Great White Cape Town
Trip Start Feb 28, 2011
22Trip End Jun 01, 2011
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Where I stayed
The next night I met up with Khosi. Khosi is a black South African -- not that race matters at all, but for the point of this story it does. She took me to Cubana, a lounge where locals go. It was crowded because the following day was a public Holiday so everyone had the night off. The DJ played music from all over the world and mixed in some South African hip-hop
If there are ever moments in your life you will never forget, that was one of them. I have been to the Apartheid Museums, read Mandela's books, watched the movies, but never felt that feeling before. I am not going to say that I understand Apartheid, but that was as close to understanding it as I will ever get.
The one thing I really wanted to do at some point along my journey was swim with wreat White sharks
I was wrong. The boat was only thirty-three feet long and had only a small cabin with a bathroom inside. We headed out toward Dyer Island and Shark Alley. The swell they thought had passed apparently wasn't. We quickly found out wasn't over. We were in a tiny boat hitting the biggest waves I have ever seen, most of them we hit sideways. One point I swear I was parallel to the water, I will never know for the rest of my life how the boat didn't capsize. I don't like roller coasters but this was the best natural roller-coaster in the world. Knowing that if the boat capsized we would be in water infested by great whites is a feeling like none other. The boat ride itself was worth the price of the trip; I think I had the biggest smile of my life going over those waves. There was something special about going through that alone that I just can't explain.
Everyone on the boat got sick except for me and two other people. I knew there was no way I was going to get sick but I also knew before we even left, the two other people weren’t going to get sick either. I could just sense something around them that was different than everyone else.
We got out to Shark Alley and they put the chum in the water and some tuna heads to attract the great whites
Over the next couple of days I meet up with Khosi and we spent time at Victoria waterfront. The weather was perfect each day. Since I chose to deactivate my cell phone during the time I am gone, it’s not always easy to coordinate when and where to meet up with someone. One day while waiting for Khosi to show up I was sitting on the steps outside the ferry terminal looking out over the waterfront and a homeless man with a guitar showed up. He started singing but it was hard to make out the words. After a minute I could start to piece together what he was singing, "Don't worry about a thing, Every thing is going to be alright.” Same song Dek was singing in Bali. Again, this time it felt perfect. There were not many people around and he could have sat anywhere but to hear that song at that point was just another sign that I was at the right place at the right time. Once Khosi showed up, we took a bus tour of the city. It took us up to Table Mountain and then around the other side of Cape Town. I didn't really know that there was anything behind Table Mountain but as we came down the backside of the mountain and it was incredible
My last night in Cape Town, I decided to go out on Long Street by myself. I started at an Irish Pub across the street from my hostel. From there I walked to the end of Long Street and heard some good music coming out of a bar. I couldn't tell anything about the bar except the music was a mix of hip-hop. So even though it was at then end of the street and bordering a dangerous part of the neighborhood, I walked in. The bar was long and narrow and had about two hundred black South Africans in it. When I walked in I felt the power of four hundred eyeballs on me. It was like the music had stopped and a huge spotlight was shinning down on me. I was the only white person in the building and felt about ten feet tall. I never felt more out of place in my life. I had about one second to make a decision to turn around and run out or walk in like I owned the place. I chose the latter and ordered a drink at the bar. Over the next three hours I met some of the most amazing people and just about everyone there came up and talked to me, took pictures with me and asked for my e-mail. By the end of the night I never felt more at home. At about 2am I left with some new friends and that's when the night started to get crazy. Probably the craziest night of my life and instead of editing the story and ruining it, I will just leave it at that.
"There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living."-Nelson Mandela