“This cape is the most stately thing and the fairest cape we saw in the whole circumference of the earth.” – From the journal of Sir Francis Drake, on seeing the Cape for the first time, 1580.
The Cape is a place of stunning beauty, scenery and history. Today, we were treated to one stunning view after another biking from Camps Bay to Cape Point (otherwise known as Cape of Good Hope) with Bike and Saddle. We were joined with a rider from Holland and another from Johannesburg.
The biking began with a climb and it seemed like the climbing did not end. Looking at the topography of area that surround Cape Town, it is pretty hard to cycle without some good climbs, but they reward you with some spectacular views.
We started off with a small climb out of Camps Bay and then biking down to Hout Bay before cycling up Chapman’s Peak (otherwise referred to at Chappies).
The world’s largest individually timed cycle race takes places in the Cape Town area every year with about 35,000 cyclists, and Chappies is part of the route. Chapman’s Peak Drive hugs the near-vertical face of the mountain from Hout Bay. Hacked out of the face of the mountain between 1915 and 1922, the road was at the time regarded as a major engineering feat.
The climb up Chappies starts at 15 meters, and the summit is around 166 meters. Total distance of the cycle along Chappies is about 11 kms. Chappies is a stunning bike or drive, and a must do when in Cape Town.
Shortly after Chappies, we cycled another gorgeous coastline road to a small town called Scarborough. Yet another climb before reaching the town of Scarborough, and a brief stop for some coffee and a delicious Green Genie Smoothie at a cool, newly opened spot, Hub Cafe and Greenshop.
From Scarborough, we cycled Red Hill Road to lunch which was the last of the climbs for the day. Rising in altitude from 108m to 263m and is 7.6 km in length with about roughly a 4 km climb and 3 km descent down some hairpin turns to beautiful Simon’s Town. Along the way, there were countless signs warning of wild baboons. Many cautioned drivers to keep their windows and doors closed. Luckily, we were on bikes so did not have to worry about that.
Simon’s Town is also home to the African Penguin Reserve which is another must do and is a very interesting location because it is one of the only spots in the world that you can observe the penguins at very close range without disturbing them. The penguins were introduced in 1982 with just two pairs and have grown to about 2,200 colony.
After lunch and the trip to see the penguins, we headed out to Cape Point. Cape Point is mistakenly thought to be where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet but in fact, the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet about 300 kms from Cape Point at Cape Agulhas National Park. Another stunning and beautiful day on the Cape!
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!