Cycling down the South Coast MzansiBride

Winona Griggs

Cycling Adventure Along the South Coast

Finally, I left Durban and embarked on an incredible journey down the beautiful South Coast. The route was filled with charming seaside towns that adorned the coastline, until I reached my destination of uMzumbe. The next leg of my adventure took me to Margate and eventually to the captivating Vuna Valley Backpackers in Port Edward.

The following morning, I crossed over into the Eastern Cape and delved into the heart of what was formerly known as the Transkei. What I discovered here was unlike anything I had experienced before in Kwazulu Natal. The landscape was painted with rural villages, scattered across majestic mountains. But cycling through this challenging terrain, especially ascending back up to the plateau, proved to be no easy task. Eventually, I arrived in Flagstaff, where there wasn’t much to see, but luckily I found a comfortable guesthouse to spend the night.

The next day brought me to the breathtaking Port St John’s, which is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque locations in all of South Africa. My original plan was to cycle the back road to Coffee Bay the following day, but as I approached the turnoff, it became evident that the weather had other ideas. A harsh cold front had moved in, and the freezing temperatures were unbearable, especially while battling the rough gravel road on a bicycle. So, I had to adapt and change my plans. I decided to make my way to Mtata, where I managed to find a welcoming backpackers to stay at. Coincidentally, it was also the night of the World Cup final, and I was joined by two Dutch girls at the backpackers. As we gathered in front of the big screen, filled with excitement, it dawned on us that the only ones passionately cheering for Holland were the three South Africans, as the Dutch girls sat quietly in a corner, seemingly unaffected by the significance of the occasion for their home country.

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So, we had planned to hit the road again the next morning, but the weather was just terrible. In the end, we decided to stay in Umtata for the day, even though it wasn’t exactly the kind of place we had in mind. To pass the time, we decided to visit the Nelson Mandela museum in town. Let me tell you, it was such a pleasant surprise! We learned so much and had a great time.

After that, we kept going on our journey through the old Transkei. A few days later, we finally made it to Morgan’s Bay. We were pretty excited to visit our friends, the Wilken family, at their holiday home. Let me just say, it turned into quite a marathon party! When it was time for us to leave two days later, none of us were feeling our best. To make matters worse, we were faced with a horrible headwind that seemed determined to make our lives miserable. It was a tough time for us, I won’t lie.

Eventually, we passed through East London and just managed to reach the lovely little town of Kidd’s Beach. We were cycling along the N2 when, out of nowhere, a metro police officer pulled up behind us. He started yelling at me through his loudspeaker, telling me to get off the highway and take a different route. I must admit, it nearly gave me a heart attack! I was about to throw my hands up in the air, but then I realized I would just end up falling off my bike. So, I put on a big smile and calmly explained to the officer that we were just minding our own business and would be off the road soon enough. Of course, I was lying through my teeth, but the officer was not impressed. He made us take an alternative route, which meant cycling through the entire industrial area of Port Elizabeth. Let me tell you, it was not the most scenic route, but hey, I’m not here to give advice on that kind of thing. So, next time you’re in the Friendly City, maybe think twice about taking that particular detour!

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When my journey led me to Humansdorp that evening, I felt a sense of excitement and anticipation. It was a fleeting stop, though, as I soon found myself in the charming Stormsrivier Village the following night. The Garden Route beckoned me further, and I was fortunate enough to stay with Lodie’s sister in Plettenberg Bay. After that, I made my way to George before finally reaching Mossel Bay, just in time for Stefan’s mother’s 60th birthday celebration.

As you can imagine, the weekend was filled with indulgence, an abundance of food, and endless drinking. But I must admit, it was an incredibly enjoyable experience.

Now, as my journey continues, I set my sights on Riversdale, making my way towards the enchanting Cape Agulhas. With each passing day, I can feel our time on the road coming to an end, but the memories I’ve made will last a lifetime.

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