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SLOW RIDING® — AN AMATHOLA ADVENTURE.
A leisurely bicycle ride through the beautiful countryside of the Eastern Cape.
Day 1 – Sunday 28th April Hogsback to Thomas River – 83km
We began our adventure with a short climb , as we followed the dirt track and watched the sun break through the early morning mist and paint gold streaks across the craggy face of Gaika’s Kop. The scenery on the Happy Valley route (it’s well named!) is spectacular and we kept stopping to take pics — the riding is gentle — long gradients that allow for bird watching, flower spotting and conversation as we followed the road across the open countryside, the hills running blue in the distance. A quick refreshment stop at the Wagon Wheel in Cathcart, up the N6 to the turn-off at the top of the climb and into the 31000 hectares of the Thomas River Conservancy Area.
Visited the Rock Art Centre checked out some of the vintage cars
Day 2 – Monday 29th April Thomas River via Gubu Dam, Keiskammahoek to Cata – 60km
We soon got back into the rhythm and rode on over cattle grids and past fields of sheep to the gate of Ailsa farm. We stopped to admire the view of the Gubu Dam over the treetops of the Kologha Forest Reserve
Cata is a wow! Our tent camp has been set up right at the top, in the grassed lapa area overlooking a beautiful crescent valley and the village below. Today it is thriving model of integrated community-driven development which includes an agricultural co-operative, forestry, nature and bird projects and a modern rural tourism offering.
Day 3 – Tuesday 30th April
Cata to Hogsback — 56km
The last day of our ride.Through Keiskammahoek and on to the Sandile Dam road that runs over the top of the dam wall. What a sight — the water of the Sandile Dam winds around hilly outcrops in a series of s-bends and it gleams and glistens where it lies in the deep ravines of the Wolf River Valley.
And then we left the forest behind and rode up and over the crest — the Hogsback Mountains — Hog 1,2 and 3 on our right.
But we are hooked, and back at work, we can’t wait to tell people that we pedaled 200km through the Amathola Mountains
SLOW RIDING® You can’t explain the experience. You have to live it. You’ve got to be there.
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