In the beginning...
Cape Town Travel Blog› entry 2 of 10 › view all entries
Monday 27th February
Today we went to Robben Island at 1pm, which took about 30 mins to get to. Upon arrival we boarded a tour bus and went around the island, learning about the political struggles for black people pre-1990. The island had four prisons and we were told about numerous jail break attempts. The bus tour also showed us the leper colony that was once on the island. The second part of the tour was given by a former inmate of the maximum security prison, who stood up for his rights and was sentanced for 20 years. The most famous inmate was Nelson Mandela and we looked at his cell and heard stories of how people coped in such horrific conditions. It was a very educational day and one that will not be forgotten.
Tuesday 28th February
Today we hoped for good weather so we could go up to Table Mountain, however the combination of poor weather and a power cut meant that our attempts were futile and we drowned our sorrows on a wine farm! We got a bus to Stellenbosch, where most of the wine of South Africa is produced. We visited two farms, the first of which was Spier. Spier was a huge farm, which also had a craft fair, animal sanctuary and huge outdoor restaurant. I sampled five [very small glasses of] red wines and had a good time there, despite the overcast weather.
Wednesday 1st March
Today, we decided to go easy on the purse strings and have an easy day.
Thursday 2nd March
Today we chilled out in the Botanical Gardens and went around the Art Gallery, in particular looking at the artist Sekoto. We also looked around the outdoor markets.
Friday 3rd March
Today we did it! Table Mountain was superb, and was worth the two-and-a-half hour climb of blood, sweat and tears.
Saturday 4th March
Today was spent on the beautiful beach in Clifton Bay.
Sunday 5th March
Today the girls left to go to Johannesburg and I celebrated the occasion is great style. I went on a day tour of Cape Peninsula, which included the beatiful area of Houts Bay and Camps Bay. I also cycled through Scarborough, which is a little warmer than the one back home (it was 40C when we went on the 'leisurely bike ride'!). We went to the Cape Poin National Park for lunch, but were threatened by a baboons who were stealing food and had a nasty temper so had to move. They were fascinating creatures and bore a striking resemblance to Mick McCarthy! When leaving the park, we were very fortunate to see Zebras as there are only seven in the entire national park! We then went to Cape Point itself, which was beautiful (the most South-Western part of Africa).
Monday 6th March
After an epic day beforehand, I was slightly relieved to hear that there was no availability on the Baz Bus that would take me along the coast of South Africa. Instead, I rested my aching calves and chilled out in Cape Town with my new mate Johnny. The highlight (or lowlight) of the day was meeting a nutcase called Harry, who suffered with verbal diarrohea and thoroughly bored us with his life story, which we had a good laugh at later on.
Tuesday 7th March
Today we got up nice and early and got the Baz Bus to Ousthoorn. This is a rural village, miles away from anything apart from Ostrich! The place we were staying was called 'Backpackers Paradise' and it certainly lived up to expectation.
Wednesday 8th March
This morning I finished the demolition work on the Ostrich by having Ostrich egg for breakfast. It was nice, but not very tasty. I then chilled before the Baz Bus came for the next location. This time, it was to Wilderness, in a place called Beach House. As you may have guessed, this was on a beach and had spectacular views of the bay.
Thursday 9th March
Today Baz and his bus took us to Buffulo Bay, a quiet area near Knysna. The hostel was on the beach itself and was called Wildside, mainly because of the partying and general madness of the place. When we arrived, we checked the place out - the location was fantastic, as beaches were everywhere. Again, the view from my room was that of waves about 30 metres away, so I prayed for a low tide!
Friday 10th March
Spent the whole day at Wildside and went to Knysna for a mooch and then returned for a nice walk along the beach.
Saturday 11th March
Another morning was spent on the beach, before we reluctantly went to the next area on the south coast of Africa. This time it was Plettenburg Bay. As I was leaving the next day, I didn't have the chance to visit the beach, but the town itself was very nice. I finally had some fish and chips, but they weren't as good as the Fish Quay back home! In the evening, we played pool, went to a few bars and had a good laugh with a few Irish guys.
Sunday 12th March
Today was pretty uneventful as I had to get the Baz Bus from Plettentburg Bay back to Cape Town (a nine-hour journey).
Monday 13th March
Today I woke up at 6am to get a taxi to the airport. Sadly, when I arrived at the airport I found out that my flight was not due for take-off for another four hours (I had misread my ticket). I therefore watched South African sports, which repeats its' stories every 15 minutes. So, after being told that South Africa had won the cricket and that Newcastle had been humiliated by Man U about 100 times, I finally boarded my flight. The flight, although being 14 hours was superb. Singapore Airlines is great and I was fed around the clock, whilst watching the latest films and listening to the latest music, much better than the Virgin flight to South Africa (Branson must be really tight).
Tuesday 14th March
Arrived in Singapore early in the morning and headed straight for my connecting flight to Bangkok. Got a taxi to Koh Sarn road, which was amazingly noisy, busy, humid and packed. Through the chaos I tried to find a hostel that didn't resemble a jail. After much looking, I did find a half decent place with only a few cockroaches. After all of the travelling done in the past few days I was exhausted and had a gorgeous red thai curry for dinner. In the evening, I met a couple from Toronto and had got chatting to them only to find that the lady worked at KPMG! (Only 16 days in and I still can't escape it!)
Wednesday 15th March
Today I went on a full day trip in Thailand. The first stop was a floating market, which was quality and was a good idea of what non-tourist life was like.
Thursday 16th March
This morning, I got some last minute things before yet another flight (this time to Macau). Upon arrival in Macau, it was dark and pretty desrted, but I managed to get on a bus from the airport and get into a hostel with a little help from the very friendly residents of Macau. The hostel itself was hilarious. It reminded me of Rising Damp, and the toilet and shower were outside! The room looked as though I was the first visitor this millennium and their were stickers all around saying 'No photos'. Always a good sign! The bed was also clearly designed for the Chinese, as it was only about 5 foot long. Therefore, in order to fit in, I had to sleep diagonally on the worlds' hardest mattress - heaven!
Friday 17th March
After waking up, initially thinking I was paralysed, I managed to stumble out of bed and have a nice refreshing shower in the outhouse.
Saturday 18th March
This morning I checked out of the hotel after deciding it was way too expensive and checked into the Garden Hostel (which I quickly renamed Garden 'of Hell' Hostel). This was within budget but came at the expense of general filth and unpleasantness. Most notably, the walk through the corridors to the Garden of Hell, which consist of human pee and cat excrement. All of the neighbouring businesses are sweatshops to make the experience all the more amusing. I escaped bedlam to watch the pyrographical display from Hong Kong Island. I did meet one normal guy at the hostel and went to the Irish bar again to watch the England v. Ireland rugby game, which we lost (mental note: don't go to an Irish bar when you know the score).
Sunday 19th March
Today I went to Hong Kong Island to check out the commercial side of Hong Kong and generally mooched around. I then returned to watch Newcastle lose their latest game and returned to the Garden of Hell.