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Published: October 22nd 2010
We woke at 6.30am and went down for breakfast hoping it would sober us up. We didn’t know how we’d got home, and found the key still in the door of our hotel room. There was a dress code for the breakfast room which said Smart-Casual. Not sure if our pyjamas can be classed as smart-casual but nobody told us off. The food extremely was salty but we quite enjoyed it. We napped for another hour or so then had to get up and pack our cases and trek off to the airport. Quite possibly the last thing on earth I wanted to do right then.
We dragged our cases across a motorway (yes, a frikin motorway) and stopped to drink some water and take off our hoodies. A really kind man came over and asked if we wanted a lift up the road to the station. We slung our cases in the back of his truck and jumped in waving to everyone on the way. Outside the Gautrain station, Ellie attempted a cigarette but it knocked her sick. I couldn’t stomach even one drag.
Doing a balancing act on an escalator with two suitcases was an experience in itself
and embarrassingly I found my legs spread three stairs apart while I wobbled and clung on for dear life. Got on the Gautrain to the airport, checked in (winner, winner, chicken dinner coz they didn’t notice my case was three kilo’s over) then got settled with a sandwich and skinny latte near our Departure Gate.
The turbulence on the aeroplane was really, really bad. We were on the back row which may have made it seem worse for us but panic really set in and I could feel my heart racing. I’m not usually a nervous flyer but this was ridiculous.
We were greeted with an exceedingly horrible smell outside Cape Town airport. We quickly collected our hire car from Hertz (where the lady on the desk explained she was visiting England next week and after giving her some brief advice about London, she upgraded us). It took us a while to discover how to actually start the car - it was a Toyota and you had to dip the clutch as you turned the key in the ignition. Then we got totally lost in Cape Town but came across a really helpful man who drew us a map.
Stopped off for KFC then found our hostel (called Big Blue) near Green Point. It’s pretty big with a pool, free internet and free tea and coffee; and has won an award as 2nd best hostel in the whole of South Africa. Our big private room has additional bunk beds so we dumped our bags on it then jumped in to bed to read. I’ve recently read "I love New York" so had brought it for Ellie to read while we were away.
We went back out at 8ish. Just down the road from our hostel there’s an area dotted with restaurants and bars. We’re so lucky when it comes to finding good places to eat, and tonight we chose one called Doppio Zero. It had bare brick walls and big black statement lighting. Ellie’s crumbed chicken was huge - evidently they thought she needs fattening up coz they gave her two chicken breasts along with stacks of mash and a mound of spinach. I went for chicken fettuccini which is like taglitelle (I always thought it was like ravioli) with sundried tomatoes, spinach and cream. We both really enjoyed the food and our fruit smoothies. Ellie ate only
half of it and the waiter offered her a doggy bag. She said this is offered in most restaurants which is great as you can give it to your security guard or poor people on the way home.
A few of the waiters had slightly lighter skin and soft features. We think this is what is described as “Cape Coloured”: years ago slaves were brought from Indonesia, Malaysia, Madagascar, and Mozambique so they gradually developed into their own race from these origins. They’re generally really attractive! The South Africans have a strange accent but I like it. I think it’s the vowels they pronounce differently like Illie (Ellie) and Yaar (yeah).
We played a game of cards which I’d won in my Christmas cracker at the “fake Xmas dinner” at Auntie Sans the other day. We didn’t touch a drop of alcohol as were still feeling ropey from last night… so I apologies if this blog isn’t entertaining reading!
We walked off our dinner and spotted a homeless person rifling through the bins so Ellie gave her doggy bag to him. He was made up 😊 We walked as far up the road as we could until we reached
a sketchy area then set off home. A man in a shop doorway was begging for money and he looked me right in the eye and put his hands together as if he was praying which really tugged on my heart strings. After a short stint on Facebook we hit the sack by 11pm.
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