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The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step - Lao Tzu

1 March 2019, Cape Town to Melkbosstrand, 32,2km
Ou Skip Holiday Resort R247.50

This is the first time Charl and I have set out to cycle a continent as opposed to a country. Not only have we arguably chosen the second toughest continent to bike (after Antarctica), we have chosen the second largest (after Asia).
Today we departed Cape Town, South Africa, for Casablanca, Morocco. 21 west coast countries link the two cities; 22 if you count Western Sahara as independent. If all goes according to plan, we will be cycling through 20 of the 21 (avoiding Equatorial Guinea), and will be including a tiny smidgen of one non-coastal country, Burkina Faso (Land of Upright (Honest) Men). We require visas for 17 of the 21 countries (not needed for South Africa, Namibia, Angola and Benin) – that’s a lot of bureaucracy…
Our previous cycle trips combined total around 20,000km (see Home above); this trip to Casablanca will total around 20,000km. That’s a lot to chew for fatties in their sixties!
As the west coast of Africa is synonymous with the slave trade, we began today’s ride outside the Iziko Slave Lodge*, corner Adderley and Wale Streets, Cape Town, having paid a quick visit to the exhibits inside.
We had a wonderful ride. Good weather - a cooling breeze making the heat tolerable; easy terrain; a cycle path for most of the distance; pretty views of Table Mountain and Signal Hill, with Robben Island in the bay. We are camping tonight for the first time since buying our two-man tent and yes, it is as close to the ground as I feared! I doubt we are going to be comfortable, but we have no choice but to camp on occasion for two reasons: budgetary constraints; and once in Namibia distances too long between real accommodation options.
Given our level of (un)fitness, we will be breaking our journey through South Africa to the Namibian border into sections of less than 50km per day. Hope our bodies toughen up soon…

*“The Slave Lodge was built in 1679, making it the second oldest existing colonial structure of the Cape Colony, today known as Cape Town. This building was changed many times and it is unclear how much of the existing building dates from the slave period.
The building was used as a slave lodge until 1811 when it was changed into government offices by the new British colonial authorities. Britain occupied the Cape Colony in 1806 and their claim to the Cape was recognised in 1814 by the rest of Europe.
The Slave Lodge housed the slaves who belonged to the Dutch East India Company (VOC). These slaves worked for the VOC and were never sold. Very little is known of the people who lived in the Lodge, We know what type of work they did and we know something of conditions in which they lived. We have managed to find at least half of their names, but know little more than where they came from and the date of their death.
The British colonial government decided to turn the Slave Lodge into government offices in 1807. At that stage there were 283 slaves in the Lodge: 187 men, 73 women and 23 children. Many of these slaves were old and could not work anymore. The governor, the Earl of Caledon, sold some of his slaves at a public auction and the remaining slaves were moved into the western wing of the Lodge. In 1811, the remaining slaves were moved to a rented building and in 1820 to a new slave lodge in the Gardens. These 135 slaves were manumitted in 1828, six years before universal emancipation of slaves in the British Empire.
Today the Slave Lodge is a museum, managed by Iziko Museums of South Africa. It became a cultural history museum in 1966, exhibiting mainly the material culture of the descendents of the Dutch and British colonists.
The role that slaves played in developing the Cape Colony was only fully recognised by the museum during the 1990s. The building was renamed the Slave Lodge on Heritage Day, 1998.”

For today's route see below photos
For overview route, click on ROUTE tab above…

Iziko Slave Lodge, Cape Town
Iziko Slave Lodge, Cape Town
Departing Cape Town for Casablanca
Departing Cape Town for Casablanca
Cape Town to Melkbosstrand
Cape Town to Melkbosstrand
Cape Town to Melkbosstrand
Cape Town to Melkbosstrand
Cape Town to Melkbosstrand
Cape Town to Melkbosstrand
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