My sister lived in South Africa for a couple years. She always told me how much I would love the place. I believed her, but I never made it a point to visit. I wish I had gone sooner.
Mit and I finally made it to Cape Town after wasting hours in Johannesburg and Livingstone. The inefficiency and idiocy of the British Airways workers is absolutely astounding. I won’t dwell on it much longer. But they have officially received two strikes. One more and I will never fly with them again. Because of the strike we were too late to attend the wedding party at Ferryman’s that night. Turns out, that this is a venue that is next to a brewery. Once I found that out, I was in quite the foul mood.
After being swindled by a cab driver (make sure to negotiate the price up front with these snakes) we finally made it to the Protea Fire and Ice! Hotel. Protea had just been acquired by Marriott, so I was excited to see how they were. The location for Fire and Ice seemed amazing, and we had booked one of the 2 BR 2 BA apartment lofts. They are a little more pricey but so worth it!
We walked into the lobby and it was slammed with a bus-full of elderly tourists. We still had a glimmer of hope that we could meet up with the wedding crew on the town. The bellhop escorted us to the adjacent building for our room. Upon walking in, something seemed wrong. As Mit and I ascended the stairs, we noticed that there was only one bed. This was the last straw. Back to the lobby we headed. We were informed that even though they had confirmed a two bedroom, they had switched us last minute to a one bedroom. They were fully booked, along with all other Protea locations. So after exhausting all options and 3 hours, we settled on a single room in addition to the loft for that night.
Then next morning, we woke up and had breakfast. I was beyond thrilled for the day: we were heading to the Cheetah Outreach and Triggerfish Brewery. Cats and Beer… can there be a better combo? We picked up Antoine and Dorothy and made the drive. It was only 40 minutes or so before we were in the presence of the fastest land mammal. The cheetahs were so soft and sweet.
I loved how they purr. It is so cool to hear in person. After hanging with the cheetahs, we visited the caracal and the servals. Finally, it was our chance to play with Sebastian the meerkat. I could finally complete my Lion King collection.
After the eventful morning, we walked around the street to Triggerfish. The brewery had a farmhouse feel to it. The beer flowed, and it was tasty. The food was delicious. They had these atomically hot chicken wings which made the cold beer even more perfect.
After long delays we finally got an Uber out to us. IF you do go out this way, arrange a ride. It is way easier. Making it back, the hotel had finally gotten us our room, correctly. This place was great. I was glad we had picked it. It turned out that one of my friends from college, Meg, is actually living in Cape Town. Thank you for the heads up, Facebook. I reached out and we set it up to have some dinner. I went to concierge to help set up plans and arrangements. I was told that they would take care of it. So it was naptime. Several hours passed without any notification about reservations, so I headed back to check in on progress. Turns out, they hadn’t even called any restaurant yet. I was livid. I then got to meet the General Manager, JB. He was a level headed gentleman who knew of our current issues. He took the time out of his schedule to help find a restaurant for us. Kudos to you for great conflict resolution. It was interesting though. He informed me that when he noticed two guys renting the loft, they needed the two bedroom for another guest and assumed that we were together. Apparently, Fire and Ice! Is considered one of the most progressive hotels in the LBGTQ community, and he was trying to do us a favour. Okay? I guess that is nice.
She was a sight for sore eyes. It always baffles me how small the world really is these days. We met up at Charcoal for a perfectly cooked and curated meal. The location is homey and comfortable. I hear the bathroom is great for a quick recharge nap too. We then hit up The Orphanage Cocktail Emporium. This place could make a great mixed drink. I was hoping to hit up the legendary Long Street, but it was getting too late. Meg ran off home, and I went back to the loft. It had been an excellent day.
Saturday finally arrived. The reason for this whole trip. We relaxed by the pool for a couple hours, then got ready for the wedding. The church was a ways north, but the scenery en route was beautiful. Marianne and Pieter exchanged vows in front of crowd of family and friends in a lovely ceremony.
