Working 40-hour workweeks, I definitely understand the hype of the weekend. With so many things to do in Cape Town, I have found myself seriously limited by the early sunsets and my after-work exhaustion. Since the sun sets at 5:45, and walking alone or after dark are not advised, my evenings have been spent grocery shopping, cooking, reading, relaxing, and dreading the next work day. The second I was out of work on Friday I was ready to explore.
The weather in Cape Town is also a huge inhibiting factor. Saturday it rained on and off so taking a hike or making any real moves for the day was not possible. I always love lazy Saturdays, but I was ready to see South Africa. We finally spotted a break in the sky and hopped into cabs headed to Muizenberg. Muizenberg is a town down the coast from central Cape Town on the Indian Ocean. As opposed to the frigid Atlantic on one side of the Cape Peninsula, the Indian Ocean is warm and teeming with surfers and swimmers. Muizenberg’s main attraction is the sandy beaches for surfers, and the fish and chips for those of us less adventurous. We had a nice time learning about how the shark spotting works, with different colored flags based on sightings and visibility in the water. The surfing looked like a lot of fun, as I’d never really seen it done before, so who knows, I might even be back for a surfing lesson later this winter.
Taking advantage of the first full, sunny day since my arrival in Cape Town, I put on my hiking shoes and summited Devils Peak. Mountains surround the city of Cape Town. Table Mountain is one, which I visited with my family. Signal hill, Lions Head, the Twelve Apostles, and Devils Peak make the rest of the surrounding mountains. With a few other students on the program, we set off by taxi to the trailhead, and began the assent. Easy at first, the trail became steep and uneven. Out of breath and scrambling boulders by the end, we finally made it to the peak. From the top we were rewarded with a view of both sides of the Cape Peninsula, the Indian and the Atlantic, Table Mountain, and the city that extends for miles. Evidentially Devils Peak is the most strenuous hike of all, recommended for expert hikers, which my legs will surely attest to.
Rewarding myself for the first piece of physical activity in months, I went to the Eastern Food Bazaar for lunch/dinner. This place is so fabulous I feel a need to mention it. For 35 rand, or around $3.50 you have your choice heaping portions numerous Eastern food dishes, from falafel to chicken tikka marsala. I have found that food here is much cheaper than in the States. With the status of the Rand as of late, my meager savings are able to stretch infinitely further than during my last experience abroad.