Casper John Venter, aged 19 and the 2019 Head Boy of Stanford Lake College, has embarked on a life-changing journey. He is cycling from the northern most point of South Africa, a point on the Limpopo River close to Beitbridge, heading to Cape Town and not by the conventional tar-road way. He opted to follow the escarpment of South Africa, cycling through many remote and very mountainous areas. He has no support crew, cycling mostly on his own and making do with a bit of money and with what he has with him on his mountain bike. Some of his basic equipment includes a tent, sleeping bag, mattress, extra clothes, GPS, light, dynamo and some basic bike tools. He procures places to sleep, supplies and food as he goes, enjoying the support and hospitality of local people as he travels through rural, communal and farm lands.
Casper started his journey on 5 January 2021 and has been going strong for just over two weeks now, so far covering 1550 km and is currently nearing Pietermaritzburg. His route has taken him from the Limpopo River through the Sand River Valley in the Soutpansburg, past Tzaneen and over the Wolkberg mountains at the Lekgalameetse Nature Reserve. He then made his way to Badplaas by way of Pilgrim’s Rest, Sabie and Kaapsehoop. It is here where he met Oliver Greaves, a fellow “Freedom Challenge” cyclist, who will join him for the journey until Pietermaritzburg. From Badplaas they made their way to KZN via Amsterdam and Piet Retief. A route that did not just have amazing scenery, but also some historical significance from the early years of South Africa, passing the Blood River monument, crossing the Tugela River and riding into Weenen, a small historical town from the time of the Boer War. From Weenen, they are making their way to Pietermaritzburg via Mooi River and Karkloof, and they planned to be there at the time of going to print. He plans to spend a day or two in Pitermaritzburg to stock up on bike spares and food before heading across the Transkei towards the Eastern Cape.
Follow Casper's adventure on Instagram: @venters_adventures