A first taste of freedom

  • Miles travelled: 6035
  • Biltong eaten: Almost 1kg, oops…
  • Highlight: Every morning when we wake up and realise this is real
  • Lowlight: That bloody smudge on the camera lens that just won’t disappear. And the magically replenishing shopping list. How many naartjes can one household need?!
  • What we’re reading: J: Prisoners of Geography (Kaylin’s recommendation, great book but don’t read when you’re sleepy); K: The Name of the Wind (weird, but good, thanks Charly for the tip!)

It’s been a funny first week, neither of us can get over the strange feeling that we should be at work and it just feels like we’re out here visiting the family in Cape Town as usual.

Staying with the grandparents, we’ve inevitably also had the standard family chores to complete – Granny has a magically replenishing shopping list so once you get back from one trip to the local supermarket, there are somehow at least five new items on the list. I’m pretty sure Checkers is now my second home.

Nevertheless, we’ve made the most of time to relax and enjoy being in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. On one of our first mornings we headed up to Signal Hill to check out the panoramic views of Cape Town and stretch out our airplane-stiff legs. Lions Head was unfortunately shut off for a Red Bull running event so we didn’t cross that one off (I’m also now slightly worried that Jamie’s got the idea of running up it into his head…).


Other highlights have included a cycle through Durbanville wine valley, where my grandparents live. I still can’t decide if I loved or hated this one. After worrying about how safe it was to go out on the main roads, we were thrilled to find the beautiful rolling hills were completely car free (most sensible people were probably in bed at 8.30am on a Sunday) and spent a wonderful half hour coasting downhill, downwind towards Cape Town.


The cut through we planned to take turned out to be an off-road dirt track, however, which didn’t look particularly inviting on our road bikes so we decided to turn around and head for home. Turns out we made rookie error number one of our travels and completely forgot about the extremely strong Cape Town wind. Another 45 minutes slogging it back up the hills into 25 knots and we weren’t so overjoyed with our route after all.

We’ve also been making the most of the local wine (no surprises there) and yesterday went in search of some hiking routes through the vineyards around Paarl.



After a terrifying drive up through the mountains and over the incredible Bainskloof Pass, during which we spotted our first baboons of the trip, we headed down to Rhebokskloof wine farm to tackle their ‘adventure’ hiking routes. Not so adventurous, but stunning views and an excellent opportunity to sample the local wines. As you can tell, we’ve got our priorities sorted.



Off on our road trip this morning, first stop Knysna, followed by this incredible looking place in the Tsitsikamma National Park, Jeffrey’s Bay, Addo Elephant Park, the Wild Coast, the Drakensberg and wherever else we can squeeze in to 18 days!





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