Cape Town, Knysna, Jeffreys Bay
22.08.2011 - 29.09.2011
I have just arrived at Jeffrey’s Bay, checked into my ocean view room at the Island Vibe and am listening to the waves crashing. Not bad for about $15 a night. Plus they do free activities here, tomorrow is a tour through the nearby township which should be interesting and I’m sure eye opening. And I’ve booked surf lessons for Tuesday, which I am sure won’t be warm but gotta test my skills at the home of the ‘best right hand point break on the planet’….whatever that means. Hopefully something to do with surfing in the whitewash. And hopefully the white pointers are all busy at the cage dive. Far away.
It is nice to be doing things on my own for a change, and the Bazbus is very convenient as we get picked up and dropped off at the door of the hostel and is a good way to meet people. Still have to work on picking up this dam backpack though, and packing…especially now that I bought this stupid big vuvuzela which wouldn’t fit in the box I sent home and doesn’t fit in the bag. I am determined to get it home though. I really enjoyed Cape Town but it was a bit more expensive than what I have been used to so good to finally move on after 10 days there. Also to have a few rainy days where I did absolutely nothing was really nice. Even got in an episode of Oprah and watched some news. As sad as all the tour goodbyes were, it was nice when everyone on the trip had left so no more eating out, just my cup-a-soup and salad sandwich diet.
Wednesday was a nice day so I waited for the ‘table cloth’ to clear from Table Mountain and then got the cable car up to the top, as it was too late in the afternoon to hike it (bummer). The views from the top are stunning, both sides of the mountain. I do love how it looks though when there is cloud covering the top. It’s very beautiful and such a pretty backdrop to the city. Thursday I did the Hop on Hop off bus around the beaches and city which was a nice drive and then went to the Slave Lodge, which used to be where the slaves were kept before being auctioned. That was an interesting place, in the 1700’s there were more slaves than free people in the Cape! Also did the Museum of SA…..not much of a museum person I don’t think. Friday I did a tour of the Castle of Good Hope, and old fort from….a long time ago. That was ok, but then went to the District Six Museum which was really interesting and sad. District Six was an area in Cape Town which had been a very close community and blend of cultures until it was declared a ‘whites only’ zone and residents were forced out of their homes to townships around the Cape Flats. The area was then completely demolished. District Six today even I could tell wasn’t the best area to be walking around, apparently especially around the museum area. While waiting for my taxi this homeless lady set up her blanket on the steps of the museum, and then tried to fight any people going past (In between her drug deals). When a policeman came over and told her if she wasn’t gone in 5 minutes he’d do something about it, she moved and then came back to annoy him. …that taxi couldn’t have been any slower arriving. There was a police car parked on just about every street that I saw in the area. You’re never alone walking down a street in Cape Town either – there are these parking guys who you have to tip each time you park and so they help you get in and out of the spot, and keep an eye on the cars. There are several on each street, and then there are all of the people selling The Big Issue magazine, a couple at each set of lights. Pretty good having these jobs created though.
Yesterday I got the Bazbus in the morning for the 7 hour drive to Knysna. There are huge areas of tin shacks lining the highway out of Cape Town, and all the drives we did around the coast while there you can see the huge contrast – beautiful beachfront or mountain view homes and then 5 minutes out of the town is the township where the hills are dotted with shacks.
As we drove up the coast we saw a whale at one of the beaches, in pretty close to the shore too. Hope to do a whale watching cruise at some point. Knysna reminds me of the town in the Truman Show, with neat white houses and perfectly manicured lawns. It is on a lagoon, so when I arrived in the afternoon I got a Tuk Tuk – how very Asia – with an English couple from the hostel around the heads which was a really nice drive and had a few viewing stops. Also crashed a couple of weddings, just quietly chugging in in our musical Tuk Tuk and drawing the attention away from the bride. I spent the next day down at the waterfront just having a read and then in the afternoon got the Bazbus to Jeffrey’s Bay. I planned to have 2 nights here but I have a feeling I am going to hate leaving.