Category: Beach

Training for an ultra-marathon (anything over 42km) is tough. It requires dedication, commitment, sacrifice and TIME. Boy, does it require time.

 

Training for the Two Oceans Ultra (and the Comrades) is a big time suck. My week days consist solely of working, running, and sleeping. Lather, rinse, repeat. My weekends are spent leaving parties early (22:00 for the latest), because I have to wake up at the crack of dawn the very next day to pound the streets and think about my life choices. Weekend runs can last anywhere between two to five hours. Naturally my run is followed by SLEEP. Three to four hours of glorious SLEEP.  I normally awake from these epic slumber events completely listless. So listless that I often hope that there’s food in the fridge and I won’t be forced to put on pants and venture outside in search of sustenance. (Spoiler alert: There’s never anything in the fridge).

 

One of the ways in which I’ve decided to make training (and all the accompanying sacrifices) easier is by making the most of my rest days. This means spending it with people I love; people who make me laugh; people who support my endeavours. It also means doing something special; something out of the ordinary; something other than sitting on the couch and watching TV.

 

This is why I’ve compiled the not-so-bucket list. It’s a list of achievable things I’ve always wanted to do in Cape Town, but never make time for. One of those things was swimming at the penguins at Boulders.

Here of some of the photos I took at Boulders.

Boulders

Entrance fees from 1 Nov 2015 – 31 Oct 2016
R65 for adults
R35 for children

Operating Hours: 7 days a week
Dec – Jan: 07h00 – 07h30
Feb – April: 08h00 -18h30
May – Sept: 08h00 – 17h00
Oct – Nov:  08h00 – 18h30

 

A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to spend a week in Durban with my folks. Here are some Instagram photos of my time there.comradesMy dad and his friend minutes before the start of the Comrades Ultra-marathon. This is the third time that my father has run the Comrades. In previous years he has missed the 12 hour cut-off by minutes. This year however  the Comrades Whisperer (me) was on hand to murmur words of encouragement, and he made it to the finish line with 9 minutes to spare.   sunriseWatching the sunrise from the window of my hotel room (Durban Spa). I absolutely loved the weather in Durban.  The warm  winter days were such a welcome relief to Cape Town’s wet and utterly miserable weather.sunrise2Photo of turtle taken at Ushaka Marine World. I was captivated by the humongous range of pretty fish on display in Ushaka’s aquarium. CAPTIVATED. I would have been more than happy to spend an entire day marveling at the colourful fish.  Ushaka

 Durban Fun World.

 

Just in case I don’t get around to giving a blow-by-blow account of my 2013 trip (highly likely), here are the highlights (and lowlights) of my adventure.

Day 1 – Mthatha

Day 2 – East London

I stay at The Tides, B&B. I am immediately impressed with the place. The tub is HUGE (capital letters for emphasis) and I spend hours splashing around in it. The proximity of the B&B to the ocean means that I fall asleep to the sound of the waves crashing.

Day 5 – Durban

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Photo taken from one of the piers in Durban. 

My dad completes the Comrades Ultra-marathon. I run the last 5km with him, screaming encouraging words like, “Stop whimpering, you nancy and get a move on!” Oh, I kid.

Day 9 – Maputo, Mozambique

My bankcard stops working. I freak out. How’s a person supposed to survive in a foreign country without money? Prostitution.

I will later learn that my card only works at a Barclays ATM.

At 17:00 I board an Intercape bus for Vilanculos. At 23:20 I wake up to find the cops beating up my bus driver.

Day 10 – Vilanculos, Mozambique

I arrive at Pambara, a bus stop 20km from my backpackers. I arrive at 04:00 in morning. At 04:00 Pambara is dark and desolate. There are no streetlights. Just empty trucks and wooden structures, which I am only assume serve as “restaurants” during the day. Oh and there were 3 inhabitants, who may or may not have been hiding machetes under their blankets.

