Eish The wind

Friday, 08 August 2008

One of the reasons that we decided to do our coastal run during the winter was to avoid the Cape Doctor, The S/Easter. A wind known to drive up-country holiday makers home, push locals to the brink of insanity and just give you a serious “Klap” around the gills for a few months of the year, work that hair do into extinction and leave you with a trade mark Cape pavement perm. We left Gordon’s Bay and headed along the most scenic route in the cape to Pringle bay to our GPS start point. It had been building all evening, I could hear the wind slowly winding itself up during the early hours of the morning, the results of this were there to behold. As I climbed out of the Fortuner the wind hit me, I turned to say something to Braam and as I opened my mouth my cheeks just filled with air. I felt like the Michelin man being inflated.

The wind was gusting down the mountain slopes and onto the sea causing mini twisters on the sea as it raced across towards cape point, lifting spray off the open sea to heights of 50-60 meters in the air. As we tried to run the gusts would blow us sideways into the rock retaining wall, I would have to reach out to gain my balance and stop myself being blown over and down the cliff. Running was almost impossible as the side wind would catch your lifted foot and blow it across the back your other foot causing you to trip. On we pushed constantly stumbling as we tried to push on through the gale. Finally we headed on around Rooiels and towards Hangklip. The wind now head on 80km/ph at one stage I was running behind Braam pushing him so that with our combined effort we could continue moving forward.

Rounding Hanklip it was now the sand, the old road was totally covered with a dune that had been blown over the road and our support vehicle had to turn back and drive around the other side of the mountain. We pushed on and headed over the few kms of dune. Winds screaming at us and sand blasting us. The sand was stinging the exposed bits of skin and my eyes were caked. I could hardly make out Braam’s shape ahead of me as he became enveloped in the spray of sand all I could see was his orange jacket as his legs disappeared in the sand spray. I think that this dune crossing was the closest that I have experienced to the beginning of the China sandstorm. Everything just gets blasted apart and filled with sand; you quickly become disorientated as the sand blurs your vision and your eyes stream with tears trying to clear the sand.

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