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Uninterrupted

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  cn_rh_murrayDEC17-1-T

Paddling out at sea – especially alone – offers a precious gift: time to think. Uninterrupted. The closest to an “alert” you might receive won’t be an SMS, BBM, WhatsApp, email or Facebook update, but the shrill call of an African Black Oyster-catcher, which could mean you’re close to a rocky outcrop, on which it’s perched. (Usually with its life partner nearby – they’re monogamous.)

cn_rh_murrayDEC17-1-M

Paddling out at sea – especially alone – offers a precious gift: time to think.

Uninterrupted.

The closest to an “alert” you might receive won’t be an SMS, BBM, WhatsApp, email or Facebook update, but the shrill call of an African Black Oyster-catcher, which could mean you’re close to a rocky outcrop, on which it’s perched. (Usually with its life partner nearby – they’re monogamous.)

Anyway, I was paddling out in False Bay some time back – somewhere between the Strand and Steenbras River Mouth – when I wondered about the best place one could hope to live.

An obvious set of five basic criteria would be: Close to the sea.

Close to mountains. Green and lush. In a wine region.

Cycle-friendly. Clean air, fresh water.

And … I do in fact live in precisely such a place. Excellent.

So while I’m not due to go away this summer, the place I live is precisely where I’d most like to be anyway. So.

To best exploit the lifestyle this special place offers, I’ve always dreamed of this:

A garage filled with my gear – all in one place, a menu of choice.

One could wake early on a Saturday morning, stick one’s finger in the air to test the wind, and make a decision: today I’ll be heading north, or south, or east, or west, on this mode of transport, with this companion of choice.

Like: “South, on a surfski, towards Rooi Els”.

Or: “East, out to Stanford, with my K1 canoe, to the extremely beautiful Klein River.”

Or: “North, with my single-speed cruiser, to Stellenbosch, for a cappuccino at Jonkers-hoek.”

Or: “West, with some goggles and flippers, to snorkel around at Boulders in Simonstown.”

This gear room garage would have space for my Landy, and one would simply reverse in, load the appropriate gear off the wall racks on the Landy’s roof or racks, and be off. Seamlessly.

The gear room would be called “The Launch Pad”.

OK. But even if I had such a room, how would one decide what to do/ where to go on that Saturday morning?

It seems The Launch Pad needs a re-search unit, informing it.

And this shall be a place where all the available wonders of this region would be accessed – a menu of choice.

This past weekend, this is what I’ve been working on.

My Launch Pad still needs to take shape, but I’ve nearly completed “The Think Tank”.

That sounds a bit grand. It’s actually only a book case. But strategically on it is every book I’ve collected about the Cape.

Top right are 12 books about Cape history.

Bottom right are coffee table books like Road Tripping South Africa, by Map Studio.

Bottom left are my subject guides, like The Essential Guide to Whales in Southern Africa, by Mike Bruton, Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, by Amida and Mark Johns, and Beard Shaver’s Bush – Place Names in the Cape, by Ed Coombe and Peter Slingsby.

And top left are my inspirations, emotional travel guides – like Stoep Zen, by Anthony Osler, The Pilgrimage, by Paulo Coelho, and Ecological Intelligence, by Ian McCallum.

This past Saturday, The Think Tank strategically advised me to proceed to The Launch Pad, and select a motorbike, to head west, to breathe deeply the sea air at Misty Cliffs, with my best mates PA and KA (see picture).

The system needs work, still – but I sense that great adventures lie ahead …

Written by Murray Williams You are reading Uninterrupted articles

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