Cycling on the road Adam Kok took for his people’s great trek
Dry, dusty, rough roads lead to adventure, relief and gratitude
After a fortuitous conversation with a passing farmer outside Ugie, Eastern Cape, we backtrack and find the road which Adam Kok III used to bring his people from Philippolis in the Free State to East Griqualand and the town which was eventually named after him, Kokstad. A faded board next to the road announcing “Bastervoetpad” tells us we are finally on the right track. We lift up our eyes unto the hills and see evidence that the track goes in the direction that Kok traversed, rising 830m over 20km into the Eastern Cape Drakensberg. In 1861, Kok III accepted a British offer to settle his people, a faction of the Griqua , in the eastern section of the Cape Colony. He then led his people on a two-year trek across SA to their new home. A new home was not what we were aiming for— only a sure roof over our heads for that night. But to reach it, we not only had to ascend the 830m, but also descend on the other side and northwards traverse a long stretch towards the unassuming capital of t...