Week 5: Getting out of Town

This week started with a short work week. Thursday was National Woman’s Day here in South Africa, which meant only a three day work week. Since it was a short week there is really nothing new to report. I spent the three days uploading and organizing the rest of the photos that I have to tag. I have completed 30,000 so far, apparently I have 70,000 more to go. Hopefully I can make quick progress and be done with them shortly.

Enough about work. Over the four day weekend I went on a guided trip through the Klein Karoo and the Garden Route. This has been one of the highlights of my time so far here in South Africa. First of all the tour guide was by far one of my favorite people I have met in this country. His name was Maudi. Maudi was quite the character. By lunch time on the first day he was already cracking jokes about the different people on the trip and absolutely made the trip as good as it possibly could have been. On the first day we did a wine tasting (at 9:30 AM) en route to our first hostel. Obviously a wonderful way to start the day. After this we stopped for lunch at a roadside stop. We continued on to the Cango Caves. This was an interesting stop as we had to climb through some very tight places. At one point we were crawling through a space that was only 23 cm tall. A bit small for my liking. That night we had an ostrich braai at out hostel, hung out by the fire and played with the three cats. The second day there was a bit of rain. We started the day with a zip lining trip over a waterfall followed by a trip to the world’s tallest commercial bridge bungee jump. Of course I participated in this activity and yes it was the most primal adrenaline feeling that I think I will ever experience. 216 meters to the ground and you fall upwards of 195 meters with two secondary falls. Check out Instagram for a video. The hostel this night was out a forest, quite a bit off the beaten track. We had a ramen for dinner and hung out around another fire while having good conversation with some South Africans from Cape Town that were also at the hostel. Saturday included a 2 hour hike up to an amazing view of the Indian Ocean followed by canoeing down a river to the beach. The hostel was a bit more urban than the others but situated right next to the ocean. Fish and chips were on the menu for dinner. There were eight of us from VAC that went on this trip and Saturday night we all just hung out in out hostel and had a few drinks. Sunday did not disappoint either. We went for a safari at a game reserve along the Garden Route. They had 4 of the Big 5 (kinda hard to keep leopards in a fenced area I suppose) along with many other animals. It was very nice to see how much space and well kept the game reserve was. When I first thought of doing a safari on a private game reserve I just thought it would be like a zoo, this was not the case and was quite nice to be proven wrong about my perceptions. After the safari we had a 5 hour drive back to Cape Town.

This ends another week in Cape Town. Stay tuned for more adventures to come.