Just so you know, South Africa was a detour from my original plan. This crazy endeavor of traveling around the world stemmed from a dream to go to Costa Rica, practice a little Español and surf. The surfing torch I carry burns deep within my SURF-as soul. I grew up visiting SoCal multiple times a year and always dreaming about being a totally rad, totally chill, hang-10 surfer. Instead, I made due with skiing the fresh powder in the Rockies and never really had my way with a long board.
I woke up one morning after an unseasonably cold night late in the summer and realized that traveling through Eastern Europe at the end of November early/ December might be a very frigid and unpleasant experience. Since the world was literally my oyster, I looked at the map to see where it would be HOT at the end of November. I honed in on South Africa where I knew it would be almost summer and outdoor activity would be plenty. Once safari and sun were on my radar I was stoked on South Africa. What I didn’t realize (until I went shark diving) and what I’m pretty sure they don’t advertise is that while the weather in South Africa may be really nice the water is REALLY f’in cold. I’m not talking cold like you jump into a pool and it’s a bit of a shock, I’m talking freeze your balls off if you’re not wearing a wet suit cold. My toes and fingers froze after 30 minutes in the 10 degree Celsius (you do the math) water but my smile never faded for the 2-hour lesson. I took another lesson a few days later with the www.stokedsurfschool.com and by the end of the day I was hanging 10 and hangin’ with my instructor at the local surf beach, Glen Cove in Camps Bay. It was the most gorgeous day they had in a while according to the locals; we stayed on the beach and when we got really hot we cooled off instantly with a very quick dip in the ocean. We headed to Dizzy’s, the local’s spot, for après surf and the sunset. Not only did I ride in a few waves but also I experienced the local scene with SJ and her friends; really cool people with a great surfer vibe.
In a past life, pre-foot injury and pre-living in NYC, hiking was one of my favorite activities. I knew before I arrived in Cape Town that I wanted to hike to the top of the famous Table Mountain. However, the first rule of safety is NEVER go alone, especially when you’ve been warned against muggers and other shady people lurking to strike against innocent and sweet girls like me. I waited for not only another fellow backpacker who was keen to hike but I also waited for the finicky Cape Town weather to cooperate. Besides the notoriously strong winds, sometimes gale force, there is a crazy weather phenomenon that happens over Table Mountain called a tablecloth. I don’t know the exact meteorology explanation but I do know that clouds, serious clouds, get stuck hanging over the mountain causing it to give the appearance of a tablecloth while the rest of the city is clear and sunny. Needless to say, hiking was not easy, and eventually I had to settle for taking the very expensive cable car up on my very last day. It was pure comedy as well; of all the days I was there it was possibly the WORST day to go. The whole city was clouded over and rainy; once we got to the top we had a minimal view for about 3 minutes. Then we couldn’t see shit, it was cold, rainy, windy and did I mention we couldn’t see shit?! Luckily, we had hiked to the top of the Lions Head Mountain on another half way decent day and got an awesome view of the city and some great views of Table Mountain. In case you’re wondering, my foot is doing excellently and I’ve been a walking machine.