Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The final stretchhhh

So I know I was super MIA those last few days in South Africa. Then I got home and was super MIA because I needed a few days to be obsessed with my family/thesis. Now I am here and prepared to update you (and writing this from the commuter rail on my way to PVD... I know. Everywhere has wireless these days.)

Even though I said I wouldn't, I ended up going to Cape Town my last few days in SA. Thank god I did. It was amazing. Having spent almost everyday since Pat left Durban (to go back to Cape Town) on the phone with Pat, I finally decided enough was enough. I needed to go to Cape Town. Plus I knew that Stru had a killer pad that I could crash at and Einat K. was also going to be there and Pat (duh) it sort of became a no brainer, I had to go to Cape Town. 

So here's the (sort of) abridged version of what happened (I can tell you the extended version over a glass of wine someday if you want to hear it):

Friday: We (me, Ryan, Teresa, and Rita) got up super early and said byebye to Durban. We touched down in Cape Town and we were welcomed by.....rain. Ew. Boo. This was not good. Cape Town is a very outdoor town, if the weather sucks then (ipso facto) your time in Cape Town sucks.

After a rainy run around the city center with Pat (doing various errands, having yummy lunch) the sky broke into blue clarity. Right as we boarded the ferry that would take us to Robben Island the sun was beginning to shine and snuggled up next to Pat (attempting to read Zulu and mostly failing) I breathed a sigh of relief.

Robben Island has had various incarnations (once it housed South Africa's leper populations, who woulda thunk it?) but the time period of interest is when Robben Island served as a prison for South Africa's political prisoners. Robben Island housed all of the anti-apartheid movement's heavy hitters (Nelson Mandele, Robert Sobukwe, Ahmed Kathrada, Walter Sisulu, and Jacob Zuma to name a few!) All the Robben Island tour guides are ex-political prisoners and they all still life on the island with their families (I know, heavy right?) It was such an uplifting experience to roam Robben Island and peep the amazing views of Cape Town. We even got to see Nelson Mandela's prison cell, which is pretty amazing. I'm glad we went and when we got back we got to see some chubby seals (and nothing makes me happier than chubby animals) so the day was off to a good start.

We met up with Stru (!) and he took us to see the University of Cape Town (which has the most breathtaking views and the Rhodes memorial (yes he was an imperialist, but a very very wealthy imperialist). We had some beers (well I had a strawberry daiquiri) at a place nearby, dinner, and then more drinks and then we drifted off to bed.

Saturday: Saturday we (me, Ryan, Stru, Pat, Einat) drove to Stellenbosch for the Stellenbosch Wine Festival. The only thing comparable to the beautiful countryside we drove through and the beauty of Stellenbosch is the beauty of 500 wine for the tasting and college aged people. Amazing. It was a victory of a day for a lush like me. Yum. I still salivate at the thought of all that Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Sigh. Note: Drinking at 11am into the early evening doesn't mean you don't get hungover. It just means the hangover comes at like 11pm. Lesson learned.

Sunday: Sunday was EPIC. Epic. Packed into the car with Stru, Einat, Pat and Ryan we headed out for a roadtrip along the coast. Our first stop was a delicious breakfast at Olympia Cafe where I may have had the best omelette of all time (arugula, pesto, tomato, brie) and we all gulped down lattes and cappucinos (in good company, some of Stru's wonderful college friends had come to join us). After that we were off to Simon's Town and Boulders Beach (famous for its colony of Jackass Penguins) where Pat and I sat and contemplated life on some big beautiful rocks and Einat and I bought some glorious jewelry. We headed off to the Cape of Good Hope (take a look at a map of South Africa, see that little talon-like-hook-like thing on the bottom left, that's the Cape of Good Hope. Good geography lesson, Ms. Martinez.) After gaping at the views and hunting down many a postcard we were off to Hout Bay (driving through Misty Cliffs, a cute little beach town, to get there). At Hout Bay we ate at a restaurant near the beach and watched the sunset. I am gong to publicly apologize to everyone in that car who had to deal with me when I get hungry. Not cute. Sorry guys! After stopping off for some dessert in Calk Bay, we were exhausted and ready to hit the sack. 

Monday: We woke up to hike Lions Head. If you need to know anything about Cape Town, you should know that it boasts some of the world's prettiest mountains and greatest hikes (with spectacular views). I don't have the words to describes the epic-ness of this hike so I will leave it up to the pictures (they always seem to do the trick). Also here's a quick lesson: Never hike in red skinny jeans. It's just a bad idea. And a mistake I will never repeat again. Double sigh. After that we headed to Cafe Royale to meet Pat and Einat (burgers? good. shakes? super good).

I took 200 + pics in Cape Town:

Tuesday: Back to Durban. Spent our night at MOYO with Robs, Rita, and Teresa. Man, I miss those girls. 

And by Thursday I was back in the US of A and feeling like America is fucking weird sometimes, but mostly loving the weirdness. 

Now I need to go and I'm afraid this may be the end of the blog. Thank you whoever you are for tuning in and riding this adventure out with me. I appreciate you for caring and reading this even though I'm sure it was pretty lame sometimes. 

dreaming (of more South Africa),

1 comment:

  1. Hi Ivy,

    It sounds like you had fun in South Africa. I just noticed you mentioned having visited Robben Island. I thought you might be interesting in The Robben Island Singers. They're a group of ex-political prisoners from South Africa who were imprisoned with Nelson Mandela. Now, with Apartheid over, they're working in disadvantaged American schools to teach students the lessons they learned while incarcerated.

    Check them out:
    The Robben Island Singers