I call a number given to me by a guy I’d just met on the bus. (One day, someday my face will appear on the back of a milk carton.) The guy on the other end agrees to pick me up for MTn1000. I gasp. It’s daylight robbery. But he’s got me by the short and curlies. I have no other options. He knows this, I know this. I agree to his price meekly.

Day 12 – Vilanculos, Mozambique

Cazz, Cougar and I pay MTn2700 (about R900) for a dhow safari to Bazaruto Island. After a bumpy ride that leads to me ponder out loud, “Perhaps we should be WEARING these life jackets instead of sitting on them”, our engine fails. We wade to one of the islands. We wait for hours to be rescued. We do NOT end up at the Bazaruto Island. We do NOT end up snorkelling. We do NOT get a full refund. What we get is a offer of supper with the organiser’s family OR R200 back. We take the money.

Day 15 – Tofo, Mozambique

I take a chapa (local transport) to Pambara. (I plan to dedicate an entire blog post to the description of the chapa.) From Pambara an Intercape bus to Maxixe, then a ferry to Inhambane and a then a taxi to Tofo.

Day 16 – Tofo, Mozambique

My ocean safari trip is cancelled. To make up for my disappointment, the trip organiser offers to show me Tofinho. During his guided tour he asks, “When are you coming back to Mozambique?”

Me: I don’t know.

Him: You know when I guys asks when you’re coming back, he likes you.

Me: That’s smooth.

Heart OF STONE.

Day 18 – Maputo and Johannesburg

I change my flight details and come home early.

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Photo of my Swedish dorm roommate, Jonna, taken in Tofo. Her boyfriend is a professional skier!

I wish that I’d taken photos of all my roommates:

  • Hunter from Alaska, who has the outline of the continents tattooed on his arm.
  • Cornelia from Sweden, who has a fear of choking and has volunteered in India.
  • Emilia, the music producer from France, who spent 3 years living in French Guinea
  • Trevor, the baker from South Africa, who tucked me into to bed.

In a few days time, I will be ticking ONE item from my bucket/life list. While the rest of you are office bound and lamenting the horrendous Cape Town weather, I will be traipsing along the Mozambican coast.

 

But before I jet off to the land of prawns, coconuts and coral reefs; I will be going to the Eastern Cape (for work). I will then head to Durban for 5 days. There I will gorge myself on bunny chows, surf in the warm Indian Ocean and explore uShaka Marine Park. Oh, and I’ll also be supporting my dad, who will be running his third Comrades Ultra-Marathon.

 

He has yet to complete the Comrades within the cut-off (he’s missed it by minutes) and I hope that by running the last 10km with him, he’ll find the strength to complete this momentous task. I also hope that one day I too will find the strength to run the entire 87km.

 

From Durban it’s just a “short” bus ride to Johannesburg and Maputo. (It’s an 8 hour bus ride from Durban to Joburg. And another 8 hours ride from Joburg to Maputo. Oh the fun I’ll have.)

 

From Maputo, I’ll head over to Vilanculos, where I’ll be joined by one of my dearest friends, Cazz. As yet we don’t have any set plans (other than to have fun), so if you have any tips or suggestions, please head on over to the comment section.

Thanks to these beautiful ladies (and some men not pictured in the above pic), I had a lovely weekend. We ran a short little race (21.1km).

Woke up at 04:15 on race day, only to have a bus load of marathoners laugh at us.

 We had a potjiekos cook-off.

Played an intense game of Jenga, 30 Seconds and Uno. There were allegations of cheating.

 

Today I went hiking with a few friends. We went up Chapman’s Peak. Here are some of the photos I took.Cape Town is truly gorgeous. The view of Hout Bay Harbour from the top of the hike.  Not quite visible in this picture is the stream we were sitting next to.

While I was walking up the mountain, I was reminded of the time a tiny, little insect flew into my ear. Bobbing up and down and shrieking at the top of my lungs, Juan simply looked at me and said, “Oh man, I have so much blog material.” Yeah, he really is a gentleman.