From one mountain to another

16 October 2017  Read: 394


Gert Morerwa and Toban McMahon became instant friends when they met each other at Haenertsburg Primary School ten years ago when they were both ten years old. After their schooling Toban dreamt of going on a trip to see South Africa. He included Gert in his dream. Toban worked really hard at handyman jobs around the village and beekeeping. Gert gathered sponsorship from Holland and his local benefactor and godfather, James Turner. Enthusiastically they planned and their dream became reality in September when they cycled the 1 927 kilometre route from Magaliesberg to Cape Town and rode an average of 93 kms a day. They spent 19 days on the road and rested for two days in Augrabies and Kuruman. They visited the Moffat Mission in Kuruman. It’s an old mission station with a beautiful church and also where Livingstone married Mary Moffat.

They met many people along the way and found nothing but love and goodwill towards them. They stayed at caravan parks and backpackers along the way. They rode with one tent, two sleeping bags, a mattress and tinned foods. They said that the one thing they could have cut down on was the amount of clothes they took. The most breathtaking part of their journey was the trip from Springbok to the coast where the famous flowers had just started coming into bloom.

Gert saw the Atlantic Ocean for the first time when they arrived in Strandfontein. They followed the coast cycling past Lamberts Bay and Yzerfontein. There, James’s relative, Ann du Toit, fetched them and took them to Cape Town as they didn’t feel it was prudent to cycle on the N2.

In Cape Town they went to a premiere of a documentary about the forced removals from District Six. They walked into a hair salon that also had a pub inside. Fuelled by several free beers and his first taste of a single whiskey on the rocks, Gert boldly had his hair colour changed to blonde with a funky cut. They went rock climbing up Lion’s Head. Toban is used to rock climbing but it was a first for Gert.
Ann saw to their accommodation and they stayed a week in Betty’s Bay and then also in Simon’s Town. From their guest cottage they observed a penguin nesting in the garden.

They both loved the North West and had great food in Sannieshof, the town of sunflowers and maize. There they got fresh milk, fresh farm butter and mealie meal that tasted like mealies.
They had good old solid mountain bikes. Gert had no punctures or breakdown on his bike but Toban had many.

The lads loaded their bikes onto the train and travelled by rail from Cape Town to Johannesburg. There they were fetched by relatives and brought back to the mountain. Both have had time on this trip to think and decide what to do with their lives. Toban wants to make a career out of his already excellent craft of knife making and he will continue with his beekeeping. James gave Gert money for braces on his teeth and James is helping him decide which university to attend as he wants to study politics and eventually become a politician.

It’s thanks to the benefactor in Holland, Ann du Toit, James Turner and Toban’s mother, Julie McMahon, that Gert and Toban were able to undertake the journey of their dreams.




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