Biking The 29th Parallel

If you’ve been reading my blog long enough, then you’ll know that this bike trip has featured in every variation of a to-do-before-I-die and “bucket list” that I’ve ever blogged about! You can see it in April 2006, December 2007, May and August 2008, and again in November 2009!!


It started when I was sitting in a doctor’s waiting room one day about eleven years ago. I read an article in the October 1998 edition of “Getaway magazine describing a motorcycle trip across the widest part of South Africa, going through towns like Soutpan, Kakamas and Babanango. Places that are not really en-route to anywhere touristy and seldom visited or even familiar to most people.

The roughly 1900km trip starts in Port Nolloth on the West Coast and ends in Richards Bay on the East Coast and takes roughly two weeks, depending on how far you want to travel every day.

The description of the people and places that the three bikers in the article encountered were so engrossing, I forgot to be annoyed at having to wait for the doctor! I was hooked! I wanted to go out and buy a bike and do the trip myself!


I dunno who is aware of it, but ever since my cousins taught me to ride a bike so I could gallivant with them on their farm in Zululand when I was 14 years old, I have been a biker at heart… It has just always been one of the many things I had to shelve.

But I made a promise to myself when I went through a period of reevaluating what was really important to me, that I would complete this trip within the next 10 years.

That means I have to complete it before the end of 2013.

Now we have a little over two years to save up and plan for it. We have to get bikes, get licensed, gain experience and save money for the many stop overs we are planning. My Glugster is coming too of course, as is the knucklehead, and despite my dad swearing he’d never do another long bike trip after his recent solo jaunt to Cape Town, he and my mom are coming too!

Our plan is to drive to Port Nolloth with the bikes on a trailer, and set off from there with a support vehicle and a trailer for emergencies. On completion of the trip, the rest of our holiday will consist of riding home from Richards Bay.

I am so excited I get butterflies when I think about it! It’s going to be awesome!


I’m researching the best time of the year to do it so we don’t freeze or cook. I’m putting away a little money when I can. And I’m researching the type of bike that will be perfect for me and for the trip- it has to be light enough to pick up on my own should it fall, it has to be low enough for my feet to touch the ground, and it has to be powerful enough to be worth the money. The right clothing is also essential, leathers and such. And like I said to my mom, I am happy to wear the same pair of jeans & just alternate T-shirts provided I have clean knickers- and this will save on packing space 😛 !


Oh this is going to be epic!!!

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