Sand in every orifice/crack of my body
Trip Start Jul 23, 2009
23Trip End Sep 25, 2009
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Where I stayed
Desert Inn backpackers
We took off and these things can really move. The nice thing was that even if you started fish tailing you didn't have to worry because it wasn't like there was a tree that you would hit and you just layed off the gas. The dunes were friggin monstrous and our guide brought us to these kinda bowls where we would go around in a circle and ride along the dune face perpendicular to the ground. Got some good video and I have to say I was a little scared but loved the adrenaline. It was funny how Jamie and I differed in what we enjoyed. Jamie would like to do doughnuts and make the bike skid which was fun for a bit but I prefered letting the guys go ahead and just gunning it and seeing how fast I could go.
We saw a few skeletons of animals that got lost in the dunes and gradually died of starvation but the coolest thing was a "snake" which looked more like a worm as it had no mouth that I could see. It was around a foot and a half but was metallic silver and kept on trying to burry itself.
After that Jaimie and I chilled for a bit and we decided to go out to the same place we had gone a couple days ago before I left them to go back to Cape Town. The place was fairly bizarre filled with middle aged germans drinking waaaaayyyy too much and dancing as no person should ever dance in public. We tried to find another place but the town was crazy dead. Very weird for a place that has a lot of "extreme" sports you would think it would be younger and more lively at night but it was more of a ghost town.
So taking off to Cape Town today and I have to say it's a mixed feeling. On the one hand I enjoy having the autonomy to do what I want and there are a few personality conflicts that build up when you travel but in general I really enjoyed travelling with Jamie, Bina, and Shirat. We decided to go buy a couple of boards, wax, and cord and made some sleighs. Total cost per person came out to $3 compared to $60. I was pretty happy with that. So we took the car to a dune Jamie and I saw the day before and waxed our boards and went to hike up but make it was like smimming up a water fall or running up a stair master. You would take a step and the sand would just slide under your feet. We finally made it too the top and I was surprised how steep it was. I asked Jaimie to make a video of me sat on the board and said what's the worst that can happen? I got some crazy speed but the sand started flying up in my face and I'm not talking a few grains I'm talking like a friggin fountain of this crap going into every orifice of my body. I stopped eventually and I had in my eyes, nose, ears, hair, mouth, nose, and some areas I would prefer not too mention.
When I got to the top though there was bad news. I saw Jaimie cleaning my camera and it seems he was laughing so hard that he dropped my camera in the sand and when the lens moved it made this horrible crunching sound. Jaimie was pretty classy though and although I didn't think it would cost that much to clean he gave me $100 US to make sure it was covered and I would leave the rest at the hostel in Cape Town as everything was closed in Swakopmund on Sundays (weird).
So took my bus and again it was weird to be leaving the group and I felt a little down leaving them. Next stop...Cape Town.
Arrived in Cape Town and initially the hostel I stayed at said that they were full but I was surprised with the executive treatment I got. They gave me a nice double bed and told me it was the "presedential suite". Not sure about that but it was nice to we warmly greeted after the long bus ride.
Went to get an estimate for repairing my camera and learned something very important...never drop your camera in sand. It's even worse than water as the sand moves everywhere so I couldn't just get it cleaned but needed to have it "stripped" or taken apart and then put back together. Well when I found this out I wanted it done professionally and the guys I was told were the best but more expensive were really expensive. It cost around $130 US but I figured with Jaimie's $100 it wasn't too bad and I wanted to make sure it was done well so agreed to have it done and pick it up in 2 days.
So now my goal was to go visit the different wine regions around Cape Town but I wasn't sure if I should do an organized tour or just rent a car and head off. I talked to a few people and they made a good point that it wasn't exactly smart to go tasting alcohol and then drive around all day. I met a guy though that said there was a tour going tomorrow and the owner would do the tour himself since I was really interested in wine and was looking for something more than a drunken booze cruze.
After I booked that I met an English guy named Oli and an Italian living in Frace named Fabio (pretty sure he got teased about that). So we went to dinner and I was able to add another meat to the list of game I ate when I ordered Elan (the largest of the antellopes). It was probably the best meat I've had along with the zebra and would for sure have it again. We then wanted to find a place to go out and were told the only place on a Monday that was happening was Chrome and when I asked what went down there I was told "16 year old girls!!!" So although I wasn't sure I liked the sound of that I thought of my mantra...if it makes for a good story...no just messing. We went with a bunch of English girls we met and the place was packed with what else...16 year old girls lol. Well maybe a bit older but there weren't that many 30+ year olds. The beer was pretty cheap at $1 and the music was ok so we got pissed and had a blast. I was waking up early though for the wine tour so crashed a little bit before everyone else.
