Early in the morning, the sun is shining, had our classmates been pulling our leg? All signs pointed towards a quite nice morning. The plane touched ground, and we went out into the moist “winter” weather.
Meeting Zuki, our awesome big sister, we had to point out that this cold weather seemed just like a chilly summer morning. I didn’t doubt though, that a change of weather would definitively bring the temperature down.
Driving through the city headed for our new home, we passed one of the Townships. Old haphazardly put up housing as far as eyes could see. For some reason the thought of festival life came to mind when I saw the rows of toilets lined up. Not surprisingly I kept that to myself, and I guess it was just a way for my head to cope.
Arriving at the house we were greeted with friendly faces who had arrived a couple of days earlier. Sadly for them, they had had rough weather up until we came and they emphasized that the temperature goes down drastically when it’s raining since the moisture gets in your clothes and achieves an even more chilling effect.
Suddenly we we’re all standing in the living room with beautiful sunshine outside and wondering about what to do. It was clearly the case that something had to be done out in this stunning weather. A group of us went to the local Spar (no kidding) to get new sim-cards for our cell phones. “Mimi’s” was our stop after that, a local coffe / drinks place. Wonderful staff. Clientele young and hip. The atmosphere was awesome and we ended up spending quite some time there. So much time that the other group went by train to the beach in Simon’s Town to spot penguins without us, quite understandable since they’ve been holed up in lousy weather for some days.
We didn’t slack of one bit as we decided to hop on a small minibus and head for downtown. It didn’t take much roaming around downtown on a Sunday before we realized that it’s out in the nature we should go. So, we started aiming for the lowest off the tops called Signal Hill. We fought hard and through numerous hidden paths we finally reached the top. And it truly was a view to behold! :) I was a little anxious about snakes and spiders, but we didn’t see any. Or had there been snakes I don’t think we would have seen them, since the shrubbery was knee height.
So, we ended up sitting there for a while eating our lunches and talked a little about the stark differences between how much money people had in this city. From where we sat it was clearly visibly how some portions of the city was quite rich and other portions not so much. In the far distance the perimeter of townships could be seen, representing the very bottom of the economical ladder. Gleaming on another side of town was a huge football stadium being built.
Getting down from the hill was a wholly different ordeal by itself. Off course we had to try a different and perhaps more efficient way down… Walking close to the road for a while, and continuing further down alongside something that looked more like a dried out riverbed than an actual river eventually dropped us in the middle of a very rich neighborhood. After an initial anxious looking over our shoulders for angry dogs or baton wielding security forces we could let our guard a little down and concentrate on getting back to the city proper.
Closer and closer we went, going through a couple of narrow streets, which gave us the impression that we were bluntly trespassing on some person’s property and that we should expect some guards coming our way momentarily. Awesomely no angry guards showed up, and instead a cold beer quenched my thirst at Rafiki’s. Finding Rafiki’s, a very hip place, was a most random act. Simon saw the place first saying, “oh man! I’ve heard about this place. It’s awesome.”
Eventually we got home, after a very hazardous taxi ride. We off shot our landing with quite a distance, but luckily we were quite a few people.
Finally a shower from our long flights!