SOUTH AFRICA 2020 – The Triathlon athletes’ paradise
I started the new decade training in the breath-taking landscape of South-Africa. It is the second year I return in this amazing place.
I chose Stellenbosch as my training camp base, thanks to the precious advice of many triathlon athletes who have been there before me. This place offers many dirt paths to run and bike, as well as fully equipped and well managed facilities for various disciplines, so it’s likely to find high-level international athletes here. Additionally, the university attracts many people and sport-lovers, so you can’t feel alone here!
Indeed, I would suffer thinking about staying in isolated places! For this reason I always look for the right balance between the two versions of Alice, that complement each other.
In Stellenbosch, they are lucky to have an important sports centre, Coetzenburg, that is located in a very green area of the city, close to a brook in the foothills. Here, they can train surrounded by an astonishing landscape.
A few kilometers away from the sports centre there is the Jonkershoek Nature Reserve, where you can have a walk or a mountain bike ride.
I found my favourite trail close to the swimming pool and the athletics track, a path beside the brook, covered with trees that are a shelter from the sun, since during summer, here, it is very warm with more than 30 Celsius-degrees. The comfort to have all the facilities close to each other allows the athlete – especially a triathlon one – to optimise the timing between a sport and another one.
Indeed, after running – very often early in the morning due to the warm weather we had during the day – I entered directly the gym for a specific strength session, or just to stretch a bit. While, sometimes, I had session of running and swimming. Having every sport at hand, but at the same time close to the city centre, allows to train at the best and also to have a moment of leisure sometimes.
In Stellenbosch you can’t get bored, the atmosphere is unique and familiar at the same time, even if we are so distant from Italy.
Restaurants, wineries, boutiques, sculptures by local artists and African music enrich the alleys of this magic town.
Not to mention the Picnic inside the vineyards, immense estates of vineyards surrounding luxurious farm houses where you can taste good wine and great food, or get prepared a rich basket and enjoy it comfortably sitting on a soft lawn cut as english style. Boschendal farm summer is absolutely my favorite, I have never seen such a boundless estate and golden sunsets, from the inside you can observe the mountains so closely that you can touch them. The experience that you live in such a place remains in your heart and memory, so much so that this year coming back from the trip I felt a strange feeling of sadness and melancholy for Africa.