D-Day: A Tale of Two Capes

Submitted by Cecil Hill on Thu, 2017/03/30 - 07:44


Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.
~ Niels Bohr

So the day I had dreamed of for several decades finally dawned, though I could not, and did not, in my wildest dreams, imagine that it would transpire the way it actually did.


Celesta, Mwendo and I
Mwendo at the CoGH


Only once before in my life did I experience anything similar to the emotions I felt on my arrival at the Cape of Good Hope on Tuesday morning. Way back in the last millennium, my family and a few of my closest friends organised a surprise party for my 21st birthday. I was a poor - in all possible interpretations of the word - student at the time, with no real expectations for the day. It was a genuine surprise because I was truly the very last person to learn of it. This remains one of my most cherished memories.

This time around, I had chosen the date, time and place of my departure myself. I then proceeded to share these details with many people, several of whom indicated, well in advance, that they would "participate" in one way or another. There was, therefore, absolutely no element of surprise.


The Parting Crew


Yet I got pretty close to being completely overwhelmed by the reception I got both at the gate to the Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) and inside at the Cape of Good Hope. Thank you Celesta, Susan, Andy, Clayton, Darryl, Brenda, Franklin, Charles, Fanie, Johan, Herman, Hugh, Andrea, Marc, Robert & Ferdi for your contribution to the creation of another one of my most cherished memories.


Side-stand Ceremony


Andyman, always ready for action "at the drop of a bike", duly conducted the Side-Stand Ceremony, with a little help from Charles, to bless Mwendo for the journey ahead.



Ride Buddy #1


Hugh, my ride buddy for the next three weeks - he will start his dash home on the morning of 7th April from wherever we may find ourselves at the time - arrived (un)fashionably late and the group, joined by those at the gate to the TMNP, set off for L'Agulhas, our destination for the day.

The ride out from Cape Point, along the False Bay Coast, was quite slow initially, Capetonians having come out in large numbers to bid us farewell[1], although it was quite apparent that some had come out without really knowing what it was all about, so they walked, jogged, swam, surfed, tried to catch fish and generally just had a good time. The group numbers gradually reduced as we progressed along the coast so that when we reached Kleinmond, where we stopped for lunch, we were down to six bikes.

Ferdi, Marc & Rob headed home after lunch, leaving Clayton, Hugh and I to face the heat (it reached 39C near Stanford) to Cape Agulhas.

The three of us spent a leisurely afternoon shooting the breeze at the Struisbaai harbour, after checking in at the Cape Agulhas Backpackers.


At Cape Agulhas
Sterkte @ Agulhas
Clayt & Hugh


[1] 21 March is a public holiday (Human Rights Day) in South Africa, so people were really just making good use of a perfect summers day!