by Staff Reporter on 08/09/12 at 7:19 am
South Africans are lucky. Our country has so much to offer—we can literally stand on a golden beach and turn around to face a breathtaking mountain range. Go from having breakfast in the snow and end up having sundowners in blistering temperatures. All in a day.
We often hear of people embarking on journeys to explore their beautiful country. Some in massive 4×4 vehicles and in the rare cases some travel on foot. But the trend in travelling has turned to two-wheels. Not only are they safe to ride, they also give riders the chance to really enjoy the South African outdoors.
Tour de Vespa
The distance between Johannesburg and Cape Town is roughly 2600kms—if we take the scenic route and we’re not in too much of a hurry. This is exactly what six intrepid Vespa riders did. In July of all months, when South Africa experiences its coldest weather, the guys packed their top-boxes and set out on a six day adventure from Joburg to Cape Town.
The ride started in Joburg through the outskirts of Lesotho, along the beautiful Golden Gate National Park. The name of the Park was derived from the brilliant shades of gold cast by the sun its sandstone cliffs. Ribbokkop, the highest point in the park, reveals a breathtaking tapestry of red, yellow and purple hues as its warm shades merge with the cool mountain shadows towards evening. While this terrain may seem pretty challenging on four-wheels, the Vespas passed the test with flying colours—the only complaints being the cold.
Taking a turn from the mountainous countryside, the Vespa six made their way toward the ocean. Riding around Lesotho to the Transkei, where they were greeted by an untamed coastline after crossing over a rocky, mountain range, not even suitable for agriculture. This wildly untapped coast is the perfect place for Vespa riders to just twist ‘n go and absorb the absolute beauty of the rugged landscape.
Appreciating the coastline, the guys took the road past Knysna—a popular destination for tourists due to its year-round warm climate. The Vespa six arrived just in time for the Knysna Oyster Festival that is celebrated every year and includes events ranging from cycling, running, adventure races, whiskey tastings and a host of gala themed events. After enjoying the festivities and warmer weather it was time to move onto the dry cold of Oudshoorn—the ostrich capital of the world. The towns of Oudtshoorn and De Rust are nestled between the Swartberg and Outeniqua mountains. The Vespa six once again braved the cold across the mountains to end off their six day journey in Cape Town.
Anything you can do, Vespa can do better
The trip proved to the riders that they were able to enjoy everything the South African backdrop has to offer from behind the visor of a helmet. The safety of the all steel-monocoque chassis gave the riders peace-of-mind that they could enjoy the trip even when travelling through some of the most treacherous roads. The ample storage space in the compartments below the seats and top cases ensured a clutter-free, comfortable ride. The Vespa’s extremely impressive fuel efficiency made the trip even more worthwhile—not having to plan according to regular fuel fills meant that the route was left to wherever the wind took them.
To test ride the Vespa, visit www.vespa.co.za or call 08610-VESPA (83772).
Don’t forget to visit the Vespa Facebook page for regular updates, Vespa info and best of all, monthly competitions to win cool Vespa stuff www.facebook.com/VespaSA
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