Posts tagged Around Cape Town
Posts tagged Around Cape Town
S’mores and hostel party for the 4th of July! USAUSA!
Photos from this weekend—quesadilla night with Allison and Norm on Friday, District 6 museum on Saturday!
A shot from the Wellness Cafe, the best/most affordable place on Kloof Street to peacefully use the Internet for long periods of time (trust me, I’ve done my research). On the few days that we don’t drive into Khayelitsha, I come here and work from home.
The Wellness Cafe cracks me up. It’s located in the Lifestyle Center, which is basically the SA equivalent of Whole Foods—vegan chicken salad, three kids of orange juicers, and the largest assortment of organic skin products I’ve ever seen. Soothing oriental music plays in the background.
Generalizing broadly, I’ve found that the people who come to the Wellness Cafe can generally be sorted into four categories: (1) pregnant women (2) sophisticated/professional women (3) sophisticated babies/children and (4) men who wear button downs or pastel colored sweatshirts. I’m not kidding. The little girl who was just sitting across from me looked like Suri Cruise.
The Cafe is definitely a nice change of pace—but honestly, I prefer our UBA office. How can I work without the background noise of screaming children? Nothing fosters co-worker camaraderie like crowding five people—and five computers—around Mallory’s small desk, our feet subtly competing for the warmth emitted from the nearby space heater. And while this organic squash wrap is delicious, nothing beats the satisfying crunch of a 500,000 calorie Happy Bar during that 3 o’clock slump.
Bungee Jumping photos!
scenic shots of the drive home
More Garden Route shots
Some shots from the Garden Route
This weekend, Jill and I decided it would be a good idea to bungee jump off the highest commercial bungee site in the world, which FYI happens to be 216 meters high or, for those of us not on metric system, 712 feet. In the air. To give you some perspective, allow me to list the heights of some well-known monuments:
THAT’s 4.8 STATUE OF LIBERTIES.
“Why?” you ask. Great question. Haven’t humans have spent a few hundred thousand years learning—painfully—that survival comes first and that throwing yourself off a 712 FOOT BRIDGE with nothing but an apparently secure elastic cord preventing you from PAINFUL GRUESOME DEATH is probably not the best way to ensure said survival?!
And yet there I was on Friday morning, trembling, walking along a rickety underpass that led to the concrete ledge off of which we would jump. I could easily see through the wire structure to the jaw dropping fall below. Let me sum it up for you: lots of sharp rocks. I don’t remember the last time I felt so terrified. Not even when I thought Sarah Palin might one day get her hands on the nuclear codes.
And then an imposing man with a clip board began reading off the jump order and my name came up first. The man roping my feet together spoke authoritatively, as if telling me the physics behind the knot he was tying so exceptionally quickly would somehow convince me that leaping off this bridge would not lead to certain death. I can only remember thinking that this was insanely dumb—WHAT ABOUT EVOLUTION?! Maybe I could still back out. I definitely could. And then I was standing—how had he tied that knot so fast? THIS KNOT IS THE ONLY THING PREVETING MY BODY FROM HURTLING TO IMPENDING DOOM, shouldn’t this be taking longer?!—and stumbling, with the help of two burly men to the edge of the bridge—BUT WAIT I HAVE SO MUCH TO OFFER THE WORLD—one shouting in my ear “five, four, three, two, one, BUNGY!”and then there was nothing to do but spread my arms and jump.
A silent free fall—the reassuring tug of the cord—and then swinging below the bridge like a pendulum, the knot painfully tight around my ankles, turning my body 360 degrees to memorize the view from every possible angle. And then, the comforting nudge of a bungy worker, coming to pulley me up to solid ground.
Everyone should bungy jump. Evolution can be very wrong.
The rest of the weekend’s experiences, although less adrenaline-fueled, were outstanding. To offer some context, Jill and I went road tripping with her awesome co-worker Tess (from Cali), and Tess’ equally awesome friends Ronnie (from Germany) and Clark (from Pretoria, South Africa). We traveled the Garden Route, a road that leads from Cape Town across to the Western Cape of Africa—without breaks, it takes about 7 hours. After bungee, we visited the Kynsa Elephant Reserve, a free range park that holds twelve of these enormous beasts. On Saturday, we climbed, slid, crawled and squeezed through the beautiful Cango Caves, and in the afternoon made an uncomfortable visit to an ostrich farm. On the evening of our third night, we shared a drink at Ronnie’s Sex Shop, a tiny bar with walls covered in currency and business cards from every country in the world (anyone want one hundred trillion Zimbabwe dollars?) and enough bras and panties hanging from the ceiling to fill a Victoria’s Secret. We drove back along the beautiful coast of South Africa, constantly pulling over for scenic beach photo ops.
The thing about road trips is that you often do so much that you really remember the little things—like the fact that South African radio plays the most bizarre mix of Shaggy, Hoobastank, Selena Gomez, retro J-Lo (If You Had My Love) and Mike Posner. Or that an elephant’s eyelashes can extend to over 8 inches and are weirdly brittle. When it’s freezing out and the Backpackers (hostel) has no hot water, no shower is better than a cold shower; an ostrich egg has the equivalent volume of 24 chicken eggs, and when you pass someone on a one-lane highway, its protocol to flash your hazard lights for a second, just to say thanks.
And even though you’ve got three emails to send and two that you’re waiting to receive, a loan to repay and several overdue postcards, the feeling of your mind going completely blank in one absolutely epic free fall.
There and Back Again: a map of the Garden Route, the road trip I took with friends this weekend.
The red line marks our route out—straight from Cape Town to a town called Plettenberg Bay (“Plett”). The purple charts our course back, through Kynsa then north to Oudtshoorn, and then the home stretch through Hermanace, Betty’s Bay, and the gorgeous South African coastal landscape.