Words & photographs: Mikko Nieminen, Motorcycle Sport & Leisure editor
The last day of riding in South Africa. How did we get here so quick? It seemed that we’d only just started, but at the same time we’d covered a whole heap of things in the two weeks we’d been on the road.
From the hustle and bustle of Cape Town to the tranquillity and calm of the Mount Camdeboo Game Reserve, and everything in between, it’s been a tour packed full of not only riding but experiencing life in South Africa too. But it wasn’t not quite over yet.
We left our digs at the vineyard slightly reluctantly. It wasn’t easy to tear yourself away from all that lovely wine or the scenery of vines reaching all the way to the mountains on the horizon. But the mountains were where we were heading, so it wasn’t all bad.
The last day’s riding was hardly the most direct route back to Cape Town. It was a loop over the mountains, taking in some lovely passes and old towns, before eventually joining the highways that feed the big city.
Riding around the mountain passes was a good chance to reflect on the trip, the bike, and how it had all panned out. I had come to South Africa with very little knowledge or expectations of the place, but even so, I was surprised by so many things.
On the positive side were the incredible flora and fauna, which are about as far away from what I’m used to back home as possible – it’s incredibly rare that a baboon runs across the road in front of me when I’m riding to the office. I was also pleasantly surprised by the roads (both in terms of condition and entertainment factor) and the road users.