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Monday, May 12, 2014

African Adventure 2014 - Cape Town Day 1

Upon exiting customs, we were greeted by our driver, "Dr. Love" as he called himself. He mentioned that despite it being rush hour, we should be able to make good time to our hotel since he brought the van. In Cape Town, there are lanes on the highway designated for vehicles that seat 9 or more people.

Correction: 9 seats or more, because many would cram loads of people into the back of pick-up trucks along with various other things.

As we approached Cape Town, Dr. Love answered questions about the city and culture, while pointing out sites of note that we might be interested in exploring further. The closer we get to our final destination of Camps Bay, the more twisting and narrow the roads became. While we knew that people drove on the other side of the road, we had not anticipated the chaos that is driving the streets of Cape Town. Lanes were super narrow and the traffic lines appeared to be more guidelines than actual rules, with people passing others in both directions while maneuvering around parked cars. On more than one occasion, it appeared that Kari was going to scream in fear, as the blood completely drained from her face. Dr. Love and Ben just laughed a little the nervousness.

Before we knew it, we were at our hotel for our stay in Cape Town, Primi Royal. Primi Royal, actually in Camps Bay, is located only a couple blocks from the beach and the Atlantic Ocean. Our arrival at the hotel, at approximately 9am, was much before check-in, so we dropped our bags with Liberty and signed some paper work at the front desk.

While with Liberty at the front desk, we inquired about recommendations in the area, how to schedule a tour to Cape Point and how to schedule a shark cage diving experience. Then we went to change in the hotel bathroom before heading out into Camps Bay to kill time until we could officially check-in to our room.

Camps Bay is a small coastal town near Cape Town, nestled on the Atlantic Ocean and surrounded by mountains. Lions Head is to the North, Table Mountain to the East and the 12 Apostles to the Southeast. With the beaches, palm trees, mountains, restaurants and shops, it is not a scene that one expects when picturing Africa. With many hours to enjoy before we could clean up, we strolled along the beach, occasionally visiting the shops. We eventually stumbled upon some boulders on the beach and climbed to the top for the views. The top of the boulder was warm and fairly smooth. We soon drifted into dream land with the fresh sea breeze gently blowing across us and the sounds of the waves gently breaking on the rocks below. Kari, not wanting Ben to burn too badly, woke him from his slumber to continue our stroll along the beach. Being super tired, Ben protested, requesting the opportunity to sleep some more. Not wanting to mess up the work spent modifying internal clocks, Kari emphatically said that we could not sleep anymore.

Noting that it was approaching lunch time, we set off to find food. On the way to find food, a street vendor stopped us to look at his table and wooden wares. It was a beautiful table, so we decided to buy it, sparking the first of many shopping experiences. We soon found a restaurant on the beach to eat lunch. It was pretty good, considering we were still getting used to the food Kari had an interesting pizza and Ben had a burger.

After lunch, we went back to the hotel to get into our room and clean up. Two days without showering and sitting on planes in basically the same clothes is no fun. When we got back to the hotel, we were told our shark cage diving was confirmed and that we were on the early boat with a 4am departure from the hotel.


Oh well. Our clocks had not adjusted yet.

The room was incredible. Huge sitting area; large canopy bed; massive bathroom with shower, soaker tub, dual sinks and a skylight; and a large wrap-around balcony with views of Lion's Head and the Atlantic Ocean. Absolutely stunning! We cleaned up and took a quick nap before continuing with our evening. We were told that the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront was really cool, so we went there for dinner on the wharf and do a bit of shopping. The food was delicious and a live band was planning at the Quay Four Tavern. Ben got a spatchcock chicken and Kari had a burger. Look who was the adventurous one now!

After dinner, it was back to the hotel to try to get some sleep before our early morning shark cage dive. But first, we skyped with Chelsea to let her know that was our best form of communication if she could forward it onto the parents. Then onto some much desired sleep after 3 nights with less than 4 hours of "sleep" a night.

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