Thess local boys were running around and jumping off of the pier in the new harbor of Hermanus
Haley and I have finally started our South African trip. One that we started planning over a year ago. One that seemed so far away for so long...but has finally come around. After dating a South African for 2 years you can believe that I have heard PLENTY of stories, complaints, bragging that all started with "In South Africa we " - so I was excited to finally go to the country that I have heard so much about, from both Haley and her family/friends. Let me start off by saying, we are only half way through our trip and this country has not disappointed!
We started with a 15 hour flight from Dulles, to Cape Town. Haley's sister (Natalie) and brother-in-law (Freeman) were on the same flight as us (up from NC) which was nice. For some reason I was under the impression that the flight was actually 21 hours, so I was mentally prepared for something longer. The flight seemed to go by quite quickly (the great movie selection and free booze helped out a bit). I was fortunate enough to get an emergency exit row seat next to Freeman (Haley's brother in law) so
we had plenty of leg room (and Haley sat next to her sister and were entertained by babies that were sitting close by the entire time).
The transportation side of things was painless, the flight was easy, the airport was easy, Haley's parents picked us up and shipped us to a flat that we had rented in Cape Town for the next 3 nights. The 30 minute drive from the airport to our apartment was really interesting. In South Africa the slums are called townships, and we passed a huge one just outside of the airport. I recently read a book called "Kaffir Boy" which gave a detailed description of what it was like to grow up in one of these townships. So it was very interesting for me to actually see (at least the perimeter of one). This was an extremely poor and typically very crime filled area. Check out the picture that I have included.
Cape Town itself is a small bustling city, with a few small skyscrapers and a large somewhat residential area that has sprawled out around it. It sits nestled between some steep rock cliffs (Table Mountain, Signal Hill, and Lions Head) and
The Kalil's and I just after breakfast at the Rhodes Memorial in Cape Town SA
do) took a long coastal drive down to Cape Point, which is the the southern most point of South Africa. The drive was amazing with tons of scenic little photo spots and cute small towns, we stopped off here and there for this and that. The coast line was very reminiscent of New Zealand - again, huge cliffs steeply spilling off into the (FREEZING cold) into the Indian and Atlantic oceans. Cape Point topped it all off with a huge dramatic cliff jutting straight out into the water, capped off with a large white light house. There were tons of hikes along the tops of these cliffs and down a number of remote beaches, next time Haley and I will spend more time here and do some of the hiking.
I have also been trying to eat as much "game" as possible while here. In the city of Cape Town along Freeman and I have managed to put down the following beasts (and I will continue this list throughout this trip)
In addition to eating animals we have also already seen a bunch of (interesting to me) animals. You've heard of
the big five - Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Water Buffalo, Elephant. Well so far we have seen what i am calling the little five - Dassie (like a nimble ground hog), Baboon, Buck, Seal, Guinea Fowl (that actually charged me).
My time in Cape Town has been very enjoyable, the food has been amazing, the scenery has been impressive, and the sun-downers (drinking beer while watching the sunset) have been a great way to start each evening. I was sad to leave but also excited for the next part of our adventure....Haley's holiday town of Hermanus (went there as a child). What used to be an old fishing village and has now started to turn into a trendy beach town (But still sleepy).
The drive to Hermanus was similar to the drive to Cape Point. We took the longer more scenic route and were joined by Freeman and Natalie. We often stopped to scramble down the rocks to look at the ocean, or for a picture or two. After about a 2 hour trip we pulled into town. It was easy to tell when we got close because haley started getting really anxious and the story telling began! "When
This Guinea Fowl actually charged me b/c i was too close!
I was young we used to ", "This is the spot that ", etc.
Hermanus is a great little town and I have loved my time here. Each morning we get up and either hiking/run along the boulder filled beaches, or along the mountains that town over the city. The weather has been perfectly hot, and the fresh squeezed juice has been perfectly cold. Here the entire family (Haley, her parents, Freeman, Nats) have all stayed in her parents place and explored the area together.
Well I think that is enough for now, on the next entry I will describe the rest of my time in Hermanus, talk about my experience with cage diving for GREAT WHITES, and get into more details about the ice cold water and my new tiny little speedo!
Travelling is a passion of mine and I think it is one of the best things you can do for yourself. I got interested in other cultures at a young age when I visited a friend in Egypt. I did a few months trekking around Europe after college. Then a few years later I went for a year long solo trip around the world. That was sooooo amazing (the bulk of these blogs are from that trip). Since then I met an amazing woman (Haley) and she and I try to visit at least one new country a year (more like 2). Check out my stuff, I hope you enjoy it.
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After the British seized the Cape of Good Hope area in 1806, many of the Dutch settlers (the Boers) trekked north to found their own republics. The discovery of diamonds (1867) and gold (1886) spurred wealth and immigration and intensified the subjug...more history