Thursday, June 26, 2014

Chapman's Peak - Named after someone who probably didn't even know it!

Chapman's Peak in Cape Town is a beautiful, coastal, mountain pass with dramatic rock formations, high slopes, and dangerous curves if not respected! It forms part of many tours in Cape Town including Cape Point, Constantia wine tasting or a visit to the penguins in Simon's Town.

The Cape Town community was shocked to a standstill when told the road will be closed permanently if not made safe. Rock falls caused car accidents and deaths in only a handful of years, and the road was becoming simply to hazardous. After a few years of construction closure and millions of Rands, the road was safely re-opened as a toll road. 

But who was Chapman? The road engineer? An explorer? Someone well-known? None of the above! He was simply a Captain's mate on an English ship in the early 1600's. They anchored in the Hout Bay area and The captain sent John Chapman into the rowboat to find provisions on land. The area was informally named Chapman's Chance for mapping purposes, but became official on maps in later years.

It is most likely Mr John Chapman died without knowing how popular his name would become. A temporary note on a map became a name spoken in Cape Town and historic tours every single day.

1 comment:

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