London to Durban to Cape Town to Simon’s Town
It was a long journey. Actually, we almost did not make it at all – top tip to travellers – do not leave your boarding passes and passports in the tray when you leave security! Fortunately, they are handed to the airport managers for the owner to reclaim when they realise!
We did not get much sleep on the 11 hour flight to Durban and further 2 hour flight to Cape Town. Looking out the window on the second flight I saw the terrain was far browner and hilly than I was expecting. I don’t know why, but in my mind I thought It would be greener. We are expecting the heat to reach 40 degrees at times, and I’m thinking this could be quite a brutal tour. Despite that I’m really excited and up for it.
My legs, hamstrings in particular suffered on the long flight and have stiffened up a bit. I can’t wait to get on the bikes later today for a short ride to loosen up. As we approached Cape Town the land was more farmed, irrigated and is greener on the lower lands valleys.
We arrived at the hotel at 2.45pm and had to be changed and ready for 4pm which was just enough time to get the cycling equipment organised, shuffle stuff around in the case, and meet to set up the bikes.
My gear change mechanism seemed quite bad and needed sorting. A few other things need sorting out too. Mark (our guide) will take it to his nearby workshop early tomorrow and I hope it’s better after then.
We cycled 16 miles up to Chapman’s Peak, which is one of the most popular rides in Cape Town. It was great weather – 24 degrees in the late afternoon and evening sun. It was lovely along the coast but there were some long steady hills. At one stage I was really pushing hard but then backed off as I didn’t want to use unnecessary energy early in the trip. It was really good to stretch the legs after a week of rest at home and the long journey.
We got back to the hotel at 6.40pm, had a quick shower and then out at 7.15pm for dinner. Sadly, so far the food has been only mediocre so I’m expecting it to pick up in the next few days.
I am looking forward to a good sleep tonight and a late start at 9.00am tomorrow to miss the Monday rush hour traffic.
Follow more 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.