I’m writing this whilst sitting down, glass of red next to me, having had a very busy month or so (back to the real world) to reflect on my experience as a Howzat Travel Tour Manager for the Newlands, Cape Town test match in South Africa.
Cape Town was my first time being a Tour Manager and what an amazing experience it was. I stayed at a lovely little hotel called the Protea SeaPoint on the Howzat Red Tour with my fellow manager Gordon Bacon and a further 77 Howzat travellers, who were on varying itinerates.
The Protea Seapoint is located just by the seafront and is around a 45 minute walk or a 15 minute bus ride to the waterfront. As we were to discover, the hotel is also located just off the main road, which had numerous bars and restaurants, all of which offered excellent food and refreshments. I couldn’t fault the hotel or its staff, it was clean, the food was excellent and the staff were out of this world. They really couldn’t have done any more to help us and our guests.
I was a little unsure what to expect from Cape Town and South Africa in particular, having never visited before. I have to say I would return in a heartbeat. The people were friendly, the scenery stunning and, due to the strength of the pound against the rand, was great value for money.
With the currency in our favour it would have been rude not to take advantage of it. Every evening would see a large group of Protea hote Howzat group eating and drinking out at the many local bars and restaurants, which without exception were fantastic.
On to the main event – the cricket. Can there be a better venue in the world to watch a test match? With the back drop of Table Mountain, the sun shining and Stokes smashing it to all parts of the ground, the crowd loved it, as did I! Whilst a draw was a disappointing end to a great match, the experience was incredible. The atmosphere was fantastic, as was the banter with the locals and being allowed onto the outfield every lunchtime, seeing families having mini games of cricket finished it perfectly.
The 2016 Newlands test match and Cape Town Howzat Travel tour was a special experience. The memories and friendships forged will last a lifetime. The only problem was that it went far too quickly! I must finally say thank you to all at Howzat travel, my fellow Tour Manager, Gordon Bacon and all the Protea Seapoint travellers for a great time! Hopefully we can do it again in the future…