The infamous table cloth over Table Mountain
I have spent almost a full week now in Cape Town
. It has been somewhat of a frustrating experience for me in some ways. First off, I had a bit of traveler's fatigue when I got here. I was not interested in really doing anything. I managed to move past that over time, but I had to deal first with accommodation issues. When I arrived I was only able to book a dorm way off Long Street (the happening part of town) in a bit of a sketchy area. It reminded me of Rome as once again I was in a hostel run by a Chinese family and I was the only one aside from some insane people fighting in the lobby. Anyway, I checked in and then hit Long Street, putting my name in everywhere in case of a cancellation.
Kori playing captain on the schooner
This place is rocking for new years that is for sure, but that also meant everywhere was busy. So the first day was basically me looking for another place to stay, but the next morning a bed opened up and I was able to move where the action is. I am sharing a room with three Jo'girls, and at first I thought they were not so friendly. They didn't really chat with me and seemed very busy, but that first night I went out and didn't roll in until 4 a.m., which endeared me to them somehow and we hung out the next day.
My main mission here was to find some folks to share a car with to travel along the Garden Route and places along the way to Jo'burg. I did complete that mission, but have not been able to get up Table Mountain. Argh! Every day it is something else.
Limestone quarry with Nelson Mandela and others were put to work - they call it a university because of all the great thinking that went on while at work here
First it was way too hot and busy at the cable car station, so we decided to hit it up another day, but now other problems have prevented our ascent. Yesterday it was so windy the cable car wasn't running. This morning there is yet another "table cloth" over Table Mountain, making it pointless to get up there for the nonexistent view. I am finally leaving tomorrow so I may not make it up there, but I did get out to Robben Island
despite it being fully booked through January 10th - I got an extra ticket from an Indian tour group. That was a great experience. Our guides were very informative. Our first guide on the bus had a lot of interesting information, although he quickly found out I am from the States and was quizzing me and making jokes about the US throughout the entire bus journey.
Robben Island leper graveyard
Then we toured the cells, including Nelson Mandela's (apparently) with a former prisoner who relived what life was like there. Aside from that I've also taken a schooner tour along the coast, hit up the National Gallery museum and checked out some gardens. Fascinating trees here. However, the most dominating part has been the partying. I seriously need to get out of this town. It reminds me of New Orleans here on Long Street, even though I've never been, but the architecture is similar in some ways and the nightlife on Long Street is insane. I'm not sure if it will eventually die down a bit now that New Years has come and gone. Speaking of, New Years was an adventure. It basically turned into a two day party. Nothing out of the ordinary really, just lots of drinking, although I did get married to a Swede (jokingly of course) but that was all good fun and generated free drinks for us.
Street performers at the water front
At this point, though, I feel like I need to go into rehab when I get home, so I am glad we have a car for tomorrow morning, so me, a gal from Canada, and her Egyptian-but-currently-living-in-Australia former college roommate are all hitting the road to see some more of South Africa besides the bars on Long Street. I have about two weeks before I need to hit Jo'burg for my flight to Mumbai, so we should be able to do and see a lot in that time, including a drive down to the Cape of Good Hope, a wine tour of Stellenbosch
, some ostrich riding in Oudtshoorn
, the world's longest bungee jump in Storm's River and some surfing in Jefferey's Bay. Yes, I may try my hand at it. My companions are into surfing so I might as well. Until then I will try to survive one more night in this town and maybe, just maybe I'll make it up Table Mountain today!