Objects in Motion: De Rust to Knysna

According to Wikipedia, the proverb “a rolling stone gathers no moss” is commonly interpreted in one of two ways. The first being that those who are always moving, with no roots in place, are avoiding responsibility. Although I can’t deny the truth in that sentiment, I prefer the second interpretation, which equates “moss” to stagnation or the antithesis of growth and experience.

It appears that we’ve gotten a bit behind with the plog posts. Right now, we’re sitting in a “backpackers” in Jeffrey’s Bay, a small surf town, which lies about 80k west of Port Elizabeth. It’s pretty windy (not an unusual occurrence here in one of the top South African surf spots) and an overcast day, so we’re actually taking a little “down” time to get things in order.

A day of rest has been a rarity thus far in our African odyssey. As a matter of fact, I’ve recently found myself thinking quite a lot about Newton’s First Law of Motion. I guess that’s part of what keeps me going during the tougher stretches…the fear that, if I were to actually take a significant break, inertia will set in and my legs may never pedal again.

I guess there are just a few other things that keep me going too, like:

Being surrounded by absurdly beautiful landscapes…

Bicycle Touring South Africa across the sky
Looking back on the Swatberg.
Bicycle Touring South Africa Cactus
Not sure what these are called, but these are said to only bloom one day per year.
Red Hills South Africa
The Red Hills outside of Oodtshoorn.
Red Hills South Africa
Another shot of the Red Hills.
Bicycle Touring South Africa Farming
Spring onions.
Bicycle Touring South Africa
A very happy little girl in a not-so great ‘squatter camp’.
Bicycle Touring South Africa Township
A newer ‘township’ – government built housing.
Bicycle Touring South Africa Klein Karoo
Descending to a large dam. It ended up being about 100 degrees that day.
Bicycle Touring South Africa Klein Karoo
Bicycle Touring South Africa Cactus
Cactus seem to be getting bigger and bigger the more we move across the Karoo.
Bicycle Touring South Africa Klein Karoo
More ostrich farming.
Bicycle Touring South Africa Klein Karoo Tortoise
And more tortoise… which also seem to be getting bigger.

Making friends with some of the most generous and warm people on the planet…

South Africa Farmer
Stephen, a mohair farmer living in the Klein Karoo, and his beautiful wife Lhana rescued us from the sweltering heat, fed us, gave us a bed to sleep in, and took us on an awesome tour of the farm.
Bicycle Touring South Africa Anatolian Dog
Meet Lego, the three legged Anatolian sheep dog, who recently caught and killed a fox in defense of goat brethren.
South Africa Twister
A twister forming in the distance.
South Africa Farmer
These tractors are in mint condition. They are Stephen’s pride and joy.
Bicycle Touring South Africa Farming
Their farmhouse… which used to be a school.
Bicycle Touring South Africa Paardepoert
Beautiful farmland with a peek at the range we will cross the next day.
South Africa Farmer South Africa Mohair Goats
Mohair goats.
South Africa Farm South Africa Farm Boerewors
Invited to yet another braai. Endless boerewors.
South Africa Mohair Goats
A closer shot at the mohair goats the next morning.
Bike Touring South Africa
The Paardepoert valley.
Bike Touring South Africa - Old Montagu Pass
Climbing the ‘old pass’ to George.
Bike Touring South Africa - Old Montagu Pass - Surly ECR
Gin peers over the edge as the gravel becomes rocky dirt on the long descent.
Bike Touring South Africa - Old Montagu Pass
Huge descent as we passed several mountain bikers coming up.
Bike Touring South Africa - Old Montagu Pass
The bottom gently smoothed out.

Learning new and exciting (and sometimes even gross) things about how the world works…

South Africa Dairy Farm
Jake, our Warmshowers host showed us his dairy farm. We arrived at milking time and here is his employee running the show.
Bike Touring South Africa - Surly ECR

Jake’s farm dog holding up our bikes.
South Africa Dairy Farm
Making baby cows without a daddy cow. Jake later informed us that his arm went slightly numb after fertilizing several lady cows… very interesting to watch.

And, finding myself in some wonderfully unexpected places.

Bike Touring South Africa - Braai

Heading to a braai, with some meat in a bag.
Bike Touring Suth Africa Race
The next day we ended up at a mountain bike race where upon arrival someone immediately bought us a round of beers. I love these people!
Bike Touring South Africa -
Finding ourselves on some single track.

For more information on this route, including GPS and logistics, click here. Also, check out our growing list of bikepacking and dirt road touring routes.



Your Stories

bike-touring-africa  south-africa  

Please keep the conversation civil, constructive, and inclusive, or your comment will be removed.

Bikepacking Collective

We're independent
and member-supported.
Join the Bikepacking Collective to make our work possible:

Join Now