Weekend Post (South Africa)
WIN!: Quad bike adventure:
Port Elizabeth’s Dirsuwei family – mom Sarah, dad Ralph and their three sons – Jacob, 16, Luke, 14, and Cian, 11 – are on a mission to explore the world together, spreading positivity about South Africa through their travel blog, writes Sarah Dirsuwei
IN JANUARY we wrote an open letter to the universe, putting into a tangible list some of our family’s adventure and travel dreams for 2017. One of the items that all three kids really wanted to include was No 13 – Something Fast. So you can imagine how delighted they were when they heard that we were going to Misty Mountain Reserve in Tsitsikamma to try out their new quad biking adventure.
Teens are pretty headstrong creatures. It is vital to have their buy-in when planning family trips, else they will dig in their heels and make sure no one has a good time. No worries with this trip though, there were smiles all around at the thought of high-tailing it through a forest on powerful machines. Although one smile in particular got a lot wider when its owner heard that his girlfriend could also join in the fun.
Tsitsikamma Adventureland at Misty Mountain boasts a fleet of brand spanking new automatic quad bikes, perfect for a fun family outing.
We opted for the two-hour tour which takes you through farmlands and forest all the way to an incredible lookout point above Storms River.
I did quad biking once before, and found it difficult to change the motorbike foot gears. No sweat this time though – it took less than a minute for us to learn how to put our rides into gear and turn the key.
Then all we had to do was apply pressure to a thumb throttle to adjust the speed, and squeeze the brakes when we wanted to slow down.
We started out with a whizz around Misty’s golf course, to get the hang of things. To maintain control and order, you have to ride in single file and there is a guide on a distinctive red bike at the front and back of each group. The bikes are also governed with a maximum speed, to ensure good, safe fun.
After a few loops on the smooth green grass, we hit the road and headed out of Misty, riding past fields of curious cows and through rows of towering pines. As we left the road into a track through the pine plantations, the real fun started.
We raced through puddles, splashing through the muddy water, zoomed up hills and skidded round corners until we emerged on the coastline to the most magnificent ocean view.
We stopped off at a viewpoint to soak it all in before roaring back into the forest, heading towards Storms River National Park.
As we thundered up to the wooden viewing deck above the Storms River Mouth and skidded to a halt, our posse caused quite a stir with all the exhausted tourists, who had trekked up the bluff on foot and were clearly envious of our adrenalin-fuelled easy way up.
As we thundered home to Misty Mountain, I couldn’t help but notice how happy the kids were. It was more than a rush of speed for them. Driving solo on these powerful four-wheelers had given them a sense of their own authority.
They sat taller as they drove their steeds with the confidence that comes with being a teenager and the pride of being in command for the first time.
And not just the boys – the teenage girls were fast and furious with a ruthless determination to tear through the timber- land, taming their transport and beating the blokes. This is a simply must-do adventure for all families with teenagers – trust me, you’ll be talking about it for a long time to come!
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“We headed out of Misty, riding past fields of curious cows and through rows of towering pines”