I left Canada on a Sunday and arrived in Cape Town on a Tuesday afternoon. It sounds simple in that sentence but Westport-Toronto-Amsterdam-Brussells-Istanbul-Joberg-Cape Town was not so simple in practice, it was long and exhausting. I arrived dead-dog tired with soaking wet bags, thanks to thunderstorms in Turkey, desperate for a shower and a nap. 72 hours later my boyfriend and I picked up the keys to our new apartment in Stellenbosch, a smaller more cycle-friendly town an hour away from the traffic of Cape Town. Then he left for the weekend to race in Bloemfontein.
I’m resolved to the fact that my life revolves around the race calendar, anyone who’s partner is a professional athlete will attest to that, but I still couldn’t believe it was the second time in one year I would have to move house alone. Nevertheless, off I went to move in to our new apartment, VW loaded to the brim.
There are always a few surprises and adjustments when you move into a new house: weird things that have been left behind (two egg poachers?!); where all the light switches are (the bathroom light is by the front door?); forgotten corners that have never been cleaned (yes, dust settles on the top of the fridge!). I was doing quite well getting our things where they belonged, putting my stamp on the place and then…black.
“Oh man, where is the fuse box!?”
After finding the fuse box with only my cell phone light to guide me, I quickly studied the panel reading each label for clues. I started to flick the downward facing switches but none of them were magically bringing the lights back on. Suddenly, very aware I was alone in a strange new place in the middle of Africa, I bailed on myself and speed dialled the boyfriend.
“Of course I checked to see if the neighbours had power, it’s not a power out,” I said running to the window to check the other apartments in the complex for lights.
“Yes, we have electricity credits,” I confirmed, double checking the meter.
Calmly, I was instructed back to the fuse box and, within one second of instruction, the switch I had dismissed because it was labeled “leakage” was flicked on I had light again.
The rest of the move went without a hitch and before I knew it the only thing left to unpack was my bike. After an hour of cursing my lack of mechanical skills, I pulled on some kit and headed out of Stellenbosch towards Franschoek.
All the stress of travelling, moving, unpacking and settling into a new house was lifted by a good dose of sunshine and a week of base rides. The familiar coast line of Cape Town and the scorching morning sun of Stellenbosch are two things I will never get sick of. Plus, knowing it’s only 5 degrees in Canada helps too.