The day after they had won their first knockout match in the seven World Cups they have played in, the Proteas scattered all over Sydney in search of surf, sales and solitude.Some went to the beach, Morne Morkel fancied some surfing, others went shopping.
Dale Steyn and David Miller seem to have taken on the role of class jokers. The bowler posted a video on Instagram of Miller walking into an Apple store, approaching an unsuspecting Faf du Plessis.
Just before we steadied ourselves to launch off the start ramp for the prologue of the 2012 Absa Cape Epic at Meerendal, my partner, Jack Stroucken, gave me some last bits of advice: “Don’t fall off the ramp.”
Oh. I hadn’t thought about that. I hadn’t given it the slightest notion. Hell. The prologue was live on the telly. I’d only had the bike I was going to ride for 10 days after it landed in the country to supplier KTM later than I thought it would. It was tall for me. They don’t really make 29ers for small people, they didn’t think of that in the design of the most popular wheel size for the Epic.
The sign outside the Forresters Arms at around 9am on Sunday morning read: “Opening 8:00 Sunday for the group in baggies to toast the firemen. Welcome.” And welcome I certainly did feel as I lugged my bike into the bar and ordered a welcome beer from a barman who had a welcoming smile.
I had done 37km of the revised Cape Town Cycle Tour route of 47km, and had arranged to meet up with mates at Forries for a Cycle Tour Beer Run. Some had already sped past the turn off to Forries in their rush to get back to the superb Tsogo Sun hospitality tent at the end of the race (no names to be mentioned, but Jan Braai was back in time to have a breakfast of an medium rare fillet steak on an English muffin), while others may just have forgotten. The owner of Forries had opened early as a special favour to all thirsty Cycle Tour tourists after friends who knew friends who knew someone who knew the owner had passed on our request.
When a tree explodes in a fire, it makes a popping noise that is softer on the ear than you might expect, but heavy on the nerves. When a pine tree, thick with gum and hand grenade cones burns fast, it shoots a flame metres into the air as it is consumed in less than a minute.
On Tuesday, at a welcoming function for the media at the Cape Town Cycle Tour at Klein Constantia, we stood by a dam and watched as the boundary of the farm was threatened by the fires that scorched the peninsula.Wild fire jumps and moves at frightening speed, seeking to sate its hunger. It is a living, growing thing, a beast that takes on personality and character.