There aren’t many places that you can say, “We got robbed four times in eight days and I had a helluva week! And I can’t wait to go back!” But that’s exactly how I feel about Cape Town, South Africa. I love, love, LOVED it!
We got extremely lucky with intros from friends Jeremie Brilliant and Allan Horsfield to some amazing local Saffas who took us under their wings and showed us a pretty special time! A huge thanks to (in order of appearance, ha!): Jean, Jon, Nick, Dene, Andy and Brian. We had an absolute BLAST hanging out with y’all and can’t wait to come back to Cape Town. We promise next time we won’t suggest going to THAT bar again… 😉
Cape Town Stats:
8: days in Cape Town
4: robberies (2 – Beth; 2 – Danielle)
4: visits to the police station
3: police reports filed
$1,500: value of stolen goods (2 cameras, iPhone 4S & an ATM card/$200)
3: nights we closed down The Dubliner
1: number of Family Share packs purchased at 5am at McDonald’s
3: number of people splitting the Family Share pack containing 4 cheeseburgers, 2 Big Macs, 4 fries, 4 Cokes and 20 chicken McNuggets #fatties
1,084.6: meters climbed to the top of Table Mountain (3,558 feet)
5: number of different Great White sharks seen while cage diving
4.5: meters of the largest shark seen
4: wineries visited
5,374: pieces of cheese eaten during the cheese tasting portion at Fairview winery
22: number of people in our hostel dorm room
6: number of RAD Saffa’s who showed us a great time in Cape Town
Cape Town Itinerary:
I think we did a pretty good job in our eight days in Cape Town covering all bases and this would be a good approximate itinerary for those thinking about a week long visit. Obviously, we had hook ups from locals on some of our itinerary items.
Friday: arrived in Cape Town after 24+ hours of travel; dinner at Café on Long and an early night. We stayed at a very unique hostel off Long Street (which has a similar feel to that of Bourbon Street in New Orleans, yet not quite as crazy). Penthouse on Long was one of the strangest hostels I’ve stayed in, yet the beds were comfy and clean and the staff was very helpful.
Saturday: Old Biscuit Mill (10am-1:30pm); bike ride & beers along the promenade with local friend (2pm-7:30pm); quick dinner at Café on Long and out on the town with local friends (8:30pm-late)
My friend Daniela was in Cape Town about a week and a half prior to us and sent me a message saying we had to check out The Old Biscuit Mill on a Saturday (9am-2pm) while in Cape Town. The Old Biscuit Mill, located in Woodstock, is an adorable local market with delicious local food vendors, craft beers, ciders, local wines and some of the cutest shopping (it’s a good thing I didn’t have room in my bag because I could’ve spent a small fortune). We strolled through sampling tasty treats before settling on our sandwiches. I enjoyed two macaroons and a pear cider for dessert. Danielle went with the brownie and wine. Holy deliciousness!!
After The Old Biscuit Mill, Jean picked us up and took us down to the promenade where we rented bikes and went for an afternoon cruise, stopping along the way at a few restaurants to enjoy a local beer, or two. (Jack Black, my new fav!)
To conclude the night, we met up with more of Allan’s friends – Jon, Nick, Dene and Andy and went out on the town. The Dubliner shut down night one.
Sunday: Lunch at the Waterfront with college friend Doug (in town for work; excellent coincidence!) (12:30pm-4:30pm); Sunday Summer Concert Series at Kirstenbosch Gardens with local friend Brian, followed by beers and dinner (5:30pm-10:30pm)
Monday: Holiday movie day on the couch with our new hostel friend Joe – Love Actually (3pm-6pm) (original plan was Table Mountain hike but was switched to Tuesday when we woke up to cloudy, rainy weather); Lady Gaga concert courtesy of Jon (8pm-11pm); post-concert robberies one and two, leading to a night out and The Dubliner, shut down part two. (11pm-5:30am)
Wednesday: Cape of Good Hope, Cape Town and Simon’s Town drive (11am-8pm) ** Make sure to stop and feed the ostriches on the way down!
South Africa is known for its delicious wines, specifically the Pinotage which is a hybrid grape unique to South Africa. A wine tour is a must and African Story ran an excellent tour (approximately R535).
Be Careful: We had an early morning ATM scam (robbery #3) where two guys approached us acting like strangers, both saying Danielle didn’t close out her transaction (even though she had her card and cash) and she needed to put back in the card so he could use the machine. Amidst all the confusion, the two guys stole her card and cleaned out the money she had in her account. Thank goodness for Charles Schwab who returned the money a few days later. And the African Story’s owner was extremely sweet and picked us up since we were late and took us to meet our tour group. This is a common scam among tourists. One of the guys in our wine tour had it happen to him the day before, but luckily, they didn’t get his card.
Friday: Great White Ecoventures shark cage diving in Gansbaai (5:30am-4:30pm); night out in Cape Town (7:30pm-late)
Cage diving is spectacular!! If you’re in Cape Town, you must do it. We went to Gansbaai because in the summer time it’s better there versus False Bay (near Simon’s Town). Check out the video of the great white that wanted to be in the cage with us (approximately R1200).
After cage diving, we met up with Jon, Nick and Dene again and really painted the town red for our last night in Cape Town. We may have shut down the bar that shall not be named for the third time… (#shameful) Oh, and these are Jon’s pictures as there were more fun pictures from the night but my small Sony camera got stolen out of my purse (robbery #4). It’s almost funny typing this…almost.
Saturday: Old Biscuit Mill round 2 (10am-3pm); dropped off at airport for flight to Durban (3:45pm)
Since we had a later afternoon flight to Durban and The Old Biscuit Mill was so good, we decided to go back! This time we took our friends Jon and Nick with us. It was a wonderful afternoon and equally as delicious! Oh, and yes for those eagle eyes, I did in fact where the same shirt to The Old Biscuit Mill two weeks in a row. I didn’t just eat two sandwiches in one day (although they were that good…). Silly backpackers wardrobe. Ha!
Jon and Nick dropped us at the airport for our flight to Durban and we were very sad to leave Cape Town!