This blog sure is a lot of work sometimes, but it has allowed me, okay maybe FORCED me, to do things that would never normally fall within my comfort zone. I’m quite a “safe” person actually. I like routine. But I think that people like me often choose partners who encourage them to live a bit, and they end up choosing careers that do the same, and thank goodness for that, because otherwise you would find me curled up with my book at home 24 hours a day, never having done half of the glorious things that blogging and writing have brought blessedly into my life.
This is what was going through my mind on Friday evening as Gareth and I whizzed through the balmy spring air of Cape Town streets, on a Signal Hill sunset trike tour with experience company Experience Days. They had offered me this incredible experience for free with the only request being to write an honest review, so that is precisely what I shall do.
First of all, you may be wondering: what on earth is a trike? Well it is a motorbike with three wheels (can you tell I am no petrolhead?!), and this custom built German machine is in fact one-of-a-kind in South Africa. The great thing about seeing Cape Town from the back of a bike is that you get a completely different perspective than if you are driving around in a car. You get to look upwards, smell the sea breeze, chat to very curious people in the cars next to you, and generally you feel more immersed in the whole exciting experience.
We met our guide Willem from Cape Town Trike Tours at the Waterfront at around 4pm, and from the minute we put one foot on that bright yellow trike, we felt like proper celebs. There were people taking pictures of us, staring and waving. We then drove along the Sea Point promenade, up around towards Clifton, stopping at a viewing site at Camps Bay to stretch our legs and watch the surfers catching waves. Looking up at the 12 Apostles (I’ve heard there are not actually 12?!), then down to the ocean and the shimmering horizon, I was reminded once again what a beautiful country we live in.
We then drove up from Camps Bay to Signal Hill, and this was the absolute highlight for me. When last were you on Signal Hill at sunset? I must confess that I haven’t been since I was a student and I worked as a waitress at a function up there! Well, it was the perfect night for it. You get the most expansive view of Table Mountain and the city below it from there, which is probably the reason it’s so popular.
We then found a table and settled in for the snacks and bubbly which were provided. The atmosphere was fantastic up there, with tourists (and locals) snapping pictures of the breathtaking surroundings, a busker singing great reggae tunes, people smiling and milling about and a one-legged guinea fowl attempting to eat everyone’s food (I did not make that last part up). We sipped on some of the ice-cold bubbly that was provided, and although I would have preferred some dry bubbles to sweet, I am not a wine snob and will drink pretty much anything in a glass!
After a few simple snacks we went and took a seat on what felt like the top of the world. There is a sense of sitting on the edge of the universe at this particular spot on Signal Hill and the only way to explain it better is to show you, so here is a very amateurish video of us soaking up the atmosphere (and me singing a bit – cringe!). Anyway, I’m trying to get better at video content so don’t laugh – I’m testing out new movie making software and hope to improve;).
See? You can’t help but ‘not worry and be happy’ when you are sitting right there at that particular spot. But then we got an emergency call from our babysitter that Ben’s gastro had got worse (!), so we asked Willem if we could scoot home a little bit before the sun actually set, so we could beat the traffic (yes I know Capetonians talk about traffic a lot;). Willem drove us safely back to the Waterfront and we gave him big hugs (‘cos he was a great guide!) and sped home to clean up vomit.
All in all, it was a wonderful experience, something utterly different, and I think it’s the perfect thing to buy as a gift for someone special. At R1400 for the experience, it’s not cheap, but I’ve done some research on other experience company websites and that seems to be reasonably priced for that sort of thing. Gareth commented that petrolheads would particularly love this experience, as you’re riding on a completely unique vehicle. He also liked the way you could sit next to your partner through the whole thing and chat and enjoy the experience together.
A number of my friends are turning 40 lately and I think clubbing together and buying them a unique day out is a really nice idea, especially for those people who are hard to buy for (whale watching? wine tour by tuk-tuk?). The website is also a nice resource for any out-of-towners who want to see the city or country in a different sort of way.
All in all, it was such a treat, so thank you Experience Days for getting me to try something completely outside of my usual Friday night activities – and thanks for the wonderful memories.