Thursday, 2 December 2010

This is the end

This is the end for now. I got my last stamp in Cape Town, on a new page of my passport.

After some tiring 15 hours of flight and transit I finally got home. But I didn't stay long. Only long enough to unpack and pack my bag again with warmer clothes and to buy some swiss chocolate for my Spanish friends in Madrid. I flew out less than 24 hours later (well should've at least, the flight was delayed for 2 hours).

Plaza Mayor, Madrid

I was back in Switzerland on monday, and back to work on wednesday the 1st December.

This is the end of my travels for the time being.

The end of the week and holidays

In the shark cage

Sunset from Table Mountain
The following day I planned to go on the shark dive again. The pick-up time was to be at 5am. This was really early, and I didn't even try to sleep early. We actually went on drinking until some late time. When I woke up I was still pretty drunk. The drive to the shark dive place, Gansbaai, took about 2 hours. When we arrived there we helped ourselves to breakfast and paid our dues. We then headed out to the wharf where we went out to sea. We started out a first time, but one of the engine failed quickly, so we had to go back so they could change or repair it. The drive out to sea went well, but once we stopped I got a little sea sick. By the time they gave out the suits (which were the leftover suits: they hired a security guy to watch out for their gear, but the guy stole it and sold it to poachers) and let the cage down I was sea sick for good. I went into the cage at the second round and felt pretty good again in the cold water. We saw some sharks pass by, but not very well. The water was murky and the sharks didn't come very close. Later when I was out again and I fed the fishies, a shark came and rattled the cage for a little while. This was quite impressive, especially for those inside the cage. After a while two other girls fed the fishies, but I don't think they partied too much the previous evening, they were purely sea sick. We then headed back and had lunch. Well, the others had lunch, I felt better again but not enough to eat. After this we were driven back to Cape Town. Once there Anders asked me if I wanted a shot. I declined until some time later when I was better again :)

Cape penguin
The same evening, some people said they would go on Table Mountain for the sunset, so we joined them. We went up and down with the cable car for half the price (Sunset Tour price). It was pretty windy and cold up there, it kind of reminded me of home. But it wasn't nearly as cold as home now is !!

The next day we went on a peninsula day tour. We were picked up around 7.30am if I remember well. We drove south out of town and on to Boulders where we went watching the tiny cape penguins. After that we went further south until we reached the Cape of Good Hope national park. There we made a bicycle tour to the picnic area. Later we moved on to the cape's end where the old and the new lighthouses stand. It was a cold and rainy morning, but the afternoon was quite sunny.

Old lighthouse at Cape of Good Hope
The following day, which was my last day in town, I spent doing not much at all and doing a harbour tour to see Table Mountain from a distance. In the evening we ordered some food from Clay Oven and had an American Night party. People were supposed to dress themselves as american figures. We had an illegal mexican, James Dean, and a real american not dressed like an american at all. The party ended at 10pm for me because my airport transfer had arrived to take me away. So I hugged all and said goodbye to all. Chris said she seldom had a guy coming in and offering a round of tequila before doing anything else. They all went out to the balcony which hangs onto the street and cheered me goodbye.

My first days in Cape Town

Out of Windhoek
My first glimpses of SA
I arrived in Cape Town after a 20 hours bus ride through southern Namibia and western South Africa. It was still raining at some time in Namibia shortly after leaving Windhoek. But the heavy clouds and partly clear sky provided a magnificent sunset. We made two stops at which we could buy some supplies and a few pick-up stops where we had to stay in the bus. At 4am we crossed the border to South Africa. Early next afternoon we arrived in Cape Town at the main bus station. A taxi driver asked me if I needed a taxi, and as I had no clue at all where I needed to go I agreed. Negotiating the fare proved difficult (as I was going to learn the following days anyway). So I agreed to the fare too. Arriving in Long Street which is the busiest and best street in town, I stepped out of the taxi and found the backpackers door open (which is usually closed). The backpacker didn't have that laid-back feeling of Chameleons in Windhoek. It conveyed a feeling of many nationalities partying here for decades (17 years). It was the first backpackers in Long Street. I spent my first afternoon booking different a a wine tour, shark diving and a peninsula day tour. Then I started drinking again with the cool people working and staying there. I think it's one of the best backpackers in town.

View from one of the wine estates
The next day I was picked up in the morning for the wine tour to Stellenbosch. The weather was cloudy but it uncovered quite quickly. We even had a clear view of Table Mountain. There were not really outstanding wines but the tour was worthwhile anyway. First of all, the tour guide, Fern, was really captivated and captivating. What she didn't know she found out somehow. The group was good too and so we had a good time touring 4 different wine estates. I tasted better SA wine in Europe (and in Namibia). Two wine estates later we had a lunch at a nice and good place. At the last place we could taste some cheese and I must admit that I had more cheese than wine. After the tour we all went drinking some mojito's not far from Long Street Backpackers. Then we went to dinner to a place where the food is not that special at all.

Floor map in District 6 museum
Saturday I started with a visit to the District 6 museum with a German guy from the backpackers. We walked down there, past the old fort. The District 6 was a place in town where all kind of different people lived, except whites. There were so called coloreds, blacks, malays and so on. Go here if you want a closer look: http://www.districtsix.co.za/. The afternoon was spent buying some CDs and drinking some beers.

On sunday I had planned my shark dive. So when I woke up I went for breakfast to Pickwick's across the street. Unfortunately, when I came back to prepare, Chris told me the dive was canceled due to the weather. She was drinking a tequila at that time (around 9am) and I asked her how she could. She told me it was her day off. She then kind of asked me if I wanted a beer which I kindly declined. But then she got me with asking something like “If I get a beer out of the fridge, open it and put it in front of you, will you drink it ?”. I couldn't let an open beer stand on the bar, could I ? So I said yes, and the day really started and went on with a few rounds of shots !! Fortunately the bar/reception/travel desk closes between 1 and 4pm on sundays. So we went for a stroll to the waterfront with Vanessa, a girl from the backpackers. We came back at 7 and started drinking again...