written by Roan Mackintosh, pictures edited by Rory Alexander
The start of Day 3 brought with it 2 fantastic new things that had been missing on the trip so far. Firstly – clear, sunny, blue skies. And secondly, the one & only Siv Ngesi, our fourth musketeer – both very welcome additions to the West Coast scoot festivities. Having never met Siv before I wasn’t too sure what to expect from the guy but with a broad, genuine smile, sharp wit & devil-may-care attitude I could see pretty early on that he was going to fit right in.
Shelly Point Hotel know how to put on a proper breakfast spread, let me tell you! With a buffet choice of everything from croissants to bacon, omelets, fried eggs, scrambled eggs, poached eggs, mince on toast, fried tomatoes, cereals & muesli, yoghurt, fruits, baked beans, sausage, fried potatoes etc. I couldn’t help but notice Guy struggling to get his bike jacket zipped up a little later as we prepared to head out onto the road once again.
One great thing about being on a scooter is the fantastic additional sensory inputs. The feeling of the cool air rushing past. The warmth of the sun when you arrive at a stop street or traffic light. The smell and even taste of the slightly tangy sea air. It really lets you experience the trip in a whole different way from driving in an air-conditioned car. The down side to being on a scooter…? Heading out of St Helena bay while being downwind of a fish factory. Wow! That’s one special & quite unique odour!!
Not far down the road, we arrived at Port Owen in Velddrif where we met our captain for the morning on Tollie’s River & Boat Cruises, none other than Oom Tollie himself. A true salt of the sea man, he runs the cruises side-by-side with his wife (who is also a qualified skipper on the boat) and while she skillfully guides the boat and serves hot coffee and rusks, Tollie freely imparts his years of local knowledge to all who will listen. I knew I was going to thoroughly enjoy the ride up the Berg River when during his safety briefing, our fine captain described things as such – “This boat is like Brandy… it has no brakes!” Not only full of humourous one-liners such as this, he also knew (more…)