A few days in the Cape

Trip Start Jan 16, 2008
Trip End Apr 27, 2008

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Cape Town Backpackers

Flag of South Africa  ,
Friday, January 18, 2008

It feels a little surreal, but we're finally here in Cape Town - the first stop on our 100 (ish) day round the World adventure. After months of waiting and working, we've started travelling.

We couldn't have hoped for better weather. To make you jealous, the temperature here was 28degrees yesterday and 30 today - and it is forecast to get even hotter for tomorrow. There's not a cloud in the sky except the the looming 'tablecloth' that hangs over Table Mountain.

The flight over on Wednesday was a pretty turbulent but I still managed to get a good 6 hours sleep (I can sleep anywhere) compared to Lotte who didn't get much at all. We landed at 7am on Thursday and headed straight for the hostel. For those who know the city, we're staying at Cape Town Backpackers, which is just off Kloof Street, by a restaurant called Greens and a Nandos, and about a 5minute walk down to all the bars on Long Street. It's a pretty cool hostel and everyone is really friendly - we've met some people who have been on 4 month around the World trips and say this is the nicest place that they've stayed at, so I hope we haven't peaked too soon.

We decided to walk down to the waterfront to stretch our legs and see the city, but didn't quite expect the walk to be so long - I managed to rack up three blisters in my new sandals by the time we got there, but the views of Table Mountain made it well worth it.

What still amazes us is how good value everything out here is - to put it into terms that everyone can understand, you can buy 5 bottles of Cobra beer in our hostel for 48 Rand, which is less than 3.50pounds and as I sit here I'm eating a bucket-sized packet of pineapple chunks which cost about 75p from the supermarket.

Yesterday afternoon we went to Camps Bay to spend a bit of time on the beach and build up a base tan! The wind started to pick up so we could only stay for an hour before we had to run off the beach because the sand was hurting so much. Everywhere we need to go around Cape Town which is too far to walk we get a Rikki. It's like a taxi which you share with other people and there's a flat fare of just over a quid for any journey you want to make, regardless of length. All of the Rikkis are now brand new London black cabs so it's just like being at home.

Last time I went to Cape Town two years ago we were supposed to do an abseil down Table Mountain, but it was closed due to a bank holiday. This time I promised myself that I'd do it and drag Lotte with me. Unfortunately more dark forces have been at work - this time in the form of gale force winds over Table Mountain which have left the mountain closed since we arrived. Hopefully the winds will die down tomorrow and we'll be able to go up there because it's our last day in the city.

Today we had a full day at the beach, this time over a Clifton which is much more sheltered. The beach was stunning, though the water was freezing! Still no major sunburn issues either. I was really surprised that the solar charger that I got for Christmas works brilliantly, I think it's going be really useful on our 21day camping trip which starts on Sunday.

This evening we're staying in at the hostel for a traditional, outdoor African meal of game meats. I'll let you know how it goes! Then tomorrow we'll hopefully get to abseil and in the evening we've got a meeting to see the people we'll be travelling with for the next 3 weeks.

Until next time...!
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starlagurl on

You're gonna have a great time. I think that solar power charger will definitely come in handy when you're camping for three weeks.

Louise Brown
TravelPod Community Manager

Nick Wright on

Hi There,

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We are currently looking for talented writers to write Gap year guides for virtually every country and city in the world. It sounds like you have the necessary experience and background to write the South Africa guide, one of the most popular pages on our website.

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