4 March 2007
How to experience Cape Town in ten days
I have terrific friends. Somehow, inbetween being a doctor and an archaeologist, they managed to take me on a ten day itinerary crammed to the brim with beauty and excitement. In just over a week, I managed to: have margaritas and chilli poppers at Fat Cactus; eat breakfast at Arnold's on Kloof Street, jive to Coda and Goldfish performing at the Gay Pride street party; get sunburned and sloshed on Pimm's on the roof of SoHo's; take thousands of touristy photographs at the V & A Waterfront; enjoy a Climax at Quay Four (it's a boozed-up milkshake, silly); see Wendy get unconsentingly fondled at Café Caprice in Camps Bay; drive to Darling through swathes of coastal fynbos; discover a pink thresher and a Victorian tie made of feathers at the Darling Museum; feel overwhelmed by the amount of Boere kitsch on display at Evita se Perron; make Wendy stop in the middle of the highway so that I can take photographs of the pylons at Koeberg and feel like a spy; have a picnic on the beach at Clifton while the sun sets over the Atlantic; experience campus life at UCT; make the mistake of hiking up to Rhodes Memorial with the morning sun beating down; experience horticultural delirium at Kirstenbosch; make the mistake of taking Wendy on a hike halfway up Skeleton Gorge without proper footgear or, for that matter, any water; enter the Vaulted Chapel of Commerce that is Canal Walk for a post-workout smoothie and to catch the overly sentimental and annoyingly titled The Pursuit of Happyness; have gourmet pizza in the gorgeous Diva Caffe in Observatory; fall in love with the creepy displays in the S.A. Museum; be disappointed by the temporary exhibitions at the National Gallery; not finish a footlong in Mr. Pickwick's Deli in Long Street; go up on Table Mountain during perfect conditions for sightseeing; find more wild orchids than I've ever seen in my life; go down the cable car after dark with a bunch of tourists singing Lean on Me all the way; visit funky antique shops and relax at the Brass Bell in Kalk Bay; feel sorry for the penguins harassed by bathers at Boulders; get my feet wet in the tidal pools at Water's Edge, the cleanest beach in Africa; hike up to the old lighthouse at Cape Point, only to discover a new lighthouse even further out to sea to hike to; spend ages trying to find the Camel Rock at Scarborough to keep the family tradition of photographs in front of it alive; fork out R23,00 to drive around Chapman's Peak at sunset (definitely worth it); fall in love with the food and in lust with the serving staff at Chef Pon's Asian Kitchen; walk around the old part of Stellenbosch; buy olives infused with lemon and chilli at The Olive Tree; have the meaning of every stained glass window in the Moederkerk explained to me while walking over the graves of the wealthy; go to African Terroir so that Wendy can buy a wine bottle with a label for her collection; eat grapes off the vine; marvel at the smooth granite of Paarlberg beyond the vineyards of Laborie; meet interesting people during a fondue evening; sleep late; do a tour of each of the five bastions of the Castle of Good Hope (Buuren, Leerdam, Oranje, Nassau, Katzenellenbogen, hah!); be grossed out by chewing gum art, be puzzled by the story of Saartje Baartman told through interpretive dance, get sloshed Bear Expression style and perve over luscious furniture at Design Indaba; retire to Lola's in Long Street with Karen for dinner; be pestered by a street urchin; have a great Rob Roy at OrchardBank; go to Franschhoek for more wine at Glen Carlou; Boschendal and Allée Bleue; catch the Sunday concert at Kirstenbosch featuring Allou April; watch The Last King of Scotland from too close too the screen at the Labia Theatre; do a nostalgic, lazy tour of False Bay, taking in Strand, Melkbaai, Gordon's Bay, Bikini Beach, Kogel Bay, The Steenbras River Mouth, Rooiels, Pringle Bay and Cape Hangklip; have an awesome Oscar night with Twanji; go to the Lookout in Hout Bay; do a final ocean drive through Bantry Bay, Sea Point and Three Anchor Bay, where Ingrid Jonker drowned herself all those years ago; wave goodbye at the airport. Thanks guys, that was so much fun. I loved every second.