Charley Boorman Log- Day 2

June 11, 2012

In which Charley tackles Table Mountain and visits the Cape Town Townships.

As we wake up, we can see that the top of Table Mountain- which looms as a permanent presence over the city – is hidden by cloud. Visibility and high winds are a constant danger on the mountain, so conditions need to be perfect before I’ll hang off it on a rope.

At 8am we make the call: Let’s try it at least. We bundle into our vehicles and rush to the beginning of the ascent. However, a final check confirms that’s just too risky to climb on today.

Some small consolation is that we get to ride back down to ground level on mountain bikes – Yes, we’re using mountain bikes on a real mountain! Even from this low level, the view of the city is stunning and I’m reminded how fortunate Cape Town is to have such an expanse of beauty so near by.

Did I say South Africa has four seasons in one day? Gary, one of our support drivers reminds me that during winter here, it can be four seasons at once!

We head to Muizenberg beach in bright sunshine, and arrive in torrential rain! I was going to get anyway as I’m learning to surf with Cass Collier – possibly the coolest guy on the continent. Not only is he a great surfer, but he spends his time teaching kids from the nearby Townships to surf. Watching the kid’s families excited reactions as they hit the waves is fantastic and must be hugely rewarding.

Cass is working with a volunteering organisation called i-To-i. Later that evening, Ali from the company escorts us to nearby Masiphumelele Township. With few paved roads, cramped shacks and limited electricity and water, it’s a world away from the conditions in nearby Cape Town, but as we wander around the bustling streets and narrow, waterlogged alleyways we’re met with an out pooring of friendly curiosity. We spend a cosy night in Zukie’s Township B’n’B and share a traditional meal with her and her family.