Simon’s Town to Diemersfontein Wine Estate (Wellington)
I slept quite well until 6.15am and then snoozed until 7.15am. We had a 9.00am start so this was a lie in!
We had a nice breakfast, overlooking the bay and South Africa navy headquarters. A bit of fiddling with the bike set up was needed and my gears seem a bit better than yesterday, but not all that great. We were ready to set off at 9.00am.
The first part of the ride was on a flat coast road with sandy beach on the right-hand side. It was a very nice road which took us through seaside towns. We stopped at the bike shop and adjusted the gears again, which are better but still not perfect – they will do. I also swapped my left pedal as the cleat was broken.
We passed by a huge township called Khaylitsha. 1 million people are living there in small tin shacks. It’s only been there a few years, just as one would imagine. It is boiling there in the summer and apparently flooded in the winter as the land does not drain. Some had cars and there were also some portable toilets on the roadside!
I had mixed emotions about the township and its issues. I was thinking I am glad it’s not me living there and I thought about how lucky we are in the life we lead. I think living in a tin shack is better than living in a doorway in London. There is electricity at least, but what a hand to mouth life. There is much drinking and fighting in the evenings. Most people who live there have jobs in town as labourers, waiters etc.
There was a security guard waking the road and I wondered what use he would be! We stopped for photos and just before we left someone approached us asking for money. We said no, he went away quietly and we cycled off.
The road then turned inland towards Stellenbosch, with miles of new (but half built) dual carriageway, which meant lovely smooth tarmac to cycle on. There were many workers just standing on the side waiving red flags.
The scenery changed to more scrubland and then mountains/hills on either side.
We stopped at a winery and gin farm for lunch. I had an Ostrich burger, which I’ve been looking forward to for ages! It didn’t disappoint.
I made a comment that in the UK we tried to popularise Ostrich – but it didn’t take off!!!!
An ex-colleague of Keith’s met us for food and I thought it was very nice of him to do so.
We discuss all kinds of things when we stop. At one stage population control came up and Mark said that a few years ago the authorities handed out condoms – but also stapled leaflets to them!
It was getting hot. We got our bandannas out and soaked them in water before putting on our heads and necks.
The roads continued to be undulating. Some of the hills were very long and are on the hard shoulder. Roads are mostly new looking with few potholes.
We stopped for refreshments with 14 miles to go. I had a massive bit of carrot cake. No one wanted to share.
There was a very long downhill stretch into town. I resolved to not pedal for as long as I could – that’s was 5 miles.
We cycled 64 miles in total and ended at 5.45pm. We stopped at a lovely colonial style hotel. There were no showers but a big cast iron bath with legs. Even so, there was a sign saying that water is scarce and to have a 2 minute shower max! The bath probably took 50 showers to fill!
We went out at 7.30pm for a huge steak meal at another wine estate. The waiter explained about corn fed vs. grass fed cows, and the different cuts of steak. It was a bit disappointing since no ribeye was available so I had a 500-gram sirloin which was somewhat disappointing as it was a bit chewy. I gave it 8 out of 10.
It took ages for the food to come up and we got back at 11.00pm needing to go to sleep.
Follow all of my travels here on the blog. Thank you to everyone who has donated in support – I’m blown away with the amount raised so far.