Monday, 1 February 2010

the trip of awesomeness part 4: Western Cape

On Friday last week, at about 5pm, I figured out why my work stuff wasn't working. This was not a Biology Bitch effect. This was a "Po is a complete and utter plonker" effect. I am so ashamed. I am hanging my head. I wasted a whole 7 days with a mistake so dumb I can't even believe it is true.

And with that, I shall continue recounting my holiday to South Africa.

Our next stop was Montagu. I think this was my favourite part of the whole trip. Well, apart from the Owl House... ok it was a great part. I love Montagu. I think it is so beautiful there. The plants and animals are special and the town looks Mediterranean. They grow olives and grapes. They have the best Pizza place.

Real climbers would never say Montagu is their favourite, it is too popular and busy. But I love it. And we were the only people in the mountains. Again. Where are all the climbers? Either they have all left the country or they are too sensible to climb in that heat.

We saw duiker while we were walking. That was a definite first in all the times I have ever been to Montagu. But one thing I knew we were guaranteed to see in Montagu was.... DASSIES!!! Montagu is a dassie haven. BFG went from a score of 2 to a score of 12 in one day. I hit a measly 7. The reason being, the little dog that adopted us and escorted us to the climbing chased the other dassies away before I could see them. BFG claimed they were turbo dassies. Oh well. He won the dassie spotting contest because those were the last dassies we saw. Tragic.

The Cape Town leg of our holiday was jam packed with so many things I think I shall have to use bullet points:

  • We saw family and friends.
  • We went to many many beaches, Llandudno was particularly spectacular thanks to the South Easter. We watched huge waves crashing for ages.

  • Someone got munched by a shark. This was perturbing and upsetting. We went swimming in the sea the next day and I was a bit jumpy. But it was 38 degrees. I needed to cool off.
  • May I just reiterate. I swam in the sea. In Cape Town. This is a feat of great impressiveness.It was refreshing.
  • We drove along Chapman's Peak drive, and it was spectacular as ever.

  • We wandered around Kirstenbosch while melting into little puddles. I kept "accidentally" walking into the sprinklers.
  • We walked up Lion's Head. The lazy hiking option. We did not go to the 9 hour hiking place in the end. I can't say I was thaaat sorry.

  • We ate lots of cool food in funky places.
  • We went to Robben Island and saw a dolphin! That was a highlight. I liked the tour of the prison very much, seeing as I had just finished Mandela's biography. It was very fresh in my mind. They had personal stories of the cell mates to read, that was interesting. Our tour guide was very good, he is an ex prisoner and had some interesting stories to tell. The tour around the island was a bit crap though, we couldn't get off the bus. But the views made up for it. Finally I have been to Robben Island!

  • I met a blogger! My first one. We met up with Tara of Goblin Talk and her boyf and we had delicious pancakes. It was very cool considering I was very nervous about coming out of my fairly anonymous shell. But she put me at ease and was very cool. He was very cool too to meet a bunch of total strangers and act as if it was a normal occurrence :)
  • We went to the Cederberg for the weekend and it was as spectacular as ever. The stars were out in full force. We climbed up Wolfberg, we investigated the cracks, we met up with a surprise friend in the campsite and his buddy from the UK who supplied us with loads of food. We saw a snake (only a mole one, but it will do) and other types of buck. This really was a buck-seeing holiday.

  • The day we drove back it was 42 degrees in the Cederberg. Needless to say we had to have many river swimming, sprinkler, icecream and dumping-water-over-head stops. I highly recommend getting air conditioning in a hired car. Of course we never will because we are too stingy (and hardcore!), but normal people, get air conditioning ok?

Then we had to leave this all behind and make the looooong journey back. I don't like Iberia very much, and the Madrid airport people are weirdly mean. I have used that airport many times and have had similar experiences each time. I will really try to avoid using Iberia in the future.

It was an awesome holiday from beginning to end. It already feels like nothing more than a dream.


Cam said...

Aaah, Slaapies. Only if the water was warm!

Tamara said...

That shark death was scary. yet another reason not to swim in CT, IMO ;-) Well done to yuo, brave Po. Loved your holiday escapades and pics.

Being Brazen said...

Awesome pic of view from Chapmans peak :)

Helen said...

You swam in the sea n cape-Town, WOW! That's hardcore!

Awesome photos, maybe if you keep looking at them it'll feel more real and less dreamish?

Anonymous said...

Ooooh... now I miss CT a lot. Sounds like fun though :D

sass said...

aaah, hope you had a fantastic time back on seffrican soil! sounds like quite a trip.

Dora said...

I'm reading this under a jumper, fleece, slanket and duvet.....brrrrr....I want to be in those photos too...

po said...

Cam: if only... but I feel there would then be more sharks!

Tamara: But they don't have many attacks, I say with much bravado. I wasn't so brave the day after the attack!

BB: I havent driven along there in years, and it was so worth it! You see the Sentinel in a few adverts over here. It is much better in the flesh!

Helen: I think it makes it more dreamlike, did I really see such beautiful things?

Paula: Did you live there, I am a bit confused as to your origins, but then maybe you prefer to be an enigma?

Sass: twas good. Reality bites.

Dora: I am replying to you from my duvet too. Did you guys have snow last night? We had a light sprinkling. I am trying to accept that this may be all the snow I get this year.

Kirsty said...

Lovely pics! I miss CT. I heard it's been unbelievably hot and dry. I went to Robben Island for the first time two years ago, and it was amazing - but I also would have liked a bit more interactiveness. Still, an undeniably special place. I wish the queue to just look at Madiba's cell wasn't so long though!

po said...

Kirsty: I agree about Mandela's cell, I couldn't get near it. I took photos over someone's head from a corner.

Shannon said...

I've swum in the sea in Cape Town every time I've gone.

I think maybe I did not know it was not a good idea. Ah, the joys of being a blissfully ignorant tourist.

EEbEE said...

did you feel uncomfortable driving under those 'protective fences' on Chapmans P drive? I wondered how effective some chickenwire was going to be if a big boulder fell out of the cliff onto them.

(i was the driver so i missed some of the awesome views...)

po said...

Shannon: I used to when I was a local but my skin or my blood has thinned, or something. Brave you!

EEbEE: I felt very uncomfortable driving under those fences, but I subscribe to the herding mentality, ie if everyone else is doing it, it must be fine. This mentality must go very wrong for some people!

Anonymous said...

Your holiday sounds SO awesome. And so much better than my incredibly dull one. :)

po said...

sleepyjane: but but we were in the same country :)

Am seriously considering getting a second tattoo after seeing yours

6000 said...

Sounds wonderful. And the Western Cape bit would be the best bit apart from the bits in the UK at either end. Although maybe you don't see it that way.

po said...

6000: um, yeees. Well being in Heathrow was hell of a lot more pleasant than being in Madrid airport.

Misty'sMum said...

*sniff sniff* I miss Cape Town so much! There is an ad on TV at the moment in the UK which is shot in SA (can see it a mile away) and I get tearful every time. There is so much talk of the World Cup here at the moment, and lots of sports broadcasters speaking from CT, one of which was reporting with Table Mountain in the background. I cried like a child :-( Have been to many places, but CT has my heart.