For our first weekend trip, Annie drove us all the way to Cape Town. Jeff, Andy and I were the only ones who signed up for the trip, because some of the others were going at the end of the month. We arrived at our hostel, Stoked Backpackers, which is in Muizenberg, Cape Town. Even though it was dark out, I could see a beautiful mural painted on the side of the building.
(Swinging my blues away at Cape to Cuba)
After settling into our private room (yay) we drove down to Cape to Cuba; a cozy, eccentric, colorful, chill restaurant that has Samuel L. Jackson’s stamp of approval.
(We were excited to eat all the food ❤ )
You can buy Cuban cigars, have a cocktail on the veranda overlooking the water, or sit on the swing inside the restaurant while chandeliers dangle overhead.
(My impressive prawn dinner)
I decided to get a fun cocktail and the prawns for dinner. It was worth the heap of napkins I had at the end. After dinner, we went to the attached bar which they call Hemingways. The floor is made of sand and you feel like you’re on a secluded island somewhere while lying on the floating beds. I had my go-to: classic mojito. It was refreshing and perfectly fit the setting.
(Hemingways Bar… my kinda place)
We got up early the next day and drove to hike Table Mountain. We went up to the steeper route because I’m not a fan of wobbling along ledges in high up areas! (The other route had sections that would’ve made me too uncomfortable) I have a thing with heights but was willing to climb up for the experience.
(We conquered Table Mountain… 3558 feet up!)
Needless to say, this mountain kicked my ass! I had to make multiple stops, as did the rest of the group. Every time we stumbled upon a spot with any shade available, we would squeeze into it. At one point we were huddled behind a bush! I was amazed at people running up and down the mountain. They made it look so easy.
(Photo by Jeff Rotta)
After two and a half hours, we made it to the top. The view was stunning, and you could go on either side of the plateau. False Bay is on one side, and Cape Town on the other. I hung out on the Cape Town side for about an hour waiting for everyone to reconvene. You could easily tell which people actually trekked the hike (the sweaty gross ones) and those who took the cable car up.
(Stunning views with every shade of blue)
After everyone had caught their breath and got all the snapshots in, we took the easy way down… the cable car. I was a little nervous (remember the heights thing?) but it went a lot faster than I imagined, and I just held on a little tighter than everyone else.
(Taking the fast pass down)
After taking a sink bath in the public restrooms and changing into something more presentable, we drove to the V&A Marina Waterfront. We purchased our aquarium tickets and walked to the V&A Food Market. This place is my dream come true. I tried to gorge myself as much as possible.
(A food lovers dream)
There are plenty of options. They had pizza, oysters, sushi, lots of meat, salads, and much more. I had a mango smoothie, a spicy tuna poke bowl, and bought a box of gourmet chocolates to go.
(Find this sexy spice bowl at Hokey Poke)
Once we finished eating, we went to the Two Oceans Aquarium. Aquariums are my favorite. I try to go to every aquarium when I visit a new city.
(The Red Frogfish… looks fake doesn’t it?!)
Two Oceans has a beautiful kelp forest exhibit, penguins, jellies, and shark tank. I sat watching the sharks and schools of fish swim by. It made me want to plan a dive trip.
(Admiring Ms. Shark)
We were then set loose to explore the waterfront. I pretty much window-shopped and listened to all the street musicians for two hours. After grabbing a cappuccino and reuniting with Jeff and Andy, we found Annie by the car and grabbed our sweaters for dinner.
(Proud of our accomplishment!)
There are plenty of restaurants along the harbor to choose from. After browsing the menus, we decided on Karibu.
(Dinner with a view of Table Mountain)
I went with the trout, while Andy and Annie split a fancy meat platter. It consisted of crocodile, ostrich, springbok, beef, kudu, and eland.
(My South African dish- Trout with a cream sauce)
Jeff had an ostrich dish (which everyone agreed the ostrich was the best) and I finished with stewed peaches, cream and ice cream.
(Delectable dessert! I love fruit for a sweet ending to a meal)
After dinner, we took a ride on the Ferris wheel and then finished our night with a beer at one of the many bars on the wharf.
(Beers to celebrate a memorable day)
Sunday morning we drove to Simon’s Town, a quaint coastal city that the South African Navy calls home. The town’s architecture is that of a Dutch town. I could see myself living in a cute cottage nestled in the rocky terrain overlooking Boulders Beach, where the African Penguins nest and swim.
(Boulders Beach… Can you guess why it’s called that?)
We walked along the boardwalk, trying to spot penguins in the shrubbery. Every once in a while we could hear the cries of chicks hiding under their mothers for protection. Once we reached the open beach, there were penguins sunbathing everywhere! Luckily for the penguins, people have to stay on the boardwalk as to not disturb the clumsy birds.
(Soaking up the sun)
After taking photos and cooing over the brown chicks, we went to the open beach where you can occasionally spot a penguin swimming in the freezing water. People in the Cape must have thick skin because a few were swimming. (And trust me when I say it was cold!)
(Mamas nesting, and the chicks starting to explore)
Our last adventure in Cape Town was at the Cape Point, or Cape of Good Hope; the most south-western point of the African continent. (see picture) We mosied around, balanced rocks at the beach, and hiked up to a lighthouse.
(Have to have the cliche photo)
The baboons by the lighthouse were terrifying and extremely intelligent. There were signs everywhere warning you to close your car windows, lock the doors, and not have any food or drink with you.
(Colorful views from the lighthouse)
One guy walking up with his girlfriend learned the hard way. He had a can of coke with a straw, and as soon as that baboon saw him from 30 ft. away, it was a done deal. After circling the man, he eventually resorted to throwing the can in the bushes. The baboon proceeded to grab it and run away while drinking the soda, while a handful of baboons followed after. Maybe he’ll learn to follow directions next time!
We drove back to Groot Brak, the sun setting as we inched closer to our home for the month, Annie’s killer playlist blasting the entire way. Cape Town will definitely see me again at some point. ❤