It was a long one that we didn’t expect to be able to complete … all the way home to Plettenberg Bay. Due to the unrest that had plagued the Garden Route of late we had decided previously to drive the Nekkies at Knysna and take the detour around the airport to Plett. That just left getting to the Outeniqua Pass from Oudtshoorn.
We set out on the gravel road that led to Paardepoort. This would bring us out on the R62 near Herold. The quality of the gravel road was initially very good but soon it began to deteriorate. However, we hung on through the poort and out onto the R62. There Suzann had a bit of a mishap in being unable to unclip from her pedal to stop at the intersection with the tar road. This required she turn onto the very loose gravel verge and soldier on a way before the vehicle could get a gap to catch her so that she could come up on the tar and get some solid momentum to be able to unclip.
The clouds had been gathering the whole way and then we saw the mist drop onto the mountains. We just knew what was going to happen next. And it did. It rained again on the Outeniqua Pass. But this time around we were not going to attempt to cycle in the rain and mist. It was just too dangerous. So we headed on into George. Just through town we’d stop and get back on the bikes.
Down the Kaaimans into Wilderness still went well, but the streams of cars began to get more and more impatient as we headed for Sedgefield. It was the West Coast Road all over again, only worse. The traffic was picking up and cars zoomed by at breakneck speed. Lynsey realized just what was going on behind her and tried to crank it even more to get to the pre-arranged stop at the picnic spot and viewpoint just above Swartvlei at Sedgefield. Suzann was all eyes and ears trying to stay on the bike’s wheel but also anticipate the other drivers’ moves. There was no way to break these guys’ speed. They’d just came by with no regard for what was coming from the front.
After having to each energy chews, half a dish of leftover pasta, a bun, a chocolate, four wine gums and drink a coke to recover, we decided to rather err on the side of caution and pack it in through Sedgefield and Knysna.
By the time we crested the rise on Plett side of Knysna though the traffic had run down somewhat and Suzann was prepared to give it her all to take us home. Flying passed the Garden of Eden, we could smell home. Then it was just to cross the N2 at the turnoff to the airport. We had to go off on the Harkerville market side, turn around and approach the crossing head-on. Taking the first gap we could we were finally on the quieter road that would snake around the back and give us a fantastic view of Robberg. Then we knew we were indeed home.
We were set for three days of R&R and general clean-up before it was to be ‘up sticks’ and on towards the Eastern Cape.