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Mar 29 2013

On reaching Cape Agulhas

There was a certain amount of sadness today.

The last 5 days have been an emotional roller coast ride.  On Sunday, we flew down to Cape Town in anticipation of being reunited with our vehicle on Monday.  My aunt and uncle, Margie & Tim, kindly came to collect us from the airport, and had arranged for us to stay with their friends – Dave & Bev – down the road from their house.  Hearts and homes were opened wide to accommodate us.

Viking Explorer has already shared the excitement on Monday, as the vehicle was released from the container.  Everyone’s powers of positive thinking – from all over the world – ensured that the vehicle emerged in excellent condition.  I think Margie & Tim enjoyed the few hours they shared as “A day in the life of overland explorers”.

We spent a day rearranging the vehicle from “shipping” set-up into “travelling” set-up, which only served to remind us that a full repack is essential before we continue.  We bid farewell to our kind hosts in Cape Town and headed up to Langebaan along the beautiful Whale Coast Route. 

It was exhilarating!  After 2 months, we were driving, exploring, stopping to eat out of the back of the vehicle.  We were overlanders again!

We took a detour through the West Coast National Park (watch out for Viking Explorer’s update), enjoying the scenery and birdlife.  Vicki and Nick of Langebaan Sunset (www.langebaan-sunset.com) welcomed us and invited us to come and stay the night.  They have been so very helpful in the preparations for our adventure – all from afar – and it was so wonderful to meet them in person and say a big thank-you.  We spent a most enjoyable evening sharing stories, gazing longingly at their enormous map of Africa on the wall.  As with all overlanders, we did the obligatory vehicle check over – everyone on the look out for a cunning idea they hadn’t thought of before! 

This overland community is amazing – we both feel privileged to be a part of it.

Next, off to Hermanus to visit my uncle and aunt, Gavin & Cynth, and my dear Granny Ruth, who is celebrating her 94th birthday later this year.  As is our tradition, we opt for the scenic route along the coast road (and avoided Easter getaway traffic on the motorway). Along the way, we stopped in Betty’s Bay to visit the Stony Point African Penguin Breeding Colony.  Reaching Hermanus, we were again welcomed with open arms and much excitement that we have arrived very much ahead of schedule.  And – importantly – safe and sound.

Today, it was time to head down to Cape Agulhas – the finishing point of the original adventure plan, and now a marker on our new adventure.  The sunny weather we had enjoyed earlier in the week gave way to overcast and drizzly weather – identical to a good UK summer’s day!

And it matched my mood. 

I was excited that we were visiting Cape Agulhas – the southern most tip of Africa – but sad that we hadn’t managed to drive the whole way down the west coast as originally planned.  I felt sad that our map of Africa will have a big dotted line across the Atlantic Ocean, as events in west Africa lead to our decision to avoid the political instability.

I don’t regret the decision at all. 

Just saddened that this beautiful continent continues to be plagued by fighting, religious intolerance and political instability.  Generation after generation.

But now we can start the next stage!

We have been checking over the vehicle, and it looks fit to make the return journey to Johannesburg.  Reunited with all our maps and guide books, we can start planning our route through southern and eastern Africa.  We have also challenged ourselves to remove 1/3 of everything in the vehicle and leave it behind.  You just need so much less once you are on the road!

So, our sadness is giving way to joy and excitement.  We are on the road again, and eager to start exploring!

4 comments

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  1. Scott Laddiman

    Don’t be sad… Circumstances change, plans need altered, and you never know what life has in store for you around the next corner..! Your change in your original plans has now opened up new and exciting prospects, which you had never considered before! :)
    The key is to grab the opportunity when it presents itself, which the Kapp2Cape crew are doing..!!!!

    Very excited at watching where Kapp2Cape will end up over the next coming months and beyond……

    From Scott and all the GA team.

  2. Tom McGuigan

    Scott has summed it up perfectly … a new chapter an’ all that.

    Onwards and upwards as they say, have fun kiddies!!!

  3. Vic

    You’re going to have a great time.. We’ll be with you in spirit, as usual.. Hopefully we will cross paths again very soon. Safe travels!! The Dorset Crew

  4. Pepe Yanes

    Congratulations for reaching Cape Agulhas safe and sound.
    Good luck on your east coast trip leg.
    I’ll keep on following your adventures
    Pepe Yanes
    Madrid

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