Tuesday, June 17, 2014

South Africa

Better late than never.

Just to refresh your memories - at the end of my Namibia trip in early may I tacked on a three day stop in Cape Town with a friend from Lagos. We had a blast. Every single moment was basically perfect. It's hard to describe, but Cape Town is truly amazing and I would highly recommend a visit if you are anywhere near Africa at all.

So, first off. Day 1
We visited the waterfront, rode the ferris wheel, decided against a helicopter ride (though they were actually pretty reasonably priced!) and took the ferry to Robben Island. This is the island prison where Nelson Mandela was held for most of the time he was incarcerated. Our tour guide was a former political prison who had spent eight years on the island. It was incredibly moving and inspirational to hear about their struggles and eventual victory over apartheid.
 
 
The rest of the day was spent wandering the waterfront, shopping at the mall, and eating out at a really great and very chill Ethiopian restaurant by our hotel. I didn't take so many pictures on day 1 since it was a bit foggy.
 
Day 2:
 
We spent the whole day driving the peninsula. We hired a driver (a choice I'd recommend, so you don't have to spend the day fumbling with maps and you can soak up all the views without having to keep an eye on the road). It was pretty affordable too.
 
I took a lot of landscape pictures because the scenery was amazing. What was also amazing? People actually get to live there! Surrounded by all that beauty and systems that function and it's cheaper than living in Lagos. Seriously, I would love to live in Cape Town someday.
 
The peninsula has a number of interesting sights but we mostly hit the big ones since we had a lot to cover. We took pictures all along Camp's bay and Chapman's Peak Drive. We stopped at Hout Bay to see the seals. We hiked up to the top of the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point, we saw the penguins at Boulders Beach, we ate seafood at Simon's town and we did a wine tasting and winery visit at Groot Constantia. The only thing we just didn't have time for that was on my top ten list was the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. I guess that means I'll have to come back!
 
Also - we drove by the US consulate and there was a moment of super-ultra-mega jealousy.
 
Pictures here:












 
Day 3:
 
On our last day we spent some serious time shopping - we had a lot of souvenirs we needed to buy! - then we took the cable car up table mountain and walked around. It was absolutely perfect. The clouds cleared up and we had an excellent view of the city - we also saw all the rock dassies on top of the mountain - if we had more time I would have insisted that we hike up table mountain but as it is we made the right call.
 
After the mountain we headed back to the waterfront to wander, shop and catch the sunrise. We had an amazing dinner at Karibu (in the V&A mall) - we ordered about six dishes between the two of us, plus drinks and dessert (everything that sounded South African we ordered since I wanted to try the local food before we left) and it was all amazing. Total bill? $18 per person. South Africa is crazy, deliriously cheap after living in Lagos. We listened to a local music group for a while and called it a night. Seriously - perfect.
 




 

 So there it is! South Africa in only one post!
 
Thanks for the glorious weekend Cape Town. I hope to be back soon!
 
(And a quick shoutout to our awesome hotel - Big Daddy's. Their breakfast is included and it's amazing - they will make you a hot breakfast to go along with the breakfast buffet - and you can stay in an airstream trailer on the roof. Very nice.)

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