This week was filled with excitement, so I have lots of photos to share with you! It was one of those weeks where I felt like I experienced so much, that it could have been an entire month.
One day, it rained so hard I thought we were going to get some serious flooding. My flatmate sent me some photos to share with you. Somerset West is an interesting place, I don’t think you would get this type of “ferry” service back home. Check out the photos, and you will see what I mean..
There was a whale festival last weekend in a town called Hermanus, maybe about an hour from Somerset West. “..the only Enviro-Arts festival in South Africa, held annually to celebrate the return of the Southern Right whales to the waters of Walker Bay..”. According to the world wide web, Hermanus has one of the best land-based whale watching in the world (http://www.sa-venues.com/events/westerncape/hermanus-whale-festival/). My original plan was the go-to this festival but, there were no automatic transmission cars left at the car rental place that I called, so I didn’t go. I’m not too keen to drive on the “wrong” side of the road anyways. I will go whale watching another time.
I may not have seen any whales this past weekend, but I definitely didn’t miss out on an amazing weekend. On Saturday I went to Muizenberg with my flatmate because he was meeting a friend to go surfing with. It was a surf festival, where the following day, surfers tried to break the Guinness World Record of having the most people riding the same wave. Apparently, they were very close but didn’t quite get it. I don’t know how to surf, and didn’t care to try in waters known to be the home of so many great whites, so I went for a nice long walk along the water instead. At first, I was a little unsure about walking on my own because muggings do happen sometimes. It turned out to be fine, and while I walked, I enjoyed the beautiful scenery and a bag of Biltong (African dried meat).
After another half hour of driving, my flatmate dropped me off at the Long Street Backpacker in Cape Town. It’s on the most “happening” street in the city. Many tourists and locals come to this street for restaurants, bars and shops. Not far from the backpacker is the Slave Lodge Museum (http://www.iziko.org.za/museums/slave-lodge) so I wandered through it to learn a bit of history.
The Long Street Backpacker is set up like a greenhouse, with lots of plants, a clear roof and, cats and dogs to hang out with. Naturally, I liked this place. The rooms were pretty clean and the people were really nice. It wasn’t long before I met some nice girls to have dinner with (2 from France, 1 from the Netherlands). We went across the street together to “Mama Africa” for some more traditional African food and wine. I wondered what Warthog tastes like, but chose a nice lean ostrich steak instead. We shared a dessert platter that had flaming bananas. SO good.
After dinner, we went back to the backpacker for some drinks (price: R12. or $1.40/beer) before heading out to a bar called the Dubliner (A bit funny eh? Going to an Irish Pub in South Africa). I met some more people, including a couple guys from Austria, and we all went to the bar, which had a live band playing familiar rock music. We had a great time, and because the bars don’t close until after 4am, we stayed out very late. Even at 5am, we hung out on the balcony of the backpacker watching the complete and utter chaos happening along Long Street. I wish I had a photo of that for you… The street was jammed with cars and people, loud music coming from everywhere, shouting, laughing, people hanging out of their cars, dancing ON-TOP of their cars. I even saw a guy get hit by a car, which then drove away. He was alright, but a bit ticked off. I think I made it to bed just before the sun came up.
The next morning I went for brunch with my friend from the Netherlands. We also went to a market that reminded me of the jewellery booths you’d shop in the Caribbean. I spent more time talking to the booth owners than I did the shopping, and my friend spent her time bargaining. We had lunch at a patio restaurant in the sun, during which time a man playing the recorder, a man trying to sell a puppet, and a beggar asked for money. We then took a cab to Table Mountain, so we could take the cable car up to the top and watch the sunset. Once at the top, it felt like I was standing on the top of the world or, at the door to heaven. Table Mountain is one of the 7 wonders of the world, and in about a week, I’m going to go back to climb it. So, be prepared for even more photos 🙂
As much as I am loving my awesome adventures, I still miss all of my lovely friends and family from home. I hope you enjoy reading my blog, and I will see you again before too long.
Written by: Stef, Cape Town, S.A.