My friends Cate* and Tony were getting married, and this last week has brought anyone to whom they are vaguely related and everyone they have ever met to Cape Town (where else?) for one heck of a party. And boy, did we kick it off in style. Hen Party Stage one was held at Cobbs in Scarborough, way down the peninsula towards Cape Point, giving us just the excuse we needed. Six of us girlies including the bride-to-be weighed up the indignities of helmet-hair against the chance to play Lara Croft…
So it was that last Saturday afternoon saw us standing in the lane outside Sandy’s house tittering nervously as big shiny motorbikes purred around us. It is, inevitably, a little awkward to introduce yourself to someone and politely shake their hand knowing that in a minute you will both be straddling the same leather saddle, but the lads were all so nice it really wasn’t a big deal. I was behind Peter who could never have been mistaken for a member of ZZ Top, as not only was he from Durham but he lacked both leathers and facial hair. I forgave him that for his number plate (‘SPUD’ after his son) and his very shiny helmet which enabled me to see the flies getting caught between my teeth. Within a minute we were whooping with excitement as we headed down the hill into Hout Bay, hands in the air and the sun rippling through our fingers.
It was the most perfect Cape Town evening as so many are, the rosy light of the setting sun highlighting the magnificent jagged coastal scenery, tipped by feathery clouds glowing pink and gold. By the time we reached our first stop on Chapman’s Peak, my smile had been so wide for so long that I had to use my hands to unglue my grinning lips from my gums. We giggled our way through a couple of glasses of champagne (thoughtfully provided by ‘Pitstop Mel’) and then continued along one of the most stunning roads in the Western Cape. Old hands by now we twisted and turned with ease round each breathtaking bend of Chapman’s Peak, to the last stretch way up on the mountainside above the wild stretch of Noordhoek beach where one lone kite danced in the breeze. The sun was setting when we stopped for a quick tequila boost at the Kommetjie grill. The final leg was then through increasing darkness, each one of us lit up for a fraction of a second by the beam of the Kommetjie lighthouse. Other traffic had dried up as we got further south, and as we cruised along the haunting Misty Cliffs we were alone in the night with just the thrum of engines and the sea air. We arrived at Scarborough to roars of approval from the rest of the party, and staggered dewy-eyed into the bar. What a buzz.
I’m so excited about the wedding this afternoon at Langverwagt wine estate. Throughout the last week the party has continued… a picnic on the beach at Llandudno, a sundowner braai at a fabulous villa overlooking Camps Bay beach, golf for those who wanted it, sky diving and bar crawling for the stags, shopping and drinkies for all the girls at the Waterfront… and this in addition to the Symphony of Fire international fireworks competition and the Cape Town International Jazz Festival which are currently running. What an end to a fantastic summer.