Cape Town Part 1: Seaside Drives & Sunsets

Oh hey there! So much for that comprehensive music research initiative leading up to Gov Ball (not to mention Gov Ball itself… or any of the other million things that have happened in the eight months since my last post…). I guess I’m just not the blogger I once was. (Probably not a bad thing, really.)

I guess all it took was a tiny little excursion– involving neither Ollie nor America, as it happens– to get me to dust this old thing off. A few months back Marlon told me of a friend of his working in Cape Town who’d been strongly suggesting he come for a visit. Sure, it’s a little far and the ticket might be a bit expensive (it wasn’t even!), but he could get there and “live like a king on the Rand”; and he’d have a free place to stay and personal tour guide. Naturally I saw fit to invite myself (…kidding), and with some assistance from my parents in the form of an early Christmas gift we went ahead and booked our tickets in early November.

The two-and-a-half months between then and the trip flew right by, and before we knew it our departure date of January 17 had arrived. Turns out we picked just about the best possible time to go– not only was it the height of summer in Cape Town, we skipped out on a good portion of one of the worst winters our continent’s seen. Not to mention, the always favorable Rand was trading at a particularly good 11-to-the dollar during our stay (only for the interest rates to be adjusted and the exchange somewhat normalized the day that we left!).

We flew South African Airways, which not only offered the cheapest tickets, but at 21 hours provided the quickest flight available. The route took us first to Dakar, Senegal for a “technical stop;” which we learned entailed being stripped of your blankets for landing (no matter how deep your sleep) and then sitting around for approximately an hour while some passengers disembarked, others boarded, and the plane was refueled. This proved to be more vexing on the return trip, on account of exhaustion and foodlessness, but I suppose I’m getting ahead of myself. Oh and they’re required to spray a pretty terrible anti-yellow fever spray throughout the cabin before leaving Dakar that will be sure to penetrate any shirt or scarf you hastily try to put in place as a makeshift gas mask. Those Americentric maps will have you believe that once you’ve crossed the Atlantic the lion’s share of the journey is behind you, but the truth is that Africa’s enormous and the flight to Johannesburg takes just about as long as the first leg. The total journey from DC to Joburg takes 17 hours.

After clearing customs and rechecking your bags in the Joburg Airport (oh, and letting the poetry of these posters wash over you:)

it’s a quick two hour flight to Cape Town! Bada bing, bada boom. Pat was there to pick us up when we arrived just after 10 pm on the 18th, and he was able to keep us out late patronizing Tjing Tjing Bar then COCO as a clever and effective way of combating our jet lag.

tjing tjing

Pat lives in an area called Sea Point (technically a suburb lying just east of Cape Town, but for all intents and purposes part of Cape Town), and indeed we woke up to this gorgeous view:

sea point view cape town

We made the first of what would be many stops at the neighboring Bootlegger Café for a quick flat white and croissant, and then Pat whisked us off on a scenic coastline ride. We made a stop at the Hout Bay Market, continued along the beautiful Chapman’s Peak Drive, made a pitstop to sneak a peak of some penguins at Boulders Beach, checked out the colorful changing rooms in Muizenberg, then hurried home in time to rush off to Clifton Second beach for sunset. (Alas, I have only Instagram photos of that last bit, having been reluctant to get sand in my new camera. #sogauche.)

lion's head: the view from the other side of pat's apartment. we hiked this a few days later.

lion’s head: the view from the other side of pat’s apartment. we hiked this a few days later.

outside the hout bay market

outside the hout bay market

hout bay market sculpture

hout bay market snoekies hout bay market fish

at the biltong stand at the hout bay market. apparently the customer here is a famous rugby player haha. can anyone confirm/deny?!

at the biltong stand at the hout bay market. apparently the customer here is a famous rugby player haha. can anyone confirm/deny?!

biltong (far superior jerky [so i hear] made of exotic animals like kudu and ostrich) is one of the crown jewels of south african cuisine, it would seem. even i had a TINY piece of the ostrich biltong on offer here.

biltong (a type of jerky made of exotic animals like kudu and ostrich that allegedly puts anything found in the states to shame) is one of the crown jewels of south african cuisine, it would seem. even i had a TINY piece of the ostrich biltong on offer here.

hout bay flags hout bay market

making our way along chapman's peak drive

making our way along chapman’s peak drive

chapman's peak drive 2 chapman's peak drive panorama cape town mountainmar and ang chapman's peak drive chapman's peak drive 3 chapman's peak drive 4 chapman's peak drive 5 chapman's peak drive 6

taken from the car. word on the street is you can ride horses on that beach. chapman's peak drive 7

in search of penguins on boulders beach

in search of penguins on boulders beach

boulders beach flowers boulders beach flowers 2

true story, the official name for these guys is 'jackass penguin.'

true story, the official name for these guys is ‘jackass penguin.’

boulders beach 2 penguins marlon boulders beach

'heyyyyy!'

‘heyyyyy!’

boulder's beach 4 outside boulders beach

caught the slightest glimpse of a baboon from a bus later in the trip

caught the slightest glimpse of a baboon from a bus later in the trip

muizenberg beach-- a great place to surf and home to iconic colorful changing rooms.

muizenberg beach– a great place to surf and home to iconic colorful changing rooms.

pat mar and ang muizenberg

the three of us, complete with salad and wayfaring stranger

changing rooms 1 changing rooms 2 seagulls 1 muizenberg surfer muizenberg seagull

view from the car on the way home

view from the car on the way home

the clifton beaches are a perfect place to catch the sunset, with the majestic twelve apostles looming behind and the whole area taking on a yellow hue as the sun sinks lower and lower

the clifton beaches are a perfect place to catch the sunset, with the majestic twelve apostles looming behind and the whole area taking on a yellow hue as the sun sinks lower and lower

sunset stairs beach party

brought some virginia bubbly for the occasion.

brought some virginia bubbly for the occasion.

clifton 2nd 2 clifton second sunsetFrom there we grabbed a drink at Caprice before heading to a fantastic sushi dinner at Sevruga on the Waterfront.

waterfront ferris wheel