2 Oceans Marathon

Two Oceans Marathon: Time to Train

So the other day my work colleague, John informed me that it was the last day to enter to get a ticket for the 2014 Two Oceans Marathon, the most beautiful marathon in the world. Although I enjoy running, I am more of a 5-10km runner, with the idea of running 21km’s being a daunting one.

But what were the chances that I would actually get a ticket, given that thousands of people enter to get a ticket, and I had left it to the very last day to get a ticket via the random ticket draw. I thought I was safe. How wrong I was.

On the day of the draw, I got an email saying that I had a ticket, and that I would be running on 19 April. Flip! I have to start training now!!

Obviously there is a difference running 21km to running your quick, 5km circuit. I am one who likes to run fast, since the faster you run, the faster you get back to the comfort of your flat. Now I would actually have to pace myself, ensure I have enough liquids, eat correctly before the race, and have a training programme. This is going to be different.

So the first thing I did is look for training programmes to ensure that I am fit enough to run the distance, as well as to be able to do it at a decent rate of speed.

There were many training programmes of various lengths of time, differing methods of training. But what they all had in common was that they all looked like a lot of hard work. But I am up for the challenge!

Hopefully I can keep up the positive thoughts, stay consistent with my training, and not losing hope I will be just fine.

Training begins this weekend… wish me luck!

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Summer is coming to the Mother City

Despite the windy conditions that were experienced at the Linkin Park concert, it is fair to say that summer is on its way to the Mother City, and the beaches will soon be packed to capacity with locals, tourists, and others looking for their annual dose of vitamin D. As I write this, I look out of my company’s 5th floor window towards Table Mountain, and I yearn to be outside.

Currently the weather is in the mid 20’s, with the mercury peaking at close to 30 degrees later on. There is very little wind to speak of, and today has the makings to be the perfect summers day.

While I work, the girlfriend tans #unfair

So I am sitting indoors, looking at a laptop screen with the air-conditioning keeping the temperature at a mild 18 degrees, whilst my girlfriend is at the beach. On days like these I ponder to myself, “Why do I have to work during the day… why should I work at all?”.

With summer coming to Cape Town, it opens up the city for more things to do, events, and social activities. This Saturday I will likely be climbing Lions Head early in the morning, getting both some decent exercise, and something fun to do with a group of friends. A picnic on top perhaps? We’ll see.

I look at it everyday from my balcony… time to climb it!

Another activity that I see so often, but that I have never done before is paragliding. Off the top of Lion’s Head, you can paraglide down (with the assistance of a pro of course) and land near the Bungalow in Camps Bay/Clifton. It’s the perfect way to see the attractions of Cape Town’s Atlantic Seaboard from a different perspective, as well as to tick something off your bucket list of things to do before you die.

I will hopefully do that this holiday. The best company that I have found for this is www.paraglide.co.za/.

To see a little snippet of what they do, have a look at this video below:

Sunset Cruise from the V&A Waterfront

 For a while now I have known that you can do a boat cruise from the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town to enjoy the sunset, and the spectacular views of the city. Yet, despite knowing this, I had not going on one of these trips, nor had a look at what the trips offer.

My girlfriend and I were having our anniversary, and her sister was down in the Cape for a visit, so I felt that maybe this particular weekend would be a good one to check it out. So we got to the Waterfront and walked along the boatfront to have a look what tours were on offer.

Tigress

The Cat that we were going to sail

There were many boats, of various shapes, sizes, and styles. You can even go on a pirate party boat, Arg! But we decided that the best boat would be the Catamaran as shown above. With capacity for 60 people, but only ferrying 16 people this evening, it looked like the obvious choice.

Another sailing boat ferrying people for the sunset cruise.

The boat we went on was named the Tigress, and had a very experienced crew that were both knowledgeable, and witty. They made the trip very worthwhile for all on board. The cruise not only took you on a breath-taking cruise past one of the worlds most picturesque coastlines, but also provided all on board with unlimited champagne whilst cruising. And not the cheap stuff either!

The highlight of the trip is undoubtedly having hundreds of dolphins swimming around, next to, as well as under the boat. It was a very cool experience, and something that I hope to do again in the near future. I will forever remember this cruise due to the perfect weather, unrivalled views of the city, dolphins riding alongside the boat, as well as the company who enjoyed it with me.

To make a booking, or find out more about the cruise I went on, go to http://www.tigresse.co.za/.

Sunset whilst enjoying a glass of champagne.

Clanwilliam

Clanwilliam in 30 seconds

I was sent up to Clanwilliam, a very small town in the Western Cape, for work a few weeks back and thought it’d give my 2 cents on what attractions the town has to offer.

Clanwilliam

Clanwilliam main road

Although the accommodation where we were was not up to scratch (without mentioning names), there are many small guest houses in and around the town that provided a very homely feel when you stay there. Prices are reasonable, starting from R350 per person per night, and EVERYTHING is within walking distance.

During the September/October months, the town is abuzz with tourist, and people who made the trip up from Cape Town to see the flower festival. Colourful wild flowers cover almost every hill you can see with vibrant colours, transforming the landscape into an artwork. The restaurants, hotels, and bed and breakfasts depend on the flower season, and derive most of their yearly income from this part of the year.

Clanwilliam flowers

Vibrant colours everywhere you look

The Clanwilliam dam is a popular destination, due to its camps sites situated on the banks of the dam, as well as the skiing and boating experiences you can find there. Skiiers from all over the Western Cape converge on Clanwilliam to take advantage of the perfect skiing conditions at the windless, sunny destination.

Clanwilliam is Rooisbos crazy, with every air freshener, guest house and even milkshakes using rooibos tea. There is also a famous rooisbos factory in Clanwilliam that generate huge volumes of tea, as well as supports the local community with jobs.

For nightlife… well there isn’t really much in the form of nightlife, except Die Kelder, a restaurant/bar that plays music, sport, and has really well priced food. R79 for 400g of ribs and a whole bunch of chicken wings… not bad if you’re a city slicker. They also serve pizzas, burgers and the usual pub restaurant food that one would expect (except just larger portions).

Just a fair warning, do not go there during the peak of summer! Clanwilliam is known to be one of the hottest places in South Africa, with temperatures often getting well over 40 degrees celcius. Rather stay in Cape Town and go to the beach.

African Safaris to remember – Rhino Africa

Most South Africans believe that the dream holiday would be to go overseas, see something different, do things that you can’t do in your city or town within the borders of South Africa, or Africa. To do something amazing, memorable, or breath-taking you would need to go to Asia, South America or Europe… right?

Wrong!

Everything you could ever need or want in a holiday is right here on this beautiful continent of ours, Africa. Rhino Africa Safaris is a travel company built on passion, driven by exploration, and ready to tailor-make a holiday experience that you will never forget.

Rhino Africa was established in 2004 by a passionate young entrepreneur, David Ryan, who believed in what Africa has to offer, and in providing the best holiday experiences. Rhino Africa has top expert travel consultants ready to guide you into making the best holiday and safari choices.

To see what tours are available through Rhino Africa, have a look at their “Our tours” page: http://www.rhinoafrica.com/our-tours

What makes this company such a special and unique company is the dedicated staff, lead by David Ryan, who work together seamlessly to build, market, and run the company. The company staff are young, energetic, and enthusiastic about what they, and Africa, can offer you.

If you don’t believe, meet the team yourself:

Video by Ryan Rapaport