We took a train bright and early along with two girls from the other house (Palmer House) to Cape Town. My house is called the Recreation (Rec) house by the way. We took a cab to the V.A. Waterfront, which is a popular destination for seaside excursions. It reminded me a lot of the Navy Pier in Chicago.
There we went to buy our tickets to boat across Robben Island but tickets were sold out for the day we wanted. So we bought them for next Sunday. From there we hopped on a cab to Table Mountain, one of the new 7 natural wonders of the world. It get’s that name from its flat, table like, top. Monica (Costa Rica) and Kirsten (Australia) weren’t feeling so hot, so they decided to take a cable car to the top while the rest of us did the hike. There are many different trails one could take, all varying in difficulty, to get to the flat top. We chose the Platteklip route. The sign board read that this route should take around two and a half hours, more or less. Jacob (Texas), a volunteer from the Palmer House did this route in an hour in the past. Together, I figured we could do it together in under two hours.
It wasn’t the sunniest day but yet ten minutes into the hike I was burning up. I led the pack for a while, stopping only when the girls needed to rest. We rested more than I needed to but I’m glad we did because it allowed us time to absorb the beautiful landscape and take awesome pictures. Plus, we were in no hurry. At one point in our trek, we came to a fork in the trail. We had the option of continuing on Platteklip or taking Devil’s Peak. Legend has it that a pirate called Jan van Hunks, would settle on Table Mountain smoking his pipe. One day a stranger knocked at the door and Hunks offered him a smoke. The stranger and Hunks boasted that they can smoke longer than the other so they decided to compete. There was so much smoke in the air that both the pirate and the stranger, who turns out to be the devil, vanished in a puff smoke. With that being said, I chose to stay on the Platteklip route :).
The five of us made it to the top in roughly two hours and were basked in a blanket of think clouds, also known as the table-cloth. It was breathtaking.
The next day, Dave was nice enough to take several of us around the cape of South Africa for the day. We first went to Cape Point.
Next we stopped at the South Western most point of the African continent, the Cape of Good Hope.
Next we took a ride to Boulders Beach. Boulders is the easiest place in the world to make the acquaintance of penguins. Or at least that’s what the sign read.
Next we went to Chapman’s Peak; where we spotted a couple of Southern Right Whales from the top of the cliff. Then Signal Hill where we witnessed a very scenic sunset.
Finally we went to Dave’s house and took part in a braai. A braai is basically what I would call a BBQ in the states. We tried our best to make s’mores but there is no such thing as graham crackers and Hershey’s chocolate in South Africa. Instead we used what they called “biscuits” which are round and thin and taste like animal crackers. For the chocolate, we used a thick cocoa bar that had chocolate mousse in the center. The marshmallows had a pink tint to them and tasted like strawberries. They were the weirdest s’mores I’ve ever had but they were still pretty delicious.
Finally around ten at night we made our way back to the Rec house where we rejoined the group of volunteers who just came back from their weekend safari. As quiet as the house was while they were gone, it was good to have them back. Tomorrow is Monday which means a new week at the school. One thing about being here is, I never know whats going to happen next!