We recently returned from an epic holiday in the Transkei at a place called Mazeppa Bay where Warrick’s family have a holiday cottage. Mazeppa Bay is about 2 hours from East London and is only accessible via a rather treacherous dirt road that you not only have to look out for potholes and rocks as you drive along it but also cows, pigs and goats. The area is still very rural with African mud huts dotted around the hills making it a truly authentic, beautiful part of the country to visit.
What excited me most about visiting Mazeppa Bay this year was being able to trail run and mountain bike in this incredible place again. Training in Mazeppa is tough though as there aren’t any manicured paths to follow so you end up riding or running over grassy fields, footpaths and beaches making your own routes along the way.
I have never run as much as I did this holiday in Mazeppa not only because I am planning to do Comrades in May 2016 but because of how beautiful it was to run there. Warrick and I would run along beaches with not a soul in sight. We also did our fair share of hill training as no matter where you run there are rolling hills but at least they reward you with spectacular views.
We also managed to fit in a few rides with some guys staying at the Mazeppa hotel who knew quite a few routes that they had sussed out over the years. All the routes ended with us riding along the beaches which is so much fun (as long as you get the tides right so you can ride on the hard sand). I really enjoyed being back on the mountain bike again but I definitely need to get my confidence back to ride technical sections which will be a focus for the New Year.
Not only did we get in some great runs and rides but also a fair amount of 4x4ing. Warrick was very keen to test out his new Jeep Wrangler Rubicon whilst down in the Transkei and so he managed to download some 4×4 routes onto his Garmin from Maps4Africa. On one of the 4×4 adventures we ended up driving down a “road” I have now called the “Path of Death.” This road was so eroded away it was just massive potholes and we had to do a crazy river crossing off a rocky descent. I was absolutely terrified and cannot believe how well Warrick managed to drive the Jeep through this seriously rugged terrain. Kudos to Jeep as I don’t think many 4x4s could have handled this road.
The Transkei is certainly a very special place to be able to relax, train and explore and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a truly adventurous getaway.
To get a taste of what Mazeppa Bay is all about check out this awesome video by my husband using footage from a GoPro Hero 4 Session and DJI Phantom 3 Advanced Drone.