Only in Okiep ….

There’s a dorp that goes by the name of Okiep, situated just off the N7 as you hit the #Cape2Namibia Route a dozen kays or so beyond Springbok. But you would probably not know about this – or the fabulous Okiep Country Hotel – because you’re too busy voet-in-die-hoeking along the N7 highway.

Well, it’s your loss, buddy, because you’re missing out on all those things which makes the #NorthernCape such a special place. This is the home of the best lamb-neck main course on Planet Earth, and those peaks bristling to the east of the tarmac strip brim with adventure opportunities.

It’s only really thanks to another Open Africa Route Scouting mission that I got to discover this little piece of desert paradise. There’s been much talk of a new #mountainbike Stage Race Route up in this area, so I hooked up the EcoBound Mountain Events crew and Peter Kirk to go and check out options. Over the next few days, we killed our legs as we cranked amidst the spectacular quiver trees and rugged rock outcrops of this ‘Namaqua Coastal Route’.

The first ride on my new Giant Bicycles South Africa #Tranceheaded straight out from the Okiep Country Hotel into the surrounding hills, following around 6km of tarmac before dog-legging right onto a gritty route blasting along a pipeline jeep-track. A few serious climbs and helter-skelter downhills amidst the renoster-veld kopjes followed, eventually taking us up to a high viewpoint overlooking the town of #okiep itself.

All in all, our 2-hr recce ride here barely scratched the surface of the potential trail network, but we had to still fit in a #hikeand #trailrun, not to mention the cold beers and plate of prime lamb-neck waiting down at the #OkiepCountryHotel. I think we finally made it back well after sunset, but it was worth every minute …

Day 2 dawned with a full schedule of #outdoor #adventure on the menu, and we set course along the back roads to #kamieskroon. We were fortunately joined by local #offroadfundi Dudley Bruce Wessels, and he took us along some seriously remote gravel strips past places you’ve never heard of … Gamoep, Anegas, Bloupoort … This proved to be an absolute paradise for the Isuzu South Africa #Xrider.

A quick stop at a quirky #kamieskroon coffee shop (let’s just say the bean-to-cup concept here extends to cappucinos in a packet), before we hit the road to our next destination: the brilliant SANParks – Namaqua National Park. More about this amazing space in my next visual blog on the Open Africa #NamaquaCoastalRoute.

What an absolute joy it was to explore the wide-sky spaces of the Northern Cape Tourism region once again, and also to have my PENTAX SOUTH AFRICA #Pentaxk1 on hand to capture this treasure trove of outdoor adventure and culture.

Click here to view the pics