Inspired by a motorcycle event that takes place every year in the town of Margate, I decided to set out to discover South Africa.
The journey starts from Cape Town, certainly the city? pi? beautiful country. Lying on a wonderful bay, the city? it presents itself to the multiethnic and colorful visitor due to the influx of people from all over the world but, above all, in virtue of the? of history largely marked by the Dutch, English and French colonization. Walking through the streets of the metropolis I discover, together with my sweet half, Long Street, the multicultural street with its bars and shops located in old buildings. Victorian; Grand Parade, the square where Mandela pronounce? his first speech after years in prison on Robben Island; Greenmarket Square, where we buy a beautifully crafted wooden mask; Bo-Kaap, the Muslim quarter famous for its colorful building facades; Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, the old port area, full of restaurants, ateliers, shops and galleries; the colorful murals of Woodstock.
We head towards the wonderful Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, located at the far end. of the Cape Peninsula. Between gusts of wind and baboons ready to earn a souvenir from careless tourists, we walk the path that leads us to the old Cape Point lighthouse. The view overlooking the sea? breathtaking. In front of us c '? the South Pole! The adventures of the navigators come to mind who in the past were forced to round the Cape to transport precious goods between the Indies and the Old Continent. We reach the nearby Cape of Good Hope, with the white sand strip of Dias Beach; a few moments to take the usual photo and we go up the Western Cape peninsula to reach Boulders Beach, in Simon's Town. In this paradise lives a colony of African penguins; ? It is possible to admire scenes of everyday life: the females hatching their eggs, the puppies playing, the specimens swimming and returning to the beach with the classic wobbly and clumsy gait, still others letting themselves be pampered by the warm rays of the sun. We take the panoramic road Chapman's Peak Drive which with its curves reaches Hout Bay offering sensational views of the Atlantic Ocean and unforgettable scenic views.
We conclude the visit of Citt? of the Cape going up Table Mountain, a flat mountain a little more high. of a thousand meters, symbol of the city. We reach the top via the funicular which has a revolving floor to allow a 360 view? during the ascent. ? exciting to walk the paths between rock formations overlooking the ocean, the city? and on the suburbs that stretch as far as the eye can see, occasionally bumping into rock dassie, rock rabbits similar to guinea pigs.
Joined by two of our friends, the journey continues towards the wine route pi? longest in the world, which stretches along Route 62, a scenic tourist route that flows between hills planted with vines that are lost visibly. Along the way we visit the towns of Stellenbosch, with its Dutch or Victorian style houses, and Franschhoek, South African food and wine capital.
We take the Garden Route, a winding road that connects Mossel Bay to Port Elizabeth; 400 kilometers of panoramic views, including white beaches, rugged coasts, mountain passes, lagoons and forests. We reach the Oudtshoorn basin, the undisputed kingdom of ostriches. Here? a must is a dinner based on ostrich fillet washed down with an excellent Stellenbosch red.
We hardly reach Addo Elephant National Park. Our GPS forces us to travel about 50 km of dirt road before reaching the lodge. Regardless of the accumulated fatigue, we still decide to try our hand at a little relaxing walk on the back of an elephant. Experience? certainly positive but the signs of the "ride" will keep us company for the following days.
We leave our friends, the plane flight to Johannesburg awaits us. We reach the Kruger National Park where the great African animals live immersed in a luxuriant nature, including the cos? Big Five sayings: elephants, lions, leopards, buffaloes and rhinos.
On board of off-road vehicles led by expert rangers, we start "hunting" for animals and magnificent views to be immortalized with endless photographic shots. What? day after day, the sightings are getting more and more? numerous and the emotions more and more? intense. We meet giraffes with an elegant bearing, families of elephants and herds of buffaloes, many impalas, kudus and zebras, crocodiles enjoying the sun on the shores of lakes, hippos playing in the water, sinister-looking hyenas, a leopard relaxing on the branches of a tree still another that buries its prey.
The close encounters with the King of the forest were, without a doubt, the most recent sightings. exciting that we did. Immortalized in their natural habitat as they devour their nocturnal prey, doze in the coolness of a pool of water, wander disturbingly in the darkness or are intent on mating.
We decide to take a dip more? direct into nature by participating in a bush walk. Disturbing the words of our guide who, in illustrating the dangers in which we could have encountered, shows us the bullets of his rifle specifying that they are not used to put animals to sleep but to kill them! He therefore recommends caution. We spot the rare dung beetle that populates the park intent on pushing elephant dung balls, numerous impalas and some zebra. Fortunately no feline yes? revealed!
We push through a hilly landscape towards the Blyde River Canyon, the third largest canyon. big in the world. We remain enchanted in front of the views offered by Wonder View and God's Window as well as? from the rock column known as The Pinnacle.
We then head to the Golden Gate Highlands National Park, with its beautifully colored sandstone outcrops. The trip is ending but yet another adventure awaits us: Africa Bike Week, the most? great motorcycle festival of the African continent. But this ? another story.