After an evening arrival in Cape Town (at the end of July) and a bit of searching, I found perhaps the loudest hostel of all time. The old wooden building housed a bar directly beneath the dorm accommodation. Luckily, I was quite tired from travel and had no trouble drowning out the noise; dreaming about my Table Mountain mission for the next morning.
After fueling up at Spar, I happened to run into a handful of guys about to go hike Table Mountain. Sizing them up, it seemed like they would make it. There were a couple of guys from Holland, a South Korean, another guy and an Egyptian. As were were about to grab a taxi, one of the guys reminded everyone of a bet from the night before…. So, we held off on the taxi to make our way to the Tattoo/Piercing shop. No joke. Three of the guys got either new piercings or stretches for their ears. With this out of the way, we crammed in the taxi and headed up. The hike we chose was full of tourists and had easy terrain, making great time. The views are awesome. The sheer cliffs above the city provide for a dramatic vantage point! On the top clouds started to roll in and we headed down. Once back in the descent gulley I bid the guys good-bye and booked it down the mountain at full speed; had to add some excitement.
After hitching for about 20 minutes, I was picked up by a van full of American volunteers, that we had passed earlier in the hike, and I got a ride all the way back to town. Once back, I had several missions that would have been made easier with a phone. Alas, inferior internet with emails and skype would have to do… I made efforts to coordinate a ride to up to Rocklands for the next morning, researched refunding a bus ticket and plans to meet up with Ed later in the evening. I got everything accomplished, but there were some grey areas:
- I needed a sleeping bag or blanket to camp for my first three days in Rocklands.
-All the shops were closed already.
- I had a small window, the following morning, to meet my ride to Rocklands. If I missed it, I would have to wait until 6pm.
I decided to sort it in the morning and met up with Ed, whom we met in Turkey, for some burgers and drinks. He gave a mini tour. Over the aforementioned burgers with his buddies I got a lot of insight into the city and the way of life in Cape Town.
The following morning I was up bright and early – ready to roll. First mission: I hoofed it down to the bus station and refunded my ticket in person. On the way back, I stopped at Game (a bad attempt at Wal-Mart or Super Target. Rushing around as if I were on a shopping spree, I snatched up an African print blanket, two painting tarps and some gummy worms… this would have to do for shelter for three days until the rest of the Australians arrived and I had a house. Booked back to the hostel, grabbed my stuff. It was now 9:49a and I had to be to the airport by 10:30a to be within my ride window. Quick internet café to send two messages and more FAST walking through the almost empty streets. At the bus station, I was just in time to get the shuttle to the airport! FAST walking and I arrived at the meeting point (Europcar) less than 10 minutes behind schedule. Now all I had to do was profile people walking in to the rental car desk to see if they looked like climbers. Specifically, one named Steve.
…To Be Continued…