In a way, it was like coming home, I suppose. The Baviaans River Conservancy where I grew up is but a couple of hours away, and I felt like a 56yr old kid let loose within a familiar outdoor playground. Rooigras seeds in your socks, the Lego jumble of ysterklip koppies, the whistle of wild rheebuck in the highland ridges, the smell of the fertile red soil … it all felt comfortably familiar.
Then there’s the people, a gravelly mix of rough diamond boertjies and Tannies who’s hands stand wrong for nothing. They live a hard, but beautifully real life, living close to the land, and the conversations reminded me of 50yrs or so ago, when I sat near the Bloemhof Farm hearth, listening to my grandparents discussing farm life by the light of Coleman oil lanterns. I also got to speak proper Gcaleka Xhosa again.
The Build it Trek 2 Teebus- 3day MTB Karoo Adventure event itself was a #mountainbiking feast of note, with gritty off-piste riding along everything from wilderness tracks to fast, flowy gravel roads. It was phenomenal, with the only downer being Yolande de Villiers being injured in a really bad fall.
Huge thanks to Rohan Germishuys, Fleur Van Eeden, Rudolf Botha and their superb team. You guys feel like family, and I cannot wait for Chas Everitt Around the Pot – Overberg 100Miler and the soon-to-be-announced #Trail2Teebus
Click here to view the pics