Touring the South Coast on a Harley
SITTING on Leopard Rock and looking into an amazing gorge with a stream running through it and having a chat about life with my friend Sharlene, a true appreciation of nature came over me
We were an hour and half south of South Africa's playground, Durban, a place I call a hidden gem, the South Coast. Recently I was invited to join a group of Harley Davidson bikers and tour the area on their stylish bikes. I accepted, though I was a bit worried that there wouldn't be much to do besides seeing the ocean while riding. How wrong I was.
When we arrived in Port Shepston and checked into Umtunzi Boutique Hotel, there was no time to rest. We rode across town and took in the sights of the ocean and palm trees. Seeing the sea from a motorbike was the best view I had ever seen.
Ending the day with dinner at Royston Hall, a historic house set on a small Nature Reserve covered by indigenous coastal forest over the Umzimkulu River with the Indian Ocean in the distance, convinced me that the South Coast was not just about the sea and surfing.
On my first morning, the beauty of being surrounded by the ocean, a 4km boat ride into the sea and an unexpected dip was an exceptional start to the day. Wave sailing from Shelly Beach to Margate and swimming with the dolphins is without a doubt a much better way to start the day than being stuck in traffic.
A bike ride to the Oribi Gorge on Eric's beautiful Harley was great fun. He taught me "Harley language" and encouraged me to take in the sights, smell the fresh air and enjoy the ride. Indeed I did. I had hoped that we would travel just a little faster, but he reminded me that it was a cruise and there was not need to speed.
The Oribi Gorge is famous for the world's highest Gorge swing (100m long). The thought of jumping down is scary, but only until you actually jump and literally hang around and take in the view of the mountains and a waterfall.
Watching a baby crocodile come to life was the highlight of the trip. We arrived at Riverbend Crocodile Farm just as a couple of croc eggs were about to hatch and had the rare experience of watching a birth.
If you are a laid-back person with a sense of adventure and an eye for beauty and you love seafood, then the South Coast is definitely for you.