written by Roan Mackintosh, pictures edited by Rory Alexander
Day 7. The final day of the Scoot West Coast tour… While general maintenance at the Riebeek Valley Hotel may have been neglected a little, the kitchen certainly hasn’t been and a delicious breakfast buffet spread awaited us as we leisurely began the day. If you do happen to find yourself at the hotel then try the scones – sensational!! With only a single item left on the itinerary, it felt strange to be waking up a little later and not being pressed for time to cram things in.
I say only a single item, but it was perhaps the biggest item that I think you will find on most people’s bucket lists. Skydiving! Not far from Riebeek West, just outside Malmesbury, lies a new ‘drop zone’ which has taken the operator, Mike Rumble, around 2 years to fully register and license given its relative close proximity to not only Cape Town international airport but also the Langebaanweg air force base.
As we arrived at the airfield, we had our first & only scooter ‘crash’ of the trip (quite an improvement from last year which saw 2 crashes on the very first day! We’re proud of you for not falling once this year, Guy…) Siv “shortstop” Ngesi was navigating the dirt road towards the runway and hit a patch of soft sand that caused his back tyre to skid out from under him and the scooter to collapse on its side as Siv spilled out onto the road next to it. Whatever nerves may have been building up in the boys were instantly released in hearty guffaws of laughter as Siv scrambled to his feet, dusted himself off and righted the fallen scooter.
With a very experienced and knowledgeable crew, the Mother City Skydiving company do everything to put you at ease in what can be a trying time leading up to throwing yourself out of a perfectly good aeroplane. I have done a tandem skydive once before (albeit about 7 years ago) so I knew roughly what to expect, but fellow jumpers Dwain & Siv were doing this for their first time ever. As we were discussing the processes and procedures, we heard the faint buzzing of a plane and squinted up into the clear blue sky to see if we could see the source. A squawk on the radio indicated they were 4 miles out & moments later we saw the plane as a mere spec waaaaay up in the sky. Linda Mase, Manager: Domestic & SMME Marketing at Wesgro, who has been with us this whole tour, is a man of few words. When Mike explained that we should keep our eyes on the plane as people were about to jump out of it, he looked back into the sky and incredulously said (more…)