Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Love & War

At last my wife and I get to take the Transalp on a long trip. Grin This will be her first pillion trip so I'll be taking it easy, varying roads and accommodation. Hopefully all goes well and this will become a more regular thing. This trip will run over 12 days and 4 provinces.

This will be a running Ride Report updated as we go along. Hopefully I will be able to update it daily.

October is the month of my wife’s birthday and our wedding anniversary (12 years). To celebrate this we usually go on a trip which includes a show at Sun City.

This year we decided to take the bike and do a trip which would include Sun City, visiting family and attending the National Karate Championships in Bloemfontein where our son will be competing. Accommodation will include relatives & friends’ lodgings, B&B's, hotels and camping. I will try and meet up with other Wild Dogs in the towns we visit and hopefully ride with them and share a beer or two.

The route also runs past some historic sites of the Boer War I hope to visit. I’ve been wanting to see these and will incorporate the history of the war / battle fields as we visit them. These quotes will be in blue.

The Boer War :

The Boer War was fought from 11 October 1899 until 31 May 1902, between the British Empire and the two independent Boer republics of the Orange Free State and the South African Republic (Transvaal Republic).
The Boers raided targets such as British troop columns, telegraph sites, railways and storage depots. In an effort to cut off supplies to the raiders, the British, under the leadership of Lord Kitchener, responded with a scorched earth policy of destroying Boer farms and moving civilians into concentration camps. The campaign had been expected by the British government to be over within months, but the protracted war became increasingly unpopular - especially after revelations about the conditions in the concentration camps (where thousands died of disease and malnutrition). The demand for peace led to a settlement of hostilities in 1902. The two republics were absorbed into the British Empire, although the British were forced to make a number of concessions and reparations to the Boers. The granting of limited autonomy for the area ultimately lead to the establishment of the Union of South Africa. The war, known as the last British imperial war, was the longest (almost three years), the most expensive (over £200 million) and the most disastrous of all wars for Britain between 1815 and 1914.

So, with this background I leave you to hopefully update Day 1 of this Ride Report in a day or two.

Tomorrow, if all goes well, we will be visiting Retired Springbok rugby player Mannetjies Roux's B&B in Victoria West.

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