A motorcycle blog by Steve Thomas on his 16 day trip in South Africa
(Group at Cape Agulhas - Africa's most southern point)
Everyone itching to get on the road this morning after our day on 4 wheels exploring the city and going up iconic Table Mountain. Collected the bikes and headed down the coast from Cape Town in a southerly direction. Bikes all looking good, people happy getting used to driving on the right (which is left J) side of the road. We have 3 X 660 Yamaha Teneres, a BMW 1200GS and a 650 GS. Great group of people. Bill and Dave are from Ohio and have travelled with Motoquest before. Dave is the only one who has been to Africa before, but never to Cape Town. Todd and Linda from San Jose California and Tracey and Mary Lee from Alaska. Me up front on the blue Tenere, and Neels our veteran paramedic in the truck, who has backed up all the previous trips with MotoQuest and wouldn?t miss it for the world! Lives in a small town in the middle of the country and travels two days just to get here to be with this trip. Early morning light rain made the road a bit slippery especially given that the bikes all had fresh rubber, but everyone was well behaved and took it easy.
First stop Maidens Cove, with Table Mountain eerily poking its head through the low mist. Temperature a cool but comfortable 65 degrees to start. As we head south, the clouds are starting to clear and we are looking forward to a bright and sunny day.
We get down to Hout Bay and onto Chapmans Peak drive and stop to stretch the legs and take in the amazing view! Think I saw a Southern Right Whale as we were riding. Looking forward to seeing many more as this is the time of the year that they frequent our shores.
(Tracey on the way to Cape of Good Hope)
Continued south heading through small towns of Kommetjie, Scarborough and on to Cape Point, the South Western tip of the African continent. Here is a pic of Tracey from Alaska, officially as Phil would say as far from home as possible on earth. Only distance greater would be into outer space!
Saw plenty wildlife including stuff you only get this far South like bontebok an antelope species and a rare sighting of Cape Mountain zebra with a baby! Our friends the baboons were also doing their thing.
Great lunch down at the point and the necessary visit to the Cape of Good hope before starting our journey north. Stopped for a visit to view an African penguin colony living on a beach near Simonstown.
Then to our resting place for the night in Kalk Bay (Chalk Bay), which is a small fishing harbour town overlooking False Bay.
It is really amazing the scenery that we have in Cape Town. We rode the peninsula today and their wasn?t a moment when there wasn?t something to look at along the way. Lets hope there is less scenery as we get into the dirt tomorrow so that everyone will keep their eye on the road!
Day 4: Kalk Bay to Breede River
We left Kalk Bay at around 9am after a huge breakfast and enjoyed a great ride right alongside the beach almost all the way to Somerset west, some 30 miles away. The weather was slightly cool but warmed up rapidly and by 11am we were stripping off the gear. The wind had picked up enough to keep us leaning over at about 15 degrees just to keep in a straight line.
The town of Hermanus was really busy with holiday makers & sightseeing visitors in town to see the whales. The Southern Right Whales visit this coast every year between August and November for calving and mating purposes & really draw the crowds in.
We had a great lunch at a sidewalk restaurant before heading out for our first bit of dirt en route to Cape Agulhas - the southern tip of the African continent.
We arrived at the Cape only to find Dave not bothering to use his kickstand & he gently lay the pristine Yamaha on the stones in the parking. Todd and Linda also has a near miss but save the 1200 from kissing the stones - JUST!
A good stretch of dirt through the rolling hills and farmlands brought us to out night stop at Tides Lodge in Malgas. The closest reastaurant was a 5 min drive drive away but we managed to convince our host to deliver pizza & beer so we did not have to head out for dinner on the bikes at night.
A good day all in all and if the dirt roads are all in this condition, we are going to have a fantastic two weeks!
Day 6: Angies G Spot
A rest day in the Garden Route. Angies G Spot is a perfect place to relax & put your feet up. Having no electricity also helps.
Did we do this? NO!
Bill took up the offer of doing a circular ride over some of the most historical and scenic passes that the area has to offer. We took off at 9.30 AM and travelled over the old Montague pass to George.
After a quick top up of fuel, we then completed the old 7 passes road between George & Knysna. This was the old main road between the two towns and offers fantastic views and old dirt passes. Seven in all hence the name. There is also very little traffic on this road as most motorists use the new road we practically had it all to ourselves.
We arrived in Knysna at about 1.30 PM to meet up with the rest of the group who had decided to take the day off from riding and had jumped into the truck with Neels the paramedic for the drive to town.
Everyone headed off in different directions to shop, email, have lunch or just generally goof off.
We all met up at the truck at 4PM for the drive back to Angies.
Most of us were in bed by 9PM as we had to get up early for the rugby in the morning! yes, RUGBY!!
To be continued...