MY FAVOURITE PLACE

The Herald - The Herald Magazine - - Travel - CAMPS BAY IN CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA Cal­lum Skin­ner is co-founder of 5 Rings Cof­fee. Visit fiver­ingscoffee.co.uk

CAL­LUM SKIN­NER, OLYMPIC CHAM­PION CY­CLIST

WHY DO YOU GO THERE?

It’s the per­fect base to ex­plore one of the most nat­u­rally beau­ti­ful cities and coast­lines in the world. Travel 30 min­utes one way and you can get to a na­tional park and swim with pen­guins (no Sea World here). Five min­utes the other way and you’re in a vi­brant city.

Nes­tled be­hind Table Moun­tain, Camps Bay looks a bit like Bev­erly Hills. My favourite time is sun­set. Camps Bay faces west and when you have the clouds spilling over Table Moun­tain be­hind you and one of the best sun­sets you’ll ever see in front of you, while sit­ting cock­tailin-hand at a rooftop bar, there is noth­ing bet­ter.

HOW OFTEN DO YOU GO?

I’ve been for the last two win­ters (their sum­mer).

HOW DID YOU DIS­COVER IT?

The first time I went was with the Bri­tish Cy­cling team for a train­ing camp. Cape Town is the only place I’ve been with Bri­tish Cy­cling that I’ve since vis­ited (twice) out of choice. It has an edge, his­tory and vi­brancy that Euro­peans can some­times feel is miss­ing from Aus­tralia, Canada and New Zealand.

The city has a trou­ble­some rep­u­ta­tion with re­gards to crime; it might be mer­ited given the end­less elec­tric fences and pri­vate se­cu­rity guards who out­num­ber the police. Even so, Cape Town has some of the friendli­est peo­ple you will ever meet.

They are aware of the rep­u­ta­tion their coun­try has. As a re­sult, they do their ut­most to chal­lenge that rep­u­ta­tion and make you feel wel­come. I love the vi­brancy and di­ver­sity of the city, ev­ery time I go I see a new side, be it LGBT bars (a rar­ity in Africa) and the house club scene with my brother, ar­ti­sanal mar­kets with my mum, or cafe cul­ture with my step­dad.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE MEM­ORY?

Last time I went with my mum, step­dad, brother and granny. Hav­ing my granny there was spe­cial be­cause she hadn’t been out of the UK for 30 years and had never been out­side Europe. She had an al­most child-like fas­ci­na­tion with things I might dis­miss as the mun­dane. I re­mem­ber her be­com­ing quite pos­i­tively, emo­tion­ally over­whelmed with the peo­ple, land­scape and at­mos­phere.

SU­SAN SWAR­BRICK

WHAT DO YOU TAKE?

My bike. From Camps Bay you can ride along to Chap­man’s Peak, a lo­ca­tion that has fea­tured in many car ad­verts. You can see why: it is a beau­ti­ful and chal­leng­ing road to ride.

WHAT DO YOU LEAVE BE­HIND?

My win­ter blues.

SUM IT UP IN FIVE WORDS.

Beau­ti­ful. Vi­brant. Free. Di­verse. Cul­tured.

WHAT TRAVEL SPOT IS ON YOUR POST-LOCK­DOWN WISH LIST?

I’ve been mean­ing to go to South Korea for years; when I was back­pack­ing in Ja­pan, I heard end­less good things about it. I’ve also had a camper­van trip booked for the west coast of Scot­land. It was post­poned due to the coro­n­avirus pan­demic, but I’ll be do­ing that as soon as I can.

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