I think I have found the home to the indulgent kindred spirit that lives within me (I say “lives within me”, but we all know it’s very flippin apparent to the outside world that I love a good bit of steak and a good glass of wine…but you know what I’m saying 😉 ).
I knew that coming from India to Africa my meat intake was going to jump, and I’m not guna lie – it was something I was very much looking forward to! What I hadn’t anticipated on however, was just how GOOD that food was going to be. Maybe I’m lucky, maybe the friends that I met here are just phenomenal at what they do, either way I’m not too bothered, point is – ya’ll cook an amazing steak!
My week in South Africa has mainly been about meeting new friends, and enjoying good food and good wine with them. Maybe I should have done a bit more sightseeing…but, well, I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned before that’s never really my favourite thing to do – but I knew what experiences I wanted to get from my time here, as do we all when we chose to travel to a particular destination, and so that’s what I focused on…
My first couple of days in Cape Town was spent predominantly trying to get over the two day journey I’d had from Delhi, and the cold I had picked up along the way (nice timing on that one!). After that I was picked up by some friends who were nice enough to let me gatecrash on their weekend away to west coast national park, roughly about a two hour drive outside of Cape Town along the west cape. Guys, if you want some real natural beauty, and peaceful surroundings – you gotta check this place out! Stunning.
Sitting overlooking the lagoon, listening to some good 80’s rock ballads (yes I said “good” – you know you love them!) drinking some delicious wine, taking in the mouth watering smells coming from the braai, and talking with friends – it was a real pinch me moment! You know what I mean by that? When you just sort of stop for a moment, suddenly very aware of how incredible it feels to be ‘right here, right now’ – and so you just sit/stand/float, whatever, and take it all in. You know that everything surrounding you needs to be absorbed and appreciated, because one day you’ll look back and want to remember the way you felt at that moment; the smells, the noises, the temperature of the breeze, you name it. When you travel a lot it’s easy to take everything that we see and do for granted, but once in a while we’ll be stopped in our tracks and we’ll have a real ‘pinch me moment!’
So anyway, yes, scrumptious wine, perfectly cooked steak, and new friends… what more could I have wanted from my time in the Capes.
Back to Cape Town for one last day before heading over to Stellenbosch – oh you know what I’m going to Stellenbosch for!
I booked myself a backpackers bus to take me there, R300 one way – approximately £15. Not the cheapest, but extremely easy. I booked it from the hostel I was staying in, ‘Ashanti Gardens’ and had a door to door service. It’s pretty much one of the only options to get between Cape Town and Stellenbosch, other than a train, which I’m not entirely sure on the costs of that I’m afraid folks.
I’ve never experienced a situation yet on my travels where I have had to forego something due to travelling solo – until I came to Cape Town. It’s nothing major, but just something you may want to know if you stumble across these parts one day on your travels – basically I had wanted to hike up Lion’s Head, not a particular difficult hike, takes about an hour to get up there. A few people had warned me not to go by myself, but feeling like I wanted to do it anyway I head out to go – however when I mentioned it again to the receptionist that I planned to hike up there just me, she practically told me ‘No! Don’t do it!’ Perhaps she was being over cautious, I’m not sure – but in that moment I thought this is not my country, I don’t want to assume something out of arrogance, and so I decided to listen to the advice. If I had been there another day it would have been easy to have asked around the hostel and found some people to go with the following day, but my time had run out, therefore climbing Lion’s Head, for me, was not to be.
Don’t be put off by this, quite possibly I would have been absolutely fine, but my advice to you would be to just put the feelers out around the hostel and with fellow travellers, and you’ll easily find someone you can tag along with – no dramas, and you’ll have peace of mind of your safety.
So, the next day, I was picked up by the friendly driver of Backpackers Bus, and was dropped off at my hostel in Stellenbosch.
Part 2 of what had now become my very own tour of self-indulgence 🙂
Firstly, let me just say, the scenery…wow! Mountains, and vineyards, and fields – it’s honestly such a unique landscape.
My first afternoon, I was picked up and we went to one of the nearby vineyards for a wine tasting – only R50 guys (approx. £2.50), and for that we got about 8 tastings of wine, 1 sweet wine and 1 brandy … Yup..I drank brandy! Well…it was included in the cost, was I meant to NOT drink it?? I’m sorry I just don’t do that 😉 ). You’ll also get quite a good education about the making of wine and the different tastes to each grape. I know that I am really a Sauvignon Blanc girl, the taste to me is incredible – but did you know that if you add a touch of a Semilon that it takes away some of the acidity? No! Neither did I! And you know what else…they were bloody right!
There you go…a bit of a wine education there…from me, to you 😉 – well actually it’s from this guy….
The next day I decided to join a half day wine tour; lunch, two wine tastings, and a cheese tasting – R450, which is about £22.50. It might seem a bit steep when it’s only R50 for a tasting, but with that you’ll also get pick up and drop off from your accommodation, and obviously you’re driven around the areas which can be a fair distance away. Alternatively you could get a hop on hop off bus for R250, but then you need to buy the tastings along your way, and food – so the cost will equate to the same as jumping onto a tour. Plus…if you’re travelling alone it’s a nice way to meet some people for the day – I had a great laugh with our group.
Oh…you also get a giant glass of wine with your lunch! Sweet!
So that pretty much comes to the end of my time in South Africa. The next day I was packed and ready for my journey to Namibia, an Intercape sleeper bus from Stellenbosch to Windhoek – only 24 hours guys, ain’t no biggie! haha.
I got everything that I had hoped for from my short time in South Africa, and I also got to make a few new friends along the way, which of course just makes everything all the more Lekker!! 😉
I wonder what my time here in Namibia will bring…I’ll let ya know soon 😉