October 22, 2010 GMT
Arrival In Cape Town

It's not really 'Africa', but a jewel in South Africa's crown must be Pringle Bay. A tiny seaside hamlet down a dead-end road just beyond Betty's Bay, where I had stopped for tea on the way to Cape Town.

I almost didn't take the turning, except the view seemed to indicate something worth seeing beyond.
A little village of houses (mostly holiday homes) and a shop or two squeezed between the mountains and the jagged Atlantic coastline. Just about every road leading away from the shops takes you to a seafront scene like this one. I took all these photos from the same spot.

Looking west,

looking north,

looking east,

and south.

And there's wildlife here as well.
A closer look at the supports under the verandah.....

........reveals the anti-baboon precautions needed to keep your outdoor afternoon tea safe and sound.

This is also Black Oyster-catcher nesting territory, meaning that the numerous sand dunes lying between the houses are out-of-bounds to mankind.

Then commenced the road that had been recommended to me by a few South Africans and British ex-pats: "It's to South African riders what the Peak District's Cat and Fiddle Pass is to English ones. And whatever you do, don't go along there on a weekend, there can be nasty incidents."
Well, it was Friday, and one of quite a few memorial crosses that I saw at the edge of the road was being reverently recorded by a professional photographer, with what looked like the family present.

So moving on not too quickly, this is the R44 road between Pringle Bay and Gordons Bay.
No ugly Armco barriers or safety railings here to spoil the views. Just short lengths of low stone walls where the frequent, but small, parking places are situated. Elsewhere there's nothing but fresh air and the Atlantic Ocean on the seaward side of this twisty road, and vertical cliffs on the other.


As if that's not enough, just as the wind-blown sea spray is splashing your left boot, this sign appears........

WHERE does this road go now???

A bit of a worry.
- But never mind, my snorkel, a Christmas present from Caroline back in the Sinai, is still strapped to my bike.

The bigger picture:

Just a measure of how twisty and tortuous this road is.

While taking these photos, this fellow was hovering motionless in the wind, above the waves alongside the road, waiting for dinner to be served.

So it was time to press on to Cape Town and my dinner. It's a city that demands secure parking which a few days earlier I had found and booked easily enough, and I took a circular jaunt around Signal Hill on the way there. This taught me what a hilly city Cape Town is, some of the back roads appearing near enough vertical.

This is inside the B&B, the mountains are neither Signal Hill nor Table Mountain which are just behind me. This is yet another set to the south-east. No wonder the city is all steep inclines with brake and clutch repair shops behind every petrol station.


And a full moon rising to round off the day.

And finally, an administrative error to report.
Earlier, I had guessed that on arrival at the B&B the speedo on my bike would clock up about 19,988 miles since Whyteleafe.
It's now showing 20,012 miles. So we must have reached the magic twenty thousand somewhere on the steep slopes of the Atlantic Ocean side of Signal Hill.

Posted by Ken Thomas at October 22, 2010 10:03 PM GMT

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