The view from my door
The view from my door
An interesting night. The rain started in earnest shortly after I got into the hotel and there were some telltale clues, like the buckets hanging from the roof in the reception area. Anyway high tide in my bathroom struck at about 4am at least that's when I noticed it, the drip drip drip turned a bit more serious. Some rapid redeployment of my clothing arrangements i.e. picking them up, was called for.

The dogs I mentioned before seem to live outside but they would very much like to live inside, the white poodle started a pitiful scratching at my door, it looked like drowned rat. I left it there. I should also mention that there was thunder and lightning. A lot.

I lay in bed for hours (it really wasn't very comfortable) thinking about the ride to Cape Town in the morning through the Deluge in Joe Rocket's rubbish kit and how nasty that would be. I got up and took to the trousers zip with my tool kit. The fly remaining open is clearly not an option. On detailed examination at 5am I discover the fastener is made from beer can metal, so soft you can move it with your fingers. Utter rubbish. On the plus side it can be made to close, hopefully one or two times more. Great care will be required.

Wet Kit
Wet Kit
In the real morning after carefully packing the gear in dustbin liners, brought just in case, it's hard to get into breakfast as the reception area is flooded to about an inch. The girl tells us that the drains are blocked but while this is clearly one problem you'd have thought the more major one is that the rain is getting in in the first place? I'm glad I don't own this place.

To say the ride to Cape Town is unpleasant doesn't really cover it. Joe Rocket gear turns out to be much better than I thought but the H2Out gloves are sodden and cold and the thermals are just not enough, a very good job I brought them, I did wonder in the heart of the Karoo. Amazing climate.

The wind was the worst. The paper says there are roads shut and bridges out. I can see why. The forecast understated the wind hugely. We really should have flagged the trip to Cape Town until some other day, the trip was a bit dodgy, particularly for Clive and Mary two up on their bike. I think I should have been more positive and said no, I don't have to be in Cape Town and even if I did there are alternatives.

We passed the shacks at Worcester, it's terrible, the water level have risen and the smell is awful. I think there will be some very, very restless locals. In Bill Bryson's words they need to “Do more. Try harder. Start now”

Cape Town Waterfront
Cape Town Waterfront
Anyway that's in the past, lets hope Ricky at the Hampshire House can muster a heater to dry the kit, I'm sure that the team will want theirs dry to take home. I certainly will for use tomorrow.

Later:

Cape Town is the obvious choice for the afternoon and we all get a taxi together. The waterfront is as wet and wild but at least we can get lunch, look around the shops, buy a few oddments and stay out of the weather.