Exploring Cape Town

8th January 2014

Saturday 28th December 2013 to Tuesday 7th January 2014

Peter and Paddy generously lent me their car for the week which was such a bonus but the real life saver was the loan of the Sat Nav.

I headed off to Cape Town International airport to pick up my first visitor whilst I’ve been out here. Amy had flown in from London via Joburg which meant she arrived mid morning. We headed straight to our hotel in Camps Bay and then up to the Bungalow (formerly La Med) for the view, a few beers and some food.

We had only two nights in Cape Town before heading up the Garden Route but we still had time to go up the mountain for the incredible views over Table Bay. The downside was that we spent longer queuing than we did at the top. The Cape Town highlight was definitely our visit to see the penguins at Boulders.

The next call on our whistle stop tour was Stallenbosch where we joined a tour of four vineyards, we weren’t keen to drive for this leg. We were good patrons and stocked up on wine and cheese for our four nights in Knysna. Our two favourite vineyards were Simonsig and Boschendall.

The relaxing part of our holiday was a luxury tent in the Homtini Forest in Knysna. We arrived there in time for new year and luckily had our wine as the shops had stopped selling alcohol by 17.30.

The views from the tent, the walks, and the running trails were just what we were after. Cooking dinner each night on our balcony was an event in itself before settling down with a drink to brush up on astronomy basics.

Whilst it was tough leaving our retreat in the forest it was back to Cape Town via the farm to drop the car back. Cape Town was fun but tiring, as soon as we arrived it was over to Graham’s for a braai which left me quite hungover. Then the next day it was Twenty20 Cricket at Newlands with Heath.

Our final full day was more sedate but unfortunately the weather that had threatened the cricket the day before had got worse, we ended up walking around Kirstenbosch Gardens in the rain and took a City Sight Seeing tour in a bus that leaked. The typically British weather meant that we made the most of our lovely apartment for the last night and stayed in eating pizza and watching a film.

If I were to live in Cape Town it would have to be Newlands, such an amazing location with the rugby and cricket grounds right on your doorstep.

Some of the luxuries I’ve enjoyed before heading back into the bush include an electric kettle, washing machine, hot powerful showers, lights and big beds. My final unexpected luxury was Amy getting us into one of the airline lounges as we waited for our flights.

Over this leg of the holiday I didn’t do as much revision as I wanted nor did I get out running ever day. However, I think it was good to have a rest on both counts as the next month is going to be pretty intense.

Today we start the trails part of the course. Due to permit issues regarding rifles the course has been moved to Makuleke in northern Kruger, the Pafuri section. Instructors Bruce and Sean had warned us before we left for our hols that we need to be prepared for a lot of walking when we return.

Looking forward to seeing everybody at Emerald Guest House tonight, I’m sure there will be a few beers although we do have an early start ahead of us tomorrow and I also want to Skype the family and do some final admin before I’m off the grid with no internet for a month.