Dropped off at Die Top of the Swartberg pass, I was left to make my way back on bicycle for 54 harrowing kilometers through the Kleine Karoo. I passed farms and ostrich ranches (and camel rides?). At times pursued by ravenous herds of man-eating ostriches. Luckily, I arrived unscathed in the town of Oudtshoorn. Then we’re magically transported to Stellenbosch. Uni town and wine center. Strolled through the Village Museum for a gander at Dutch colonial life in the 17th and 18th centuries. Then I hired a dodgy bike to pedal the vineyards, but ventured only as far as I was willing to walk back – a real el crappo bike. The musical accompaniment is Get Some by Lykke Li and Concerto 2 – F Major of the Brandenburg Concertos by Johann Sebastian Bach, conducted by Helmuth Rilling.
originally published elsewhere on 16 January 2012.
From Cape Town, I hopped the Baz Bus to ride along the Garden Route. First stop – Hermanus. Where right whale watching can be done seasick-free from shore. Whales seen, the next stop was Mossel Bay. Wind swept coast around from the town. Those rodent-like critters are Dassis, whose closest genetic relative is the elephant. Next stop – Wilderness (cool name). Grotty weather till the sun emerged just before I left. Enroute to Storms River Village, we crossed the Bloukrans Bridge with the world’s highest bungy jump (I’d done my once-in-a-lifetime jump in New Zealand). Off the ground and into the trees with a canopy tour in the Tsitsikamma Forest. Taking a walk in the forest, I ran into some baboons – pardon the big foot fuzzy images. I finished in Port Elizabeth with a safari which is another video entirely. Backtracking, I ventured into the Kleine Karoo to Oudtshoorn. Driven up to the Swartberg Pass, I was tossed out with a mountain bike to make my way back. Passed ostrich ranches. A tourist show, where they paid thousands of rand, and which I secretly filmed from the road so you can view it for free. Then regretfully paid to enter an ostrich farm with ostrich riding – yee-haw! Finally, before returning to Cape Town, I ventured as far as I dared on a shitty bike in the vinelands of Stellenbosch.
Originally published elsewhere on 31 October 2011.