South Africa is beautiful. Every time I get into the car, we’re taken aback by the stunning natural scenery. From the dramatic escarpments to the wide, dry riverbeds, South Africa offers amazing landscapes at every turn.

In the Nkomazi, sugar cane farming is the primary industry. That means everywhere you look there are rolling hills of sugarcane, blowing in the breeze.

I wanted to give myself an opportunity to see the beautiful surroundings by finding some new places to run. I settled on the following three favorites

The Soccer Field

This is the one I use the most.  It’s about .2 miles per lap at this soccer field, which considering some of the others in the area is actually in really nice shape. There’s a team of local high-school kids that practices in the afternoon so on occasion I’ll play a bit with them. But for the most part I’m there in the morning, doing my laps in peace. It’s a really nice field — completely uncovered except for one tree. An orchard on one side, acacia trees on the opposite side, and a few small houses to the north. A very peaceful location.


The Road to Strydomblok

Really interesting scenery here. The road, which is primarily dirt but also has long stretches of sand, runs through a few orchards and some natural wetlands. For wildlife spotting, it’s the best of the three. On any given day you’ll see a couple dozen different types of birds and now that it’s getting warmer, the reptiles are starting to come out. There’s also this caricature of Obelix, from the comic books, which is cool.

The cane fields ablaze near the road to Strydomblok

The Road to Richtershoek

Probably my favorite of the three. It cuts through a wide swath of sugar cane fields. The hills are gentle and the path is straight. Sometimes there are workers in the field on either side of the road, but I’ve also had days where no cars drive by in an hour’s time. In addition, there’s a couple of friendly women at the intersection with the main highway that sell bread and vegetables. 

Why I’m Running:

I want to raise enough money to sponsor two promising African ladies: Elaine and Mandisa.  It costs $80 so sponsor Mandisa for one month of Imagine Scholar costs — this amount pays for her transport, healthy food in class, school supplies, and many other things. For Elaine, it’s $78. Lump those two together and you get $156/month. Multiply that out my 12 months and you get a very achievable fundraising goal: $1,896. Please donate at my Crowdrise page here:

Weekly Statistics:  

Miles run: 25.19 (92.38 total)

Average speed this week: 5.7 MPH (definitely sensing a pattern)

Calories burned: 3,799 (13,791 total)