The Koeksister Hill Slave Route Challenge

Private Property South Africa
Anna-Marie Smith

This is when not only the beauty of inner city living is most visible, but also when a variety of property options to purchase or rent become a reality. And thanks to many years of collaboration between the Cape Town Partnership, government and business who are maintaining a well managed, clean and welcoming city, it remains one of the country’s most desirable property investment destinations.

Whether one chooses to walk or run through the city’s streets, it is a destination of fascinating historical and cultural routes, where bygone eras have set the tone for many wonderful discoveries. When keen outdoor enthusiasts who chose the Slave Route Challenge as their Sunday morning running and walking activity last week, one thing was sure to follow, a renewed appreciation of the rich heritage and lifestyle the city offers its residents.

At first light, half marathon runners gathered in front of The City Hall of fame, a venue best remembered for drawing more than just crowds in 1994 following the release of Mr Nelson Mandela from his prison cell in Paarl. While race walkers and runners crossed the city streets they were able get a perspective on both the past and present of what has become a world class business and residential address. At the starting point opposite the Grand Parade, participants embarked on their journey through the gateway of the Castle of Good Hope, built in 1682 by slaves, soldiers, and sailors after replacing the original entrance that faced the sea. Surrounded by a moat, this historic venue complete with the original, fear invoking dungeon now open to the public, also plays host to regular Military Tattoo events, reflects the defence system in protection against British and French forces.

The start

The route went along the historic cobbled paths reminiscent of the slave trade of bygone eras. Moving pass the Cape University of Technology walkers witnessed a number of places of worship that remained during the forced removals of District Six, en route to the Gardens, aptly named after its green leafy surroundings. Stately old trees grace narrow streets and heritage sites, including the Iziko Slave Lodge, SA National Gallery and various museums representing the heritage of the country’s different cultural groups. Passing the Company Gardens en route a tree lined Government Avenue are many interesting city streets packed with quaint apartments and balconies above restaurants and retail facilities in classic architectural styles.

An eclectic mix of properties within business districts where mixed use commercial buildings within close proximity to apartment blocks, as well as government buildings and educational institutions bordering on pristine open green public spaces can be seen.

Once at the top of Whale Street, colourful arrangements of some freestanding and other semi detached Bokaap homes became visible. In addition to homes built in this carefully guarded traditional area, are large entrances built with high arches that lead off to groups of freestanding homes, constructed within close proximity from each other to reflect community living.

Unsurpassed views from the Bokaap across the city and all its magnificent offerings await those brave hearts that made their way up the gruelling hill to the top of Pentz Road. Rewarding promises of encouragement by warm hearted community members materialised when in true Cape Malay hospitality, race participants could taste a traditional ‘koeksister’, made from a delicious spicy dough rolled in coconut.

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