I have done the incredible once again! This last week I rode out to a dam, because I craved a paddle. What I’m saying is that I really wanted to go out and paddle in a kayak. There are three dams nearby that are suitable for paddling, but I could only go to one, because we moved the kayaks recently, to the smallest of the three. This dam is on a farm called Damascus. The dam is 22km out of town which is not too far to go on a little 50cc scooter, is it?
There were only two problems… One was that my moped has started stalling at high speed. Don’t worry; it’s not as dangerous as it sounds. The moped doesn’t actually stall, but it loses power and then shuts off as soon as I come to a stop. When I first encountered this, I tried limiting the fuel, but that did not work, so I tried un-limiting the fuel, which did not work either. Now I just make do, and start it up as soon as it switches off. It’s not the best situation, and it looks really funny when someone sees me kick starting the scooter at every stop sign.
The other, more serious problem was that the 22km were on slippery, treacherous, bumpy gravel. Yes, it was a dirt road. The Yamaha Passola was not made for off-roading, and it probably handles corrugations a lot worse after thirty years. This did not deter me in any way though, so I filled up, put my helmet on and tied the paddle to the moped. Let me add that the only way that I could tie the paddle to the moped prevented me from sitting on the seat. I had two options; side saddle, or on the rear cage. I chose the latter.
The ride there was not exactly comfortable, and it felt like it took tremendously long. I had to stop six or seven times because of my previously mentioned engine troubles. On my fourth stop I looked down and saw two bolts jumping up and down on my foot panel. Where these bolts came from, I don’t know, but it did unnerve me a little at the time.
When I arrived at the dam, I was so happy at the Red Devils achievement, but I didn’t waste time by celebrating, because I knew dark would be coming soon. I ran to fetch the kayak and forced it through a thicket of all different types of thorn trees, and then I followed it. I found out that the dam hadn’t received water in a long time, and the water was stagnant. After doing two laps of the dam, and being petrified by massive underwater creatures, I got out and ran around five hundred metres with the boat on my shoulder.
By the time I started on my way back, it was past six, and the sun had sunk beyond the horizon. The way back was fast, and 5km from home my dad came out to check if I was still all right. I was, and I rode the last few kilometres back in complete darkness.
I felt the same way I did when I finished my journey from Oudtshoorn. It revived my interest and yearning for moped adventures. We will just have to see where the little Devil takes me next…