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TThe Owl Route is a 50km U-shaped dirt road in the Eastern Cape province, best explored by bicycle. The route leads explorers to the well-known Owl House, a museum in the town of Nieu Bethesda that features the interesting artworks of Helen Martins and Koos Malgas.
If the idea of combining mountain biking, art and history appeals to you, then the Owl Route in the Great Karoo region – including a stop at the famous Owl House museum – is a trip well worth taking.
The route, in the Sneeuberg mountains, is reasonably flat and the journey is more about the scenery and serenity than the physical challenge.
Nieu Bethesda, a small rural town 305km north of Port Elizabeth, was established in the 1870s by a group of innovative farmers, led by BJ Pienaar, who established the farm Uitkyk (“Lookout”). Many of his descendants are still prominent in the area today and will greet you with a wave as you cycle by. This town is where the land meets the Karoo sky and stone water furrows still line the wide, dusty streets. Night skies are unpolluted by streetlights, and the air is still fresh and clean.