Monday, July 17, 2017

Running in Cape Town #2: Waterfront and Boardwalk rather than downtown

I love leveraging my passion for running to discover the new countries and cities I visit, and share what I see for those who can make the trip. Unfortunately, there are a few places where running on your own is dangerous and South Africa is one. It's even an issue for locals and natives, even more so for tourists. On Friday, I decided to hike a non urban place, Lion's Head. On Saturday, I went to explore downtown but I quickly felt uncomfortable as, a few blocks from the financial district, I got into either entrances to highways or homeless people sleeping on the sidewalk. I was hoping to run along the Ocean on the North side but that's not an option, with the busy industrial harbor. Disappointed, I turned back and passed by the City Hall. It was Saturday morning and, except for a craft market in front of the Town Hall, the city was super quiet.

From there, I traversed a busier area and made my way toward the place all tourists end up in Cape Town: the V&A Waterfront (V&A for Victoria & Alfred). By chance, I ran into Agn├Ęs who was on her way to check if we could get last minute tickets to visit Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela and many other apartheid opponents and activists were imprisoned for many years of their lives. It was oversold already, she will go with Greg, when she is back here after Namibia. I was at least able to visit the small exhibit at the deck.

I resumed my run along the shore and found these signs for a 3.1-mile loop from the Waterfront.

I ran part of it but then continued farther South along the Ocean.

Wonderful place to log a few miles, away from the dangerous car traffic and with views of the incredibly powerful waves breaking on the rocky or sandy beaches.
On Sunday night, after our trip to Boulders Beach (to see the adorable African penguins) and the spectacular Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope, I went back on the his boardwalk and pushed to the end of the sidewalk at the exit of Camps Bay, after going through Clifton.
It was dark already (sun sets before 6 pm in winter), but I could hear the Ocean's breakers for the 6 miles (and back) so the views must be incredible all the way (the Ocean on one side and Table Mountain on the other). By the way, I ran with a headlamp, just to be safer, but the boardwalk (Cap Town) and sidewalk (Clifton and Camps Bay) have street light most of the way. There are also bathrooms in many places on this route, albeit not open at night.
Note that there is also a mile-worth of smooth, flat and straight bike path along Main Street, starting at the National Stadium.

Here are the 3D flyover videos from Saturday and Sunday.

From my short 3-day experience of Cape Town, this boardwalk is the ideal place to log miles if you are staying near Sea Point or Green Point; highly recommended route if you visit the Mother City!

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