Cape Town. Nestled around a cove shortly before the tip of Africa, this city has plenty to offer. Sea, mountains, beaches, good venues & any type of equipment one may be looking for. Nice to be here, though a bit of a shock. Frankly, I haven’t encountered this type of civilization since I’ve left Europe 1/2 year ago.
A few days back: The sprocket organized in Aus doesn’t fit. Some improvisation & networking solves the issue. We hit the road again. To Oranjemund through the former Sperrgebiet with signs on both sides of the road prohibiting any movement off the road into the diamond mining area. At a size of >1/2 of Switzerland’s landmass, this Sperrgebiet is large & I think to myself “What are the odds that you stumble over a diamond next to the road?”.
The Husky & I cross the bridge to Alexander Bay, South Africa. Easy enough entry. Immigration / CdP stamp & registration with the police. Alexander Bay has seen better times. A former diamond mining town, this place now feels deserted. I wish to fuel-up the Husky, but Namibian Dollars are not accepted (although pegged 1:1). The card terminal doesn’t work. We’ll have to make it through to Port Nolloth.
Settling for some Hake & Chips in Port Nolloth, the two who run the pub immediately start organizing things for me. SIM-card, a place to stay & contacts for the further journey. A degree of hospitality that almost makes a Swiss man skeptical. It’s all genuine hospitality. I’m determined to maintain an open mind, however, also keep my guard up, as recommended by the numerous South Africans I’ve met on my journey.
Arrival in Cape Town (CPT) on a Saturday. I wander the city during the weekend. An incredible place & easily understandable why many have decided to live here. A Western city planted onto the Southern peak of Africa.
I target the local Husqvarna workshop to take care of the Husky. What a welcome @ eddy2race. All are riders with a great passion for what they do. Truly impressive. Eddy immediately organizes a place to stay for me & ensures I have everything I need. I align with Jan that all parts are on their way & discuss the work to be done with Johan (mechanic). These lads are very competent & dedicated to keeping Husky riders on the trails. Many a bike workshop could learn from this team.
The spare parts I’ve ordered will take a few more days to arrive in CPT & I head out to Jan’s place in Tulbagh for the weekend. I had met Jan in Nairobi when he was traveling towards Uganda on his XT660. We’ll have a braai on his farm. An apple, pear, prune & peach farm surrounded by mountains. Great to have left the city for a few days & great to have met so many interesting & welcoming people.
The Husky is receiving a thorough treatment & Eddy lends me her urban sister for a ride around the Southern Cape. Though clearly related, it’s very strange to ride another bike after >30’000km on my Husky. I very much enjoy a day on the 701 Vitpilen; this is a proper “pocket rocket”. However, I also appreciate getting my Husky back. She’s now ready for the East Coast, fitted with new tires, sprockets / chain & competently serviced by Johan.
One more night close to Cape Town at Long Beach. By coincidence I had met Rolf at Eddy’s & he immediately invited me to his house. Rolf had migrated to SA from Switzerland 30y ago, built up a business & is riding motorcycle Rally’s on his Husky 450 at 62y of age. Rolf & Sue (wife) cook a great dinner, provide me a bed for the night & I learn about their experiences. Exceptional hosts.
On my planned route back up the East Coast some of the tracks have been gated & aren’t passable. I improvise through to Napier & over Swartberg Pass to Prince Albert. Incredible natural beauty. Easy though fun tracks to ride. The Husky & I are having an incredible time.
We cruise back down to George, over to Knysna and back away from the coast over Prince Albert Pass to Uniondale. Not only stunning views, but also a scenery that changes completely every 10min. Unimaginable how diverse this country is.
From Uniondale the “Bavianskloof” (Baboon Valley) is a must. A Natural Reserve with well passable 4×4 tracks through pure nature. We ride through & commence to Kenton-On-Sea. Back to the coastline it is.
Chester & Jean, two retirees, welcome me at their B&B. Chester immediately makes a few calls & recommends I visit his friend Mervyn to get some route advice. Mervyn is retired, but still riding after a long career of off-road motorcycle & car racing. He is today still organizing Enduro tours through Lesotho / SA & joining the trips. After looking at all the vintage bikes spread across his house, Mervyn gives me invaluable route advice & contacts for my further Journey. It’s mind-blowing how courteous these people are.
I’m determined to better understand SA & the situation the country is in. Not an easy task. On my way I ask many questions & discuss the subject with numerous people. Though now better understanding the issues & their causes, I can’t yet say I have the full picture. Manifoldness & complexity are staggering. More field research will be required.
Through Kei Mouth across back-tracks to Mdumbi (Coffee Bay) in the Transkei region along the coastline. Back into the country heading to Reedsdell farm. We’re heading back towards the mountains. The husky & I languish in the sun, blast through pouring rain & flee from thunderstorms, interchanging every 5min. I’m speechless at what I see. I’ve never seen anything like it. No words to describe it.
Yes, the initially planned for destination of Cape Town is behind us. The past >6 months have been more insightful & enriching than any other 1/2y I’ve lived through. This journey has been too good to already end. The Husky & I feel fit to continue & have to make the best of this opportunity. We’ll enter Lesotho tomorrow & continue our long ride. Yes, the journey will continue. Where to? To be seen. Destination X.