The Constant winelands
Last Sunday was one of my favorite races in Cape Town. The Grape Run is a half-marathon (21.1k) race through the vineyards of the Constantia wine farms. The scenery is spectacular, and for a total elevation of over 420m, for a half marathon it’s a pretty tough run. Note I say run and not race. While of course you can race it, this is an opportunity to enjoy the route, take a few photos, and of course stop for the mid-race wine-tasting. Yes you heard correctly. There is a 10k wine table, serving Klein Constantia wines.
While you almost never get wine on a race, this particular wine-tasting is a Grape Run tradition, it wouldn’t be quite the same without it!
Running around one of the farm dams
At least the farm dams still have water, so if we run out of water in Cape Town we can still drink Constantia wine
Because its on the farm roads, there are almost no supporters, except for the occasional overprotective cow and calf.
Continuing on the theme of taking photos on a run, here are two photos that I took of St James beach. I have run to this beach over 1000 times; it is generally by turning point on my mid-week runs.
The second photo was taken just a couple of days ago. It is the same beach in low-tide on a wind-free day. Doesn’t it look lovely?
And the first photo was taken about a week ago in a very windy high tide. Waves were crashing over the boardwalk between Muizenberg and St James beaches, and the beach was covered in water. I took this shot from the end of the subway onto the beach. The subway was flooded and covered and sand and shells.
It amazes me how the same places are constantly changing, and every time I pass the same places on the same running routes, it looks differet, or I see something new.
One think I love about running (yes I know I have said this many times) is seeing the world around me. I run back-roads that I don’t usually travel in my car, and I have so much more time to see that world around me.
Today I am going to share you a collection of photos I have built up of some of the walls in Muizenberg. Every photo was taken on a run going through the Muizenberg community. Walls can be so boring, so if you have to have high walls, the community in Muizenberg have found ways to make them more interesting.
This bird is literally flying out of the spray can. And I love the way the artist was using graffiti to paint graffiti and end up with a beautiful piece of art.
Here is a somewhat glued-together origami bird.
And just around the corner of the origami bird is…another origami bird.
Funky music happening here.
Praying mantis on a Protea (the Protea is the national flower of South Africa).
This last wall reminds me of MC Escher’s etchings, and you can see that painter has left his phone number if you want to give him a shout.
Last weekend I went for a run in Cecelia and Newlands forests. It is such a privilege to have since amazing forests in my back garden. It had been pouring with rain for most of the day, so everything was wet and had that crisp and clean smell you get after the rain.
An old tree reflecting in a puddle.
The silver leaf trees on the jeep track. These trees literally look somebody has spray-painted the leaves with sliver paint, and they glisten with an almost mystical sparkle as you run past them.
Running up – there was plenty of running up, and of course running down on this run.
I’m convinced this trail was created for hobbits, or just for really short people. I had to bend over and just about crawl my way through the vegetation.
It was an excellent day out, and you don’t need to be a runner to enjoy these trails. There are plenty of walkers and families going for shorter strolls in both Cecelia and Newlands forests at the weekends.
While I was on my run a few days ago, I notices something new. Informational signs have popped up on the side of Main Road, from Muizenberg all the way to Kalk Bay. Each board is different and tells a story about the area. The ones that I saw cover the history, architecture of the old buildings, fishing and indigenous people of the area. They are well put together and informative. I’m not sure what are on the other boards (after all I was on a run, not a walk).
Why don’t you pop down to Muizenberg and take a slow stroll to Walk Bay and learn a little more about the area while you enjoy your stroll?