The Lighthouse 2 Lighthouse Ladies only walk started back in 2006 raising awareness and funds for cancer survivors and friends and families alike who had lost loved ones to this disease. The route back then was a hike and camp along the way from Struisbaai to Hermanus. Twenty-six brave women were to start something they could have never imagined would eventually result in a yearly event with numbers of up to one hundred and twenty women hiking 100K from Cape Agulhas Light House to Danger Point in four days and three nights. This year I was lucky enough to be a participant in this amazing fundraising event with all monies raised going to the Butterfly Children’s Centre in Stanford which will assist in completion of building their new school.

On the first morning 120 women met at Cape Agulhas Lighthouse where we would take our first 18K walk along the beautiful serine coastline and Fynbos trail ending at Brandfontein Farmstead. The first day was adrenaline filled meeting and speaking with many different walkers all with their stories on how it was previous years. When we returned to camp at the Die Dam Holiday Resort hot drinks and a welcoming smile from Ann the onsite nurse was waiting for us inside the designated shebeen. The shebeen was actually someone’s holiday home they had graciously rented out to the L2L event along with forty other cabins where some walkers would sleep and some camped including myself. We were told to be on the camp site at 6pm for dinner where an array of hosts including Marlinda Wright, Ronelle van Zyl, and a very entertaining guest speaker Vanes-Mari Du Toit who is a celebrity netball coach in South Africa.

That evening and every evening after that we ate like kings and were entertained by many characters. I met many interesting and accomplished women from all over South Africa all with their own reasons for why they wanted to walk. I realised that L2L wasn’t just a charity event but it was a family consisting of dedicated, hardworking and compassionate women that all wanted to give back and I was proud to be associated with it. The next two days were hard especially the gruelling long stretch of beach from Buffeljagsriver to Pearly beach totalling 27K on day three. That was when I felt I might not make it but I was not alone and with dedication and 119 strong South African women behind me I was not about to let the beach beat me.

By our third day and last night I was firm friends with Karen and Linda who had pitched their tent next to mine and was their seventh L2L walk. We would talk back and forth from our sleeping bags during the evening and laughed until our stomachs hurt. I will never forget how I felt getting up on the final morning wondering if I was going to make it as I was dismantling my tent.  Before we set off our hosts gave us a final inspirational thought and prayer for the day and we all felt ready to finish what we started.

Walking up to the Danger Point Lighthouse was an accomplishment for everyone and when we saw all the Butterfly children waiting for us to give us our medals it was all worth it. I would strongly recommend anyone who wants to challenge themselves and raise money for a good cause it is definitely an experience you will never forget so add it to your bucket list and I will see you next year!

Written by Jessica Smit
Volunteer Coordinator at White Shark Projects

Published 4th May 2020

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