For a number of different reasons, I excited about finally making it to Lady Grey.
First of all, Lady Grey was what I was calling the half-way point of my bicycle tour in South Africa. Once I reached Lady Grey I was half-way (or more than half-way) between Cape Town and Swaziland/Johannesburg.
Secondly, I had arranged to stay with Grant, one of my BicycleTouringPro.com readers, in Lady Grey… and he owned a B&B in the city. Even though it had only been two days since I had last had a shower, the cold, wet weather of the last couple days had really taken a toll on my body, clothing and spirits. I couldn’t wait to take a warm shower and sleep indoors.
More than anything though, I was looking forward to meeting Grant and finally having someone to talk to.
You see, for the first month or so since leaving Cape Town, I had had almost no one to talk to. I had brief conversations with cashiers and hotel reception desk workers, but any conversations I had had were brief and shallow.
I’m writing this now that my bicycle tour in South Africa has come to an end and I can tell you that this is the thing I missed most while I was in the country – deep, intelligent conversation with another individual.
After a short, but cold day on the bike, I made it to Lady Grey, found the Comfrey Cottage B&B and was quickly introduced to Grant and his parents, both of whom live with him on the Comfrey Cottage estate.
Grant’s property is beautiful! What was once three or more different properties has been combined into one large estate with multiple buildings, alpacas wandering around munching on the grass, a restaurant/lounge area, and a whole lot more. I had been expecting a small one building B&B in a sleepy South African city, but the Comfrey Cottage B&B was so much more than that.
During my first night in Lady Grey, I showered and got a brief tour of the property. But it was raining, so Grant and I hung out inside most of the time and did a lot of talking (which I was happy about).
Grant is an experienced bicycle traveler himself, and I loved hearing all his stories about bicycle touring in Europe, South Africa and North America. He loves cycle touring so much, he also runs a small online shop where people in South Africa can order bike touring products. His website is: www.cycletouring.co.za
Grant also has a number of different bicycles. Some of which are really, really different. I got a kick out of seeing (and driving for myself) his tricycle and his two-person tandem bicycle (which is what his parents tend to ride).
When Grant told me that he rode unicycles as well, I made him bust them out so I could show off my skills. In reality though, I didn’t do any showing off. Grant is a far better unicyclist than I am. While Grant looked perfectly in control on his unicycle, I was flailing about, just trying to stay upright. It was fun though. Lots of fun!
During my second day in Lady Grey I took a long walk around the city. I jumped a barbed wire fence and climbed to the top of the mountain overlooking the city and got soaking wet on the way back down.
Luckily, by the next morning the rain clouds had disappeared and I was blessed with good weather for the short two-day bike ride to the border of South Africa and Lesotho.
Grant rode with me for the first 45-minutes or so out of town. Then we stopped for a few minutes to take some photos before he turned around and headed back to the B&B while I continued on alone toward the Lesotho border.