Well the binge drinking before you start a drinking tour at 8:30 turned out to not be one of my better ideas but I survived. We were a good gang with a Serb - Iegor (wonder if he got teased with a name like that), Dan a Kiwi/Ozzie, Elese, and her boyfriend Mike who we called Mike UK and me Mike Canada which degenerated to Mike Canadia.
The wine tour was excellent but I definitely wanted to see more. As a first day though I got a good overview of the different regions and had a good time with everyone. I was definitely glad I did it.
After we ended up going to a clup on the roof of a hotel that had a pretty cool concept...they had campers on the roof (motorised vehicles) not sure how they got there but people could rent them like rooms in the hotel. What was hilarious was that each room had a theme and the first one we saw (and my personal favorite) was goldylocks and a bear. On opening the door though the first thing I saw in the corner was a child's crayon drawing of the bear sodomizing poor Goldylocks. When I told everyone they were sure I was on crack or had too much vino but sure enuff they all agreed that was what it was. The place even came with your own bear costume, goldylock dress and blond wig....yup my kinda place lol.
We then headed to the hostel Dan was staying as they had an all you could eat "brine" which is what they call BBQ. I was really happy with the all you can eat portion of the deal but the food turned out to be awesome and in fact the hostel was really cool and even better was half the price of the hostel I was at. So even though I felt like a prick after the nice treatment I got I decided to be a traitor and come to this hostel tomorrow.
Finished off the night having some Shesha and Mike and Elese let us know that on Thursday their friend was spinning at the place Bang Bang I had been.
Rented a car to go to one of the areas I hadn't seen on the wine tour- Constantia which was just outside of Cape Town and used the excuse with the hostel that I was going to stay out of town and changed hostels. Ended up using a scanned copie of my driver's license that Melissa sent me as I (stupidly) forgot it back home and jumped in the car with Fabio to tour the wineries.
Now some of you may not agree with what I did next but what can I say some times I'm a sales guy. I went to these crazy mantions where they had tasting and there were fees. They weren't huge $20 at some estates but a lot of the best wines were even more. So I kinda told a little story...I was writing an article for the SAQ magazine le Cellier on the region and would be making recommendations. Just to make sure I didn't get nailed because I didn't know alot I said this wasn't my real job but SAQ was my client and since I was traveling to the region anyways they asked me to do it. I was taking notes anyway on all the wines so it looked legit.
Well I can tell you this made a world of difference. I had personal tasting with the wine makers of their "private reserve", wines not available for tasting were "found" and wines in excess of $200 were opened for me. And with only 2 exceptions I didn't have to pay a cent. It was a little funny because some people got really nervous.
Fabio was blown away and was pretty funny as he was very expressive and vocal in his surprise at the prices at times and the wines he didn't like. It's also possible he was drunk as he was actually drinking while I was only tasting but it's funny when your with the maker of the wine and you have this guy saying "oh my God look at this price...I can't imagine anyone paying this."
I ended up having a chill night after that but was looking forward to visiting Stellenbosch tomorrow to see how it was different.
For breakfast had an Ostriche steak and some Ostriche egg. A little different and it was pretty damn good.
Went on my own this time to Stellenbosch wine region which is the capital and my little story again worked better than I expected. Some of these estates had mansions dating back to the mid 1600s and were beautiful to see. It was a little weird doing it alone though and a little challenging finding all the estates. I didn't get every one that I wanted to see but got to see a good range and had a few that were real jems.
Got back to the hostel and went with Dan and a girl that worked at the hostel- Prudence to dinner. The waiter recommended the lamb shanck and my gosh it was orgasmic. I know I've been travelling a while but hey you get your pleasures where you can and this was friggin awesome.
They ordered a bottle of red and I couldn't even finish my glass I had drank so much wine over the last three days. We ended up going to meet Mike (UK) and Elese at the club and had a blast. It got a little out of control with the drinking and on top of it I had booked a flight to Durban to go scuba diving as buses would take too long. Again not one of my better ideas to go crazy on the eve of taking a flight...oh well.
Towards the end of the night was crashed out on a sofa and clueless when two girls sat next to me and started making out until Dan's jaw just about hit the floor. Sorry guys no there is no continuation of the story even though I tried to introduce Dan to them.
We only ended up stumbling into our hostel at 6 AM and I had to get up at 8...again not a great idea. On top of it I couldn't sleep.
So tomorrow Durban, and find a way to get to Sodwana where they have world renowned diving.