A bump and a botched crossing

Trip Start Jun 04, 2005
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Trip End Apr 05, 2006


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Flag of South Africa  ,
Friday, March 31, 2006

After a pleasant evening and scrumptious brunch at my uncle and aunt Theus and Ona's in Sedgefield, we continued our road trip in the direction of the Cape on Wednesday morning, with a break at Mossel Bay to say a final good-bye to grandparents.

Next stop was Pringle Bay and a welcome reunion with good old buddies Simon and Gill, recently relocated to South Africa from Edinburgh. En route, we received an interesting call from Cape Town friend Ryan, an intrepid open water swimmer, explaining that he'll be attempting to swim across False Bay the very next day. And would we mind joining him as support crew? Well, yes! Sounds fascinating! Luckily for us, the start point of the trans-bay swim was Rooi-els, another beach settlement just round the corner from Pringle.

Wow! Gilly met us sporting a bump even more voluptuous and obviously pregnant than we'd imagined. Radiant and healthy, she'd clearly been soaking up some rays and her English rose complexion was changing to a more sun-kissed Capey one. Just to explain: Gill and Si got engaged the week before we left, and in the ten months we'd been away, they'd gotten married, conceived and moved to SA. Yup, getting on with life while we were acting like a pair of gap-year hippies!

A pleasant evening of braai and chat followed, with several phone calls and texts to/from Ryan regarding the next day's swim. The start would be 4.30am, and it would take about 10 hours... in the end I decided to give the marathon boat ride a miss, but Rich was enlisted to drive a vehicle and boat trailer around to the other side.

So off he went well before dawn on Thursday morning, while I was still sleeping off the previous night's red wine. But by 8am he was back... what had happened, we all wanted to know? Well, as it turned out, the guys started swimming as planned just before dawn, then had to turn back two hours later due to the wind and swell increasing. Ah well, worth a try!

After a frolic in the sea with Gill, we headed on to the Waterfront, where we met up with Sheila, Shaun and family for lunch - one last chance to spend time together before their return to the States the next day.
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