Goodbye Sammy, Susan and Jacob!
Woke up 4:45am feeling very comfortable and not wanting to get up. Everyone was making loud packing up noises though so I got up. We left camp around 6am, headed for our final destination - Cape Town. We arrived at Saasveld Lodge on Kloof St (a continuation of Long St) at 10am and began unloading our stuff off the truck. It didn't me long as I'd already packed mine up pretty much, but it took Dad nearly an hour as he hadn't even started and we were by far the last off the truck. I did find the top half of my missing thermals so that was good at least. We took a taxi to our hostel The Backpack for R10 (in reality just a 5min walk away, but Dad didn't want to walk with his heavy backpack) but couldn't check in until 2pm so just left our bags in the storage room and headed back to Saasveld for the township tour.
Dad drinking the local brew in the Langa township
On the way I passed an ATM to get money out for tips. We had to say goodbye to the crew before we left on the tour as they had to begin the 1500km drive to Johannesburg
immediately. I was so sad to be saying goodbye to Susan! I will really miss her. She promised to stay in touch. We then left for the township tour. Our first stop was the former site of District 6, a black township that was bull-dozed a long time ago to enable white people the buy the land (all that was left were religious buildings). White people refused to buy it however, sensing the political turmoil it would cause, therefore the site has remained a waste land ever since. There is a museum which is usually included as part of the tour but unfortunately its closed on Sundays so we couldn't go.
We then visited Langa, the oldest formal township, built to house 50,000 people but which has 100,000. There we sampled the local beer in a shebeen and saw a woman preparing sheep heads with her face covered in yellow ochre to protect her skin from the sun and heat. We saw inside some of the houses which were nearly across the board of a higher quality than those in any part of the Mondesa township outside Swakopmund in Namibia. I bought a postcard for R10 from a curio store. We visited a traditional healer who explained his craft to us. He had loads of interesting and gory things hanging up inside his dark shop, including ant-eater's paws, snake skins, entire monkey skeletons etc etc. Khayelithsa was the last place we visited, and is apparently the largest township.
A typical bedroom in the township
We didn't go into it but just looked at it from the side of the road. Most of us were dead on our feet by then and read to head back for some rest. Karl fell asleep next to me and leant VERY heavily on me - he said he dreamt I was a chair! After we got back I checked my email for 45min, then Dad and I went and checked into our hostel. Our twin room was very nice, with soft beds and blankets, 3 pillows each (!), and a bathroom shared with only one other room. The shared facilities were even better - just outside our room was a living room with 2 massive couches and a TV, the kitchen was huge and had 2 dining tables with chairs, the pool overlooked Table Mountain, there was an internet cafe (bit expensive though - twice what we paid!), plus a bar and a lively cafe/restaurant.
Paw of ant-eater???
We relaxed until 6:30pm and then walked with Shelley to meet the rest of the group at Marco's Place, a lively African restaurant on the same road as our hostel (74 New Church St) but further towards the city centre. Everyone went except Hayley, Lloyd and Sue who also didn't do the township tour. It was a fun place with live music and excellent food. I had the Pan-African platter - ostrich, springbok and kudu in a creamy peppercorn sauce served with chips, butternut pumpkin, and creamy spinach for R115. It was DELICIOUS, if a little rare for my liking. Ostrich was my favourite. I also had an excellent banana milkshake. Everyone really enjoyed their food. Some people tried warthog too. While we there Tammy filled me in on all the gossip I'd never suspected. Rather entertaining! I also found out Sue only gave Jacob US$1 as a tip for a 7wk trip, at which I was completely disgusted and appalled. Anyway, after dinner I said my final goodbye to Alex, Peta, Karl, Lee and Simon and said a semi-goodbye to Tammy, arranging to meet her briefly before her flight tomorrow at midday. Headed back to the hostel in a taxi, and to bed.