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Stage 1

South Africa

The scenic N1 Highway, Hex River Pass and Theewaters Nature Reserve are fantastics

Great Venture
Great Venture

I arrived in Africa, at Cape Town International Airport on 22nd Nov 2018 after a total journey of 30 hours since I left my house in Ipoh. The Ethiopian Airlines flight which I flew with made a brief stop at Addis Ababa. I was pretty exhausted when I arrived in CT and was relieved that my dear friend, Sam, offered to fetch me from the airport.
While waiting for my bike, Sam took me sightseeing in and around Cape Town. Sam rode his Honda Shadow bike whilst I rode his 1969 Royal Enfield. This is the first time I tried this classic bike. It was heavy and sturdy, and not affected by the strong wind at all even though I could feel the heavy wind slapping my chest. I managed to visit the icon of Cape Town, Table Mountain. It indeed looked like a table with its flat top. We also went to Signal Hill where I could see many locals picnicking.

Our next stop was Bo Kaap, a nice colourful Malay Quarter which had existed here since 300 years ago. I loved the bright and pastel colours of the houses and buildings. Sam told me that some elderly people who live here can still speak Malay. Then Sam and I rode to Hout Bay via Misty Cliff. We enjoyed a very delicious snoek fish n chips meal at Sam’s favourite cafe while viewing the sunset.
The next day, Sam brought me to Cape Peninsula. It was approximately 60 km from Sam’s house which took us about 1 hour to ride. The view of the blue South Atlantic Ocean crashing huge waves to the cliff down below was a spectacular sight. Then we rode to the nearby Cape of Good Hope, which was first discovered by a Portuguese ship captain, Bartholomew Dias in 1488. After that, we rode to Muizenberg, not taking the coastal way, but Sam guided me through an inland route passing some hills which offered beautiful bird’s eye view of the area.

My bike was delayed due to weather problem. To kill the time, Sam took me for a ride to Cape Town waterfront. Our first stop was the Castle of Good Hope which was a bastion fort built in the 17th century. Then we went to the waterfront to enjoy free acapella entertainment by the locals. We also rode to Milnerton to view Table Mountain from its beautiful white beach. I supposed, I managed to ride all the amazing routes in and around Cape Town while waiting for my bike. Once I got my bike in my hands, I didn’t waste a second and rode north to the Namibian border, stopping for the night at Springbok. The ride was nice and the road quality was good, but my ride was slowed by headwind and lots of ascends and descends.

I re-entered South Africa for the second time three weeks later. I managed to report at the High Comm of Malaysia, Pretoria. I was received by H.E. Mohamad Nizan Mohamad, his wife Madam Ros and all the Msian embassy, defence and MATRADE staff with their families. I was very thrilled as I didn’t expect to receive such a warm welcome. The kind Ambassador invited me to stay at his residence and the next day, he waved me off when I rode to Johannesburg.
At Yamaha Linex, Johannesburg, I was met by Roger Davidson, Givi importer in South Africa. I first met Roger during Givi 40th anniversary celebration in Iseo, Italy. He asked me to contact him after knowing that I’m going to ride in South Africa. I was introduced to his partner, Danny Mulder. My bike was left here for oil change and service. Roger then drove me to the airport for me to catch my flight to Dubai to attend the Emirates Travelers Festival. He also fetched me after I’m back and brought me to his nice home where I stayed for one night. That was very kind of him.

I continued riding to Elgro River Lodge at Potchefstroom, a popular place among advriders and overlanders to relax and see wildlife. I was lucky to meet Pete who owned a huge farm nearby and was willing to take me for a safari tour around his farm. I saw lots of animals – impalas, different types of buffalos, different type of antelopes, giraffes and zebras. The zebras were so damn cute. I was very excited and screamed like a little kid. For the first time, I managed to get as near as 50 meters to giraffes. They were very beautiful creatures.I exited South Africa for one night in Lesotho, and re-enter South Africa for the 3rd time. The ride from Lesotho border was okay for the first 400 km, but I was caught in heavy wind later. It was very disturbing. At times, I felt as if the wheels of my bike didn’t touch the ground anymore. Up ahead, I saw a cloud of dust being blown from the left to the right side of the road. I knew that a storm was passing by. So I stopped at a petrol station for shelter and waited for the storm to pass.

After 1 hour, the wind lessened a little bit and I continued to Beaufort West. The wind picked up strength once again while I’m riding, and God knew how I struggled to keep my bike upright. I can only ride with the 3rd gear, and could only manage the speed of 60 – 70 kmh. It was a very exhausting ride and I no longer could enjoy the orange and yellow mountains of the Northern Cape, even though the view was stunning.
The ride from Beaufort West back to Cape Town was really nice and beautiful. As a matter of fact, among all the countries I rode in the Southern African region, to me South Africa is the most beautiful, followed by Namibia. Here are some pics on the scenic N1 Highway, Hex River Pass and Theewaters Nature Reserve on R321 route. I really love the vineyards, mountains and the blue waters. I stopped too many time for pics. I just couldn’t help it. I was lucky too that the wind was not as disturbing as yesterday.Finally, I made my way back to Sam’s house in Cape Town. Sam repeatedly told me how relieved he was that I had returned, safe and sound.

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