The Big (well 12km) Walk

The motto of saying yes to just about everything that interests us (read: me) rang true yet again. Email received. Email acknowledged. Email forwarded. Entry booked. All in the space of about 15 minutes one morning.

We’d signed up for The Big Walk which sounded like heaps of fun… and for a good cause – Breast Cancer (amongst other charities). It is deemed “the biggest timed walking event in the world” not that we were doing it as a race, just for fun – big group, lots of laughs and a braai afterwards (hint of bitterness…)

Well, after people found themselves in Joburg, pregnant or too annoyed to stand in the queue to get their entry form, on the 14th of November it was just Mark and I waking up at sparrows to walk The Discovery Cape Times Big Walk. I’m glad we did though.

Starting point of the BIG (or not so big in our case) walk was the Green Point Urban Park. Which we, living in Green Point, had no idea where that was. Turns out, its actually not open yet to the public except for this special occassion (opens 1 December). I slipped into London mode and squealed (yes, it was definitely a squeal) with excitement at the idea of reading my book in this park as I did during lunch in London’s Green Park. To which Mark casually reminded me – we now have a beach and no need to sun in the park. (Good point).

Being the beautiful summers morning it was, it was easy enough to stand around in the morning sun. Of course, being Cape Town,  it turns out we stood around in the sun for quite a while with a relaxed starting time of roughly 7am. While everyone buzzed with excitement there was the promotion of the USA vs Bafana game on Thursday, followed by a big countdown and finally we were on our way. The view while we waited was worth it. Without a doubt – this is the prettiest I’ve seen the stadium look.

Green Point Urban Park
Starting Point for 12km BIG walk

Our morning romp followed the fanwalk which, I’m ashamed, but have to admit, I never walked during the WC. (I live IN Green Point! There really wasn’t a need). We passed Bronx (which was still going strong at 7am) and down to Adderley Street. Our first water/coke stop had highly enthusiastic and entertaining Cheerleaders. (I think they may have been recruited from a nearby club).

Big Walk Cheerleaders

Up Adderley street (and past Brio!) we were heading into Company’s Gardens. Now if I admit this, don’t think that I’m not a real Cape Townian. Actually, wait… I’m not a real cape townian (I’m working my way up to that status). I’ve never been into The Company’s Garden. I always thought they were a dangerous place and best avoided. I admitted this to Mark. He laughed. And then we walked through a beautiful part of the Mother City I wish I’d found earlier. These Gardens are so pretty and I’ll have to go back for a wander (as we  quickly realised we were in the front of the pack… and yes, Mark wanted to now win!)

Company's Garden
The Company's Garden
Company's Garden
Our lovely Mountain

Further along the route, we past the quaint St Mark’s Anglican Church in District 6 and soon enough, I saw the sign for Mowbray (which as I got closer, actually said Observatory). But at least we were nearing the end. My legs were starting to hurt. We turned onto the N2 and saw the first distance sign we’d seen all morning – just 1km to go!

1km to go

As we turned into the River Park Office Complex, we were met by paparazzi snappers (I wonder where those photos will land up?). I smiled a charming (perhaps cheesy – we’ll see) smile and we crossed the finish line to cheers of the supportive crowd.

At the Finish Line!

A medal around my neck, we flagged a taxi from the main road to take us home. We were dropped at ‘the deck’ (a huge taxi rank I didn’t know existed) and directed to a seapoint bound taxi. At the risk of sounding completely like a tourist – taxi’s in Cape Town are incredibley organised. I also learnt that taxi rides are only R5! (cheap as chips?)

While I know we left the festivities of the finishing area early and that we did the majority of our walk at the front missing the crowds of walkers and probably most of the spirit… our reward was brunch with a view that I love (because of the view, or because of the cafe itself? I’m not sure) followed by a lazy day on the beach.

This to me was such a Cape Town day. I thought I was going to be doing a bit of long-winded exercise, but instead I saw and experienced things I would never have normally. Feeling very Cape Townian right now 😉

Cafe Neo
Cafe Neo