Chapman's Peak on a scooter

At 9am this morning, who would’ve thought that today would be a crazy day. Whilst sipping my espresso, I couldn’t possibly have guessed that as I proceeded to lug my new laptop ( to replace the stolen one) with free printer to the car, that I would trip on uneven ground and sprain my ankle ( or worse). Even though I’m not new to an ankle injury, the excruciating pain took my breath away…and my ability to walk or think. I was alone and had no other option but to call my cousin to my rescue whilst my boyfriend was out paddling in False Bay. My parents were not an option yet as my mom would’ve been way too dramatic and found some way to make it all my fault.

Did I mention that it was the most gorgeous day since the start of Winter. It was a sin to stay in indoors laying with my foot propped up and iced with a vegetable pack to curb further swelling of the golf ball that was now my ankle.

So the ever-cautious me decided to do the unthinkable, defy my mother’s warnings and take a drive out on the scooter along Chapman’s Peak. Ok so the day’s craziness factor was ever increasing, because there I was swollen ankle scooting around Cape Town in the sun. We stopped at Hout Bay beach where the city had come out to play. One day of sunshine and Cape Town comes out of hibernation good and well. All around us there were dogs running playfully, people in swimsuits under umbrellas, smokers on the balconies at Dunes Restaurant, bikers stopping off, children coming out of the water and boats circling the harbour with happy people. Crippled me saw in the sidelines of the sand whilst my boyfriend got us some coffee. All at once I could feel Summer again, almost as if it had never disappeared only to leave its depressing counterpart, Winter, behind.

We motored off up along Chapman’s Peak with its 32 bends, rocky cliffs, picnic spots and spectacular lookout points. I have driven along this road so many times, but on a scooter it was even more breathtaking. The trees, the glassy ocean, and the breeze all seemed so much closer and I was way more absorbed in it all. At the Main lookout point we stopped and peered out over the Sentinel and Hout Bay. It was so still. Ships cruised around below us, little yachts drifted by, but we heard sweet nothing. Emergency vehicles blocked the narrow road and cars lined the edge of the road. Bystanders stood together peeking down over the edge of the rocky ledge and down in the steep Cliffside. A helicopter hovered over the dark ocean, whilst the Coast Guard stayed close in a jet ski and boat. They seemed to be looking for someone. We walked closer and get a better look at the scene below, well I hobbled. Then we saw it. A smashed car on the rocks. The only possible way for it to get down there was all 400 m down off this cliff.

We watched as the helicopter airlifted the survivor to safety and the ambulance whizzed him to the nearest hospital. Sadly a shark spotter had seen the victim park near the edge, look out over the sea, then drive off the mountainside at will. A terrifying suicide attempt if I’d ever heard of one. I tried to imagined what went through his mind as the car tumbled down the hill and when he realised he was still alive. I guess I’ll never know, but I hope he awakes a grateful man and recognises the incredible beauty we get to experience each day. Even the little things and there are so many when we open our eyes.

What a Sunday and who would’ve thought?

He lives to see another day.

Beautiful day in Cape Town