Ronnie's Sex Shop - The ninth step ... Somewhere in South Africa - CycleBlaze

January 9, 2021

Ronnie's Sex Shop

Barrydale to Warmwaterberg

We debated cycling through the village to look at the parent's old house and the church that my father built but we had done this about sixyears ago and knew that the house, originally built in a Cape Dutch style, had been altered considerably and that the gardens that my mother has established no longer existed.  To see it all again would just have been depressing so we hit the road for Warmwaterberg at about seven o'clock.

The route starts with a stiff climb out of Barrydale but then becomes an easy ride to Ronnie's Sex Shop with the turnoff to Warmwaterberg soon after that.  After the initial struggle up the hill we had a great ride, stopping to take in the views as we went along. 

Starting the climb out of Barrydale.
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It was good to be cycling the quiet Karoo roads again.
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The Little Karoo is not flat like the Great and Upper Karoos so we will have a lot of climbing ahead of us over the next week or two.
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Scott AndersonThis looks not unlike the landscape we’ve been cycling through lately. Throw in a few saguaros, and this could be Arizona.
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6 days ago
The soetdoring trees are flowering.
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Soetdoring(Vachellia karroo) pack some mean thorns along with their yellow blossoms.
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Many years ago Ronnie Price had bought a tiny farmer's cottage on a remote section of the R62. His aim was to open a farm stall, selling fresh produce to the passing trade. He painted the name ‘Ronnies Shop' on the side of the building, but business didn't get off to a good start.  Then one day, his friends decided for a laugh, they would add the word ‘Sex' to the name, making it read ‘Ronnies Sex Shop'. Pretty soon this irresistible sign brought in loads of passers-by.  Eventually Ronnie opened a pub and it became even more popular, particularly with motorcyclists.  Despite driving past it many times before we had never stopped by but today seemed the perfect time to do so.  We got there soon after nine o'clock and had a fruit juice and a sandwich.  The bar itself is covered with underwear lady patrons have left behind.  It is all rather tacky and low brow and Ronnie himself is not someone to whom I took an instant liking.  However, done that, got the T-shirt, move on.

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After that it was a bit of a slog up the rough gravel road to Warmwaterberg.  It is a rather rustic "spa" that has been operating since the nineteenth century.  An old advert for it reads:

"Hierdie gesondheidsoord van die Klein Karoo met sy verkwikkende radio-aktiewe warmwater en heerlike berglug is in maklike bereik per pad en spoor."

which translates as:

"This health resort of the Little Karoo with its invigorating radioactive hot water and glorious mountain air is within easy reach by road and rail."

Not so sure about the radioactive bit !

We had visited the spa a few times before as day visitors but today we are camping there for the night.  Soaking in the hot water of the main baths brought back memories of the enjoyment we got from the onsens in Japan, particularly as I had it to myself so it was wonderfully calm and relaxing.

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Today's ride: 31 km (19 miles)
Total: 1,718 km (1,067 miles)

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