Cape Town update

I cannot believe I’ve been in Cape Town for almost a month. I’ve done so much, but I will try to recap for you. When I first arrived, I stayed at 33 South backpackers, which was recommended by a friend. It is in the Observatory neighborhood, near the UCT campus. It was 8pm when I arrived, and I was hungry. The restaurant I went to around the corner had a poetry reading going on. This was a good sign. I instantly fell in love with Obz and 33 South. A few days later I moved to a couch near the city center. My first official Couchsurfing experience was with Derek, a local photographer, and I had a great time. I met another couchsurfer named Maya, who also happens to be an awesome chic. Although I only stayed at Derek’s for 2 nights, Maya and I ended up hanging out together for the next week until she returned to the States. I bounced back and forth between couches and backpackers for a while. It’s a good thing everything I own fits into a backpack! Then I went to Stellenbosch for a few days. It is a small university town that is well known for its wine. I was fortunate to have arrived at the same time as the Stellenbosch Wine Festival. Instead of having to go around to all the wineries, they all came to me! There was also incredible food and live music. You can’t beat that!

Maya introduced me to another couchsurfer, Nick, who is also planning to travel north through Africa. I wondered if he would be willing to let me tag along, since he was buying a vehicle. It turns out that he was looking for a travel buddy! Not only that, but he is a photographer and was hoping to find someone who could take video. So for the past few weeks we have been making lists, shopping for gear, and brainstorming ideas for videos. Nick has spent most of his time kitting up the Toyota bakkie (pick-up), and I have been perfecting my cooking skills (especially making curry and roti ☺ ).

We have been fortunate to find Mornay, the best couchsurfing host in Cape Town, and possibly the world. She has put up with us for 2 weeks, gives me rides around town, and shares her amazing wine collection with us. She even took me to Cape Point, and forgave me for a little mishap I caused. As we were leaving the national park there was a large group of baboons on the side of the road, including several mothers carrying babies. There were a lot of people parked on the other side of the road taking pictures, and I couldn’t resist joining them. I jumped out of the car and ran around to the back. I immediately snapped a few photos and then glanced back at the car. You know that moment you see something disastrous about to happen and your body freezes, but in your mind you yell “Noooooo!” That is what happened as I saw a giant baboon climb into my open car door. Somehow it hadn’t occurred to me that there might still be some baboons on my side of the road. Mornay jumped out of the car. A man came over and told us to open all the doors. Two minutes later, instead of the baboon climbing out, another one climbed in. Fortunately, this one only stayed for a minute and left. I was freaking out, certain that the animal would destroy Mornay’s vehicle. Twenty minutes later it finally climbed out. Thankfully it did not destroy anything, but it did empty the entire contents of both our purses. It had also chewed on Mornay’s pepper spray container, which could have been a serious disaster had it sprayed itself. But the baboon left, and only the stress hormones coursing through my blood remained.

Life Lesson from Africa: if you leave your car door open, wil... on Twitpic
Nick and I are almost ready to go. The truck is nearly finished and we have all the camping gear we need. The only remaining roadblock is my passport. Seems like every travel blogger has to write about her visa woes, but I want to wait for this problem to be resolved before I even go there. Of course we have goals for when we want to leave (hint: soon), but I have learned not to plan too seriously. We’ll go when we’re ready. That’s all I can really say.

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