Cape Town is the end of the road for half of the people I have been travelling with for the past two months. There are so many people I am going to miss, and so many people I am going to see in the future… without our resident funny man Chris or Tash’s famous laugh or Isabel’s hugs, the trip just isn’t going to be the same. It does mean more space in the truck for the rest of us though!
Travelling overland is like being thrown into a pressure cooker. Life is condensed into a tiny space, where personalities jostle and collide. Our experiences – these new, fabulous, unique experiences – are shared with each other. Life is surreal when you travel; it is reality the way we wish reality to be. It is why so many people find it addictive. It is also why some people can’t wait to get home and back to the regular. There is something highly charged and magnified about life right now. Senses are heightened. Emotions. It is easier than life back home. It is much more difficult than life back home. Travelling is always a challenge, and that’s why I love it.
Cape Town weather has been somewhat of a disappointment, but it improved remarkably for today. Trying to cram everything that this city has to offer within two and a half days is impossible. We tried. On the first day, as it poured with rain, I made my way to the District Six museum. I have never been to a place like this before – a museum that is not designed for visitors but for the people who actually lived through these events. This was not a museum of facts, but a museum of life – people’s life stories were plastered up on the walls next to giant murals of a thriving corner of the city that existed 50 years ago – but does not exist now.
The next day I took a hop-on, hop-off bus around the city to see the best of Cape Town. Sarah and Mike were also aboard. It took us around to District Six itself and allowed a glimpse of the reality the museum had told me about. It was scary to compare the grassy hills to the bustling streets that were once there. The bus took us up to the Table mountain lower cable car station, but due to high winds we were unable to ascend. Then back through Camps Bay and Clifton’s Bay – truly spectacular parts of the city that I wouldn’t have glimpsed without taking the bus.
Today, I pulled the curtains open to sunshine streaming into the room. Finally! After breakfast on the balcony outside my room, overlooking Long Street, Sarah and I ventured down to the train station to head to Boulder’s Beach – the home of the penguins. One train, one bus and a minicab later, we arrived to the most gorgeous of beaches and crystal clear turquoise water. We yearned to swim but we were short on time – we had left Cape Town just in time to see cable cars start their climb up the mountain! But by the time we got up there, once again it had closed due to high winds. We will try again tomorrow morning, before the truck leaves.
Now I am about to head to Robben Island, and I am back down at the Victoria and Albert Waterfront. The waterfront is my favourite spot in the entire city – and so far I have three pictures of the exact same spot (day one – no table mountain visible, day two – table mountain visible against a grey sky, day three – beautiful sunshine behind table mountain!) It has been lovely to relax for a few days, and terribly sad to say goodbye to everyone. How can you feel like you’ve lost so much when you’ve only known people for two months?
Australia is fast creeping up on us… only two weeks now to the next part of my adventure. I can’t believe that soon I’ll be writing in a different continent, but it will be happening sooner than I believe.
Africa will be hard to beat.