Cape Town surprised me by its hospitality and its beauty. I had heard it before but seeing it for myself, solidified it. I could live there, for sure. However, it would be a long way to come home to see my friends and family. 30 hour flights aren’t something you want to do all the time. Eek! There’s only so much stretching and walking you can do to stay limber. Cape Town is about as far away from Portland as you can get, or at least one of the farthest places you can go.
There’s a lot to see and do in and around Cape Town. We kept our rental car an extra day (see previous posts on the road trip and adventures on the Garden Route) so we could drive South and see the penguins near Simon’s Town. That was a lot of fun. You see tons of penguins sitting on the beach and frolicking in the water. They’ll walk right up to you and pose for a picture. They’re super cute. It was hard to refrain from wanting to pick them up and snuggle. Simon’s Town also has a lot of cute shops for souvenirs and great coffee shops to grab a snack.
From Simon’s Town we ventured down to Cape Good Hope to do some hiking and checking out the views from the South-western most point in the continent. Not to be confused with the Southern most point. That’s further East. We did that on our way in.
To finish off our last day with the rental car we ate and watched the sun go down in Camps Bay. That area has some of the best beaches in Cape Town. Plus it’s great for people watching.
North and East of Cape Town is a great wine scene with delicious, cheap bottles you can bring home with you. If everyone in your party wants to drink, like we did, I recommend a tour company. You get to venture out and meet some new friends, drink great wine and see more of the countryside. Plus, you have a local there to point out all the cool things and answer all the questions you’ve been dying to ask someone.
Cape Town has a lot of art sculptures in town which makes walking around that much more interesting for me, as an art lover and photographer. There are a ton of good places to eat. If you love Indian food like I do, you’ll be in heaven. For less than five American Dollars you can have a feast. Cape Town also has a lot of shops and markets. There are a lot of good deals to be had if you are into bargaining. I personally love bargaining. It’s fun and it’s usually a win-win scenario. You get a good deal and the seller gets a good sale. So much more exciting than shopping in the states, in my opinion. Paying full retail is just not as interactive.
Wonders of Nature
There’s hiking on Table Mountain and Signal Hill. We chose to go up to Table Mountain for sunset, where I met a friend from home. Crazy right?! We rode the cable car up and down. It was spectacular and so much fun. We felt like we were sitting on the edge of the earth as the sun went down. If you didn’t know it, Table Mountain is part of the new 7 wonders of nature. Not to be confused with the 7 wonders of the world. See them all if you can! I know I’m trying.
Whoops, you ask?
Of course. Every trip has some mishaps.
I’m giving you a fare warning that it can be windy, really windy on the Cape. I was walking along the V&A waterfront wearing a skirt and I was trying to keep it from flying up and being inappropriate in public. I was also wearing my lightweight pair of Maui Jim’s. As I was trying to keep my skirt down in this particularly strong gust of wind that came out of no where, my glasses were ripped off my face. I could not believe what was happening. Life went into slow motion and I screamed. Tried to run after them and poof they leaped into the Atlantic. I ran and peaked over the side of the pier and they were no where to be seen. I was sooooo sad. I thought about jumping in after them but I refrained. I was already a spectacle with everyone in the restaurant that was watching through the wall of windows.
Act of God is not covered under warranty. I asked, just to make sure. But the Westin was nice enough to help drown my sorrows in some treats and champagne. Good thing it was my last night, as I wouldn’t be able to see without my trusty shades. We went everywhere together (see below).
All-in-all my trip to Africa was amazing, even with the couple of bad things that happened. By bad, I mean losing my expensive sun glasses and my converter. I also had a bit of an upset tummy for a few days. Not too shabby for a three week trip.
I still do miss my Maui Jim’s, my favorite sunglasses, ever! (and I’m not even paid to say that)…we went to so many cool places together like Cambodia twice!
Also, loved my new travel shoes! They outperformed and I would highly recommend them.