Afterwards, we took pictures then headed back to the Waterfront for the reception at the One & Only. First, it was drinks on the patio. The weather could not have been more perfect. Light breezes and sunshine danced playfully on the water, while we enjoyed local refreshments and conversation. After a little while, we were led into the reception hall. The decorations were beautiful. It was such a wonderful gathering of people. Everyone was in good spirits and talking. The dancefloor was slowly and surely calling our names. Dinner pushed on and the drinks kept flowing. We heard speeches from loved ones and took our pictures. Once the music came on, we were ready to let loose. I had seen parts of this crowd in social settings before, so I was excited to mix it all together. The night continued as I expected. Mit dropped his famous/infamous dance maneuver. The Knights wowed the crowd with their moves. Antoine was cool in his fedora. I crushed a bottle or two of Amarula. This was a great reception.
After the party, we wanted to keep it going, so we grabbed a cab and headed to Long St. First stop was BEERHOUSE. I had heard that they had the best beer list in the city. I forced Antoine and Mit to try a bunch of beer that was challenging to say the least. But the night was going in an awesome direction. My friend Meg and I chatted, and she came by with some friends. It was high time to kick the night up a notch, so we continued to another establishment. It was fun to hang out with Meg again. It felt like old college days. The story gets a little hazy at this point, but I know I met some awesome locals. We ended up staying up way too late.
As the alarm on my phone went on and on for 30 minutes, I sprung from bed realizing I was about to be late for our Cape of Good Hope tour. Shoot! Wake up. Clothes from last night, back on. Grab camera. Dang it, my phone is going to die. Water? Okay, this is warm, but it works. Out the door.
I am not a fan of riding in cars or buses, so you can just imagine the level of hell that I was experiencing this AM. But I wasn’t going to let that mess this tour up. Paul seemed like a chipper, adventurous guy, which would normally be awesome. This morning, it added to my pain. I had set the tour up through PG Tops after talking with several groups in the area. Bianca really helped me with this whole process. I recommend reaching out to them if you visit Cape Town. Dorothy, Antoine, Mit, Khalil, and I were going to do some sightseeing!
The first stop was to meet Bonnie and Clyde, the ostriches. These guys aren’t playing around when they tell you that these giant birds are dangerous. They are curious and mischievous and strong. Their beaks hurt. After feeding them, we kept cruising along.
We finally made it to the cape in what seemed to be an eternity. It was windy, but absolutely beautiful. All the way Paul told us stories about the culture and history of the area. It was very nice. The views were breath-taking and awe-inspiring.
After a quick beer to start the day back up, we continued to Boulder Beach. It was finally time to see the penguins. I always thought penguins only lived in the South Pole and Madagascar. But apparently, I was ill-informed. They live outside Cape Town as well. Such cool little gentlemen creatures. I love their tuxedos. Ha. We had a nice lunch by the water, then grabbed our stuff and continued. The last stop was the Groot Constantia Winery. I am not a big wine person, but this was a great stop. I was finally turning the corner, and the grape juice helped with the final push. The wine was delicious.
From there, we had Paul take us directly to Marianne and Pieter’s Spit Braai (read South African BBQ). Everyone from the wedding was there. It is always fun to talk to Sandra and Freddie and of course the whole Knight family. I liked that I got to talk with Natasha before she headed back to Boston. The food was so tasty. It was just what I needed after the day I had.
That night, I decided to chill and do my own thing. Then I got a text from the girl I had met the night before. I mean, I couldn’t waste my last night in Cape Town, could I? I headed back to Long Street to hit up The Dubliner. This place was a real dive. But the prices were ridiculous. Some of the whiskeys were so well priced, I actually thought when it said 90 it was the USD, but nope it was in Rand. Thank you Exchange Rates. I got to know the girls better and learn about the Afrikaans culture. The night went well into the morning, and I knew it would wear into the next day. But it was worth it.
Our last day finally arrived. We had to roll out. Ultimately, I am so stoked that I extended my trip. Cape Town proved itself to be one of the most fun destinations I have ever been.
All in all, I am so glad that I was able to take this journey through Africa. I realize there are problems on that continent, but there are problems all around the world. To restrict your adventures and journeys based on rumours and fear tactics is no way to live life. Obviously, be cautious and protect yourself, but don’t let the misguided ramblings of others deter you from your goals.