alone that I would be forever smiling after this extraordinary visit.  The first of the three whoop whoop girls I meet is Maureen, I’m staying over at her B&B called Porkys. Funny how I ended up here, Michelle who I wrote about in my previous article referred me and from there another story starts.

Porky was Maureen’s nickname since school because she used to be chubby, she smiles. And everyone still knows her by this name so it was the obvious choice. No pretences…

Her energy is contagious as she helps me get my cycle into her car. And from here on in she never stops bubbling. She is absolutely proud of the fact that she’s the first cyclist I’m staying with. Before we’re allowed to go to a cycle shop to fix my tire we have to take a detour though. She shows me everything about the town. The most beautiful beaches, the night spots and of course the road she and her friends cycle every morning.

After we drop my cycle at a shop we head off to go and have lunch. We laugh the whole way as she tells me little snippets of her life. They moved here 23 years ago after coming to Gonubie on holiday. And they’ve been living the life ever since. Her children, all grown up now, used to cycle to the beach with their surfboards every afternoon after school and on weekends they were lazing around their house that has a spectacular sea view.

We stop at a little organic farm stall where we wait for her sister, Cathy, to join us for lunch. This is when she tells me about her daughter. She had me in stitches with this story! Her daughter was an au pair in England and one weekend she was left alone with the family’s precious dog whilst they went on a break away. On a low budget being a student and all, she stays at their home and looks after this dog until the family comes back. Out of the blue the dog becomes sick and dies. She completely freaks out and has no clue what to do. With the little money she has she decides to take the dog to the vet for them to deal with this problem. Another problem though, how does she get the dog to the vet. She decides to put the dog in a suitcase and take it on the underground …

Gonubie - Cycle Tour

Well, at the underground she struggles due to the weight of her luggage and a kind young man offers to assist. At some point he asks her what she is carrying in the suitcase and embarrassed she answers that its computer equipment – before she knows it this ‘kind young gentleman’ who offered to help is running away with the suitcase – imagine the surprise when opening up the suitcase and realizing there aren’t any computers in it.

Cathy arrives and we share a wonderful lunch. These two sisters know how to have fun. They are all inspired by my adventure and instantaneously start planning their own. They’re going to cycle somewhere too. Like mothers do they tell me about their children and at some point I realize I’ve got two new mothers as they start worrying about me.

They organize that I join them on their training session the next morning with their third friend, Jade. All agreed we head off for a great braai at Maureen’s house.

After breakfast the next morning everyone is waiting for me to appear. We cycle their usual route whilst they laugh, giggle and chatter. The whoop whoop girls know how to have fun. Exercise has never been this entertaining. As we head out of Gonubie I am informed that we’ll be doing an extended version of their ride because they would like to show me how beautiful it really is, the plan is to cycle along the fence of the nature reserve just outside town.

Ruan - Gonubie leg of the Explore SA Cycle Tour

As we get there Maureen tells everyone that she organized the giraffes to be there, the whole family of four. She specifically phoned Gerty (the mother) to make sure that the kids are ready to show themselves. All four have names starting with a ‘G’. We look for them and realize that they’ve obviously overslept. But the detour I take before my day’s cycle really starts is absolutely beautiful. We cycle on farm roads with the reserve on one side and cow farms on the other. Pictures are taken all the time and the jokes continue.

Afterwards I’m left with grandma’s Christmas cake and some fruit to give me some energy on my trip. But I am warned that the cake has a high alcohol level – a few hours go by and I get messages from all three to wish me luck with my journey. Then I realize, I like they, have got Gonubie Fever. When you visit this beautiful little town you will love it so much you might just end up staying there!

Gonubie Links:
Gonubie Attractions
Gonubie Bed & Breakfasts
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