LSD Trip in the Wild Coast, South Africa

Yesterday, we rode over 450 kilometers mostly under the rain. In the last 5 hours of the ride we got fog, enough rain to get us wet to the bone and the temperature dropped down enough to make us shiver in cold. The roads have gotten much worse which required full concentration at all times. The paved roads had potholes the size of small craters and the dirt roads had mud, gravel and big ruts. I will not list the variety of animals on the road…

Yesterday’s ride has been the hardest one in the last 3,000+ Km that we have ridden in South Africa. We got really scared when a black goat jumped in front of us on the highway. I’m not sure who was more scared, the goat or us, but luckily he jumped back where he came from just seconds before we hit it.  In the last hour of the ride it was dark; the road became very technical with a mix of sections of gravel, mud, animals, rain and fog, with steep up hills and down hill. We did not expect or plan for the ride to be so long, difficult and exhausting.

As I write, we are in the Wild Coast of South Africa. Our lodge is south of Coffee Bay on top of a beautiful hill overseeing the Indian Ocean. The waves are breaking loudly against the cliff and the full moon rays are struggling to come through the dark clouds.  Only the thunders allow us to get glimpses of our magical surroundings.

The Wild Coast is one of South Africa’s most remote stretches of shoreline. The scenery is surreal, the energy around us is paradisiac and after a delicious meal this is the perfect time to reflect on the experiences we have had in the last few weeks. As we look back we realize that the past few days have been a Look, See and Decide (LSD) trip.  We will let the pictures narrate the trip:

Riding_with_Johan

When we arrived in South Africa we did not know what to expect. We were excited to be arriving into this wild continent and at the same time scared from all the stories we hear on the news. On our arrival Johan in the picture above picked us up at the airport and for the next few days he was our guardian angel. He and his family looked after us, provided guidance on our trip and helped us get organized. The most amazing thing was that we have never met Johan before our arrival and we connected with him through a motorcycle forum.

garden_road_south_africa

We rode our first 1,000 Kilometers in the area around Cape Town and we could have easily ridden much more as you can appreciate from the picture above.

Cape_Agulhas_South_Africa_T_n_S

After a week in the Cape Town area we headed to Cape Agulhas the southernmost point in Africa where the Indian Ocean meets with the Atlantic Ocean. A sense of happiness and achievement surrounded us.  Finally we felt that we were in Africa in a once in a lifetime adventure.

cango_caves_oudtshoornFrom Cape Agulhas we headed inland to Oudtshoorn to visit the Cango Caves. We did the adventure tour that required climbing and sliding across narrow holes under the grounds. The smallest passage was just under 30cm high at the exit! The cave system of tunnels and chambers was impressive to say the least and the picture above does not do justice to the beauty of the caves.

Plettenberg_Bay_Diamond

 

From Oudtshoorn we went to Plettenberg Bay. We stayed in Brian’s house (identity hidden) shown in the picture above. Brian is an ex-diamond smuggler. He made a small fortune in the 80’s going to Namibia and buying diamonds that were stolen from the diamond beaches.  Brian told us that in Namibia there are beaches that are full of diamonds and you can pick them up from the sand. These are not large diamonds but they are big enough for wedding rings. Anyway, Brian was a very interesting character with a lot of great stories.

view_head_knysna

While in Plettenberg Bay, we went to Knysna for the day. The views of “the Heads” where spectacular and the food amazing. It was a good day!

Addo_Elephant_Park

From Plettenberg Bay we headed to Addo to see the Elephant National Park. It is one of the few places if not the only place in South Africa where you get to see so many elephants together in one place. The elephants provided a lot of food for thought. It reminded us of the Indian God Ganesh and our time in Asia. It reminded us that we are in Africa. It reminded us that this animals are being killed for their ivory tusks.

John_Orange_Elephant_Backpackers

In Addo we were guest of John the owner of Orange Elephant Backpackers. John is a motorcyclist who read about our trip and wanted to support us along our way north. It was great to meet him and we were very thankful for his help!

road_hole_in_the_wall_wild_coast

From Addo we came to Coffee Bay. Yesterday due to the rain our camera drowned and we were not able to take pictures. The picture above and below are from today’s ride to Hole In The Wall a few kilometers south of Coffee Bay.

wild_coast_south_africa_beach

The beaches in the Wild Coast are just unbelievable!  It was nice to see the sun after a long day riding under the rain.

hole_in_the_whole_wild_coast_south_africa

The famous Hole In the Wall.

white_clays_coffee_bay

The picture above is where we are currently writing this blog post. On the right is our small hut overseeing the Indian Ocean. As we Look back we realize that we have Seen much more than we expected and it will be challenging to Decide what to do after the Trip.  Maybe it is just better not to think about it and do what my father told Tarci: “Go with the flow and just keep both wheels in balance”.

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Comments

  1. Eliane Carício says:

    Meus queridos, Tarci e Salva.

    É emocionante ver as fotos e os comentários…
    Parece que estamos assistindo um lindo filme!
    Parabenizamos vocês pela coragem, disciplina e humanidade.
    Que os “anjos” estejam sempre nos vossos caminhos.

    Bj grande,
    Stuart e Eliane

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