Leaving behind our new friends the family of black wild pigs, we drove on through the rain to Port Elizabeth. Port Elizabeth holds a sore spot for Mike as three years ago, on his first time around South Africa he was changing his front fork oil, when he slipped on the screw driver and cut his finger. It cut it so deep, that he had to have stitches and keep his finger straight for the next four weeks. Mike didn’t want to hang around Port Elizabeth any longer than necessary.
For us, if things would work out well we won’t need to be in town longer than 24 hours. Just enough to arrive, eat, sleep, go to a motorcycle part shop, then the hell out of there. That’s exactly what we did. The next morning, we drove down to the parts shop. Our eyes took time to adjust to the sharp contrast of the dark oily parts with the bright white light streaming through the windows. We hunted high and low for a gear lever for Mike but we found nothing. We left with empty hands, went back to the guest house, packed our bikes and drove on to a quiet surf town called Jeffrey’s Bay.
We took a couple days off from driving the long rolling roads and caught up with our work and chatted to our clients. People wonder how we travel so long without working. Mike and I both try to keep our careers going while traveling. Mike works on developing business software / apps and I design and build websites. Skype meetings, deadlines and creative thoughts are all part of our life on the road. Helmet time can be utilized not just for reminiscing, daydreaming or writing my blogs but also for solving problems and thinking of special designs. Some people may think it defers away from the original idea of travelling, getting away from it all, being free without the pressure of owning a watch, but I actually think it enhances your experiences by forcing you to slow down and enjoy connections you make with locals just be staying in their village an extra day or two. Now, let’s be honest here, isn’t everyones dream to able to travel and work at the same time?
We drove on, inching our way closer to Cape Town. Later that day we arrived in a town called Wilderness. I spent the day wondering what type of person would live there and boiled it down to the type of people who would associate themselves with Bear Grylls. Because who else would live in a place called Wilderness! When we arrived, I discovered that wasn’t the case. It was a very pretty tourist town on the coast, with a small shopping complex and several restaurants. We headed to a guest house on the edge of the town but on the boundary of a small national park. Still fed up with the rain we opted out of camping but got a room in an old victorian building. The room was simple with a four-poster bed with a beautiful lace mosquito net draped over it, but it still looked fit for a princess – not two smelly bikers in damp clothing!
After Wilderness, Mike and I decided to not take a direct route towards Cape Town, but to head North through a mountain pass which the locals promised us was an amazing well maintained dirt road, that followed an old railway line over the hill and into a Ostrich capital of South Africa – Oudtshoorn. Then we could return to the coast via another mountain pass but it was asphalted. After visiting “The Map Of Africa” and seeing the view over Wilderness we took off to for the mountains. The route was everything everyone promised us!
Just before the town of Oudtshoorn, we pulled off the road so I could do my lady business behind some ultra short but prickly bushes. Before mounting my bike, I walked over to Mike to plant a big kiss on his lips. When I looked down, I noticed something shiny and glittering in the sun. An alarm went off in my head. I guess after all this time, my brain is well trained for spotting things out of place. Because when I bent over for a closer inspection I realised Mike’s chain link clip was 90% off and just hanging there on the last knob. What started as a quick pee break ended up being an hour sitting in the hot sun, riveting on a new clip. At least we know now it will be on forever!
The return road is what we expected, sweeping smooth asphalt road that took us gently through the mountain. The major highlight was being rained on again! We arrived back on the coast in Mossel Bay, once again drenched. Again I didn’t feel like camping so we looked up an interesting guesthouse we had heard about. It was a series of train carriages planted right on the beach. Sounded too interesting to pass up, plus we’d know for sure where won’t be a family of wild pigs living under us!