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Bicycle meets Truck

Knysna (26 Jan 2017) — posted on 29 Jan 2017

I wish I didn't have to write this but I do: my bicycle trip has come to an abrupt end.. I got hit by a truck in Knysna, on my 22nd cycling day, 57 km in, towards Wilderness.

A truck started overtaking me in the Knysna's town centre, where there was only one lane per direction. It wasn't the truck driver's smartest manoeuvre. Because of oncoming cars he started to get back into his lane too early and I didn't have space to yield for it. So the side of the truck hit my bags and half a second later I was lying on the road. I knew straight away this was the end of the cycling trip.

Immediately after I got hit and fell to the ground people came running from all over to help me. Some of them helped me up and get me in the shade, others took my bike and bag that fell off and put it next to me, someone else called the police and ambulance and another one ran after the truck to stop it!

In the ambulance

In the ambulance

I had just stayed at Wild Spirit, a backpackers close to Nature's Valley, for ten days. It's one of the best (maybe even the best) backpackers I stayed at and I got along really well with the staff there. So I called Ola, who runs the backpackers, and she came over to the hospital straight away with Mikayla. Both of them took very good care of me, in the hospital and back at the backpackers! As well as all the other people there. I've been treated like a king back here at Wild Spirit!

Ready to leave the hospital

Ready to leave the hospital

I didn't break anything, luckily, but my elbow and hip got hit quite hard. So I couldn't walk or move my arm the first days. As soon as I arrived back at Wild Spirit everyone was incredibly compassionate and supportive to the point where some of them actually carried me to the bathroom on a chair. It could have been much worse and I could not have ended up in a better place to recover. I'm a lucky man!

Patrick and Morris!

Patrick and Morris!

Topaz, the resident dog, keeping the couch warm

Topaz, the resident dog, keeping the couch warm

But I still won't recover enough in time to finish my cycling trip to Cape Town comfortably so I decided to stay at Wild Spirit until I feel good to start moving again. I'll spend some time in Cape Town and take the train to Johannesburg from there. On February 17th I'll board a plane to Athens and end my trip in Europe.

Still looking good a couple of hours before the crash

Still looking good a couple of hours before the crash

I cycled about 2350 km from Johannesburg, along the Drakensberg to the Wild Coast, through the Transkei, up into the Amatola and back down to ride along the Sunshine Coast and Garden Route. I met wonderful people and rode through amazing landscapes. I have seen South Africa in a different way. It was absolutely incredible!

It is a pity I can't finish my trip the way I had imagined, but those last two weeks on the bicycle wouldn't have made a huge difference on how I feel and what I've seen. I have travelled from Egypt to South Africa over land over the course of more than a year. It couldn't have been better!

I will come back to finish the cycling trip properly though :) To be continued...

Sunset at Nature's Valley

Sunset at Nature's Valley