You’ve seen the George number plate, right? Locals will have you believe that the ‘CAW’ stand for ‘cold and wet’, but this is just a malicious rumour spread by the outdoor crowd there keen to keep you off their trails …
Photographs & Copy: Jacques Marais
No my china, George is anything but cold and wet. Despite the year-round rainfall, you’re in for a lekker moderate climate, ideal for outdoor adventure. That’s good news, because it means you can hit those trails for most part of all the four seasons.
Sure, some days are going to bucket, but a betting man will walk away in sunshine nine out of ten. This in-land city originally has its roots in the forestry industry, but an on-going eco-tourism boom means it has now become a mountain biking mecca of note.
Endless gravel roads and tracks – often linked to the famed Outeniqua Hiking Trail access routes –offer unfettered access to much of these rugged slopes. Plus, purpose-built single-track traverses the indigenous forests and plantations, largely thanks to a dedicated crew, many of them members of the local Hillbillies MTB Club.
Historically, this beautiful part of the Cape was only settled around 1688, two centuries after the Portuguese seafarer, Bartholomew Dias, landed in Mossel Bay. The local Khoi tribes referred to this rich valley as the ‘Outeniqua’, or ‘land of milk and honey’.
The early settlement became known as ‘George Town’ in 1811, named in honour of the then reigning monarch, King George III of England. There you have it: George can no longer be overlooked as a Garden Route destination in its own right.
An efficient airport, breathtaking mountains, great trails, a thriving foodie scene, craft breweries, proper old-skool values and bucket loads of history make it as much fun off as on the bike – check out www.visitgeorge.co.za.