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Chapters 4,5 of 8

Cape Town Part 2

SOUTH AFRICA | Wednesday, 11 April 2012 | Views [207]

The things I have achieved/more or less done during the dates between - March 26 - April 2 are enough to grant it top weeks of my life.

Things discussed-

1. Dived with Sharks

2. Saw the most beautiful sunset (twice)

3. Took an amazing wine tour with 4 other incredible folks.
4. Sky Dived.
5. Rented motor bikes and drove to Cape Point/Cape of Good Hope.
6. Climbed Table Mountain/Repelling and Lion's Head.

1. Diving with Sharks-

This was something I wanted to do before I even showed up to Cape Town. It started with booking the event through the Hostel which was set up perfectly. They arranged for us to be picked up at 9 am, which was done smoothly. Once picked up we met the others we were diving with, manly Germans and Swiss (continuing theme of Cape Town, all lovely people though).

It was a two hour journey outside of cape town where the views just seemed to get better and better, of mountains crashing into the seas and wine gardens all around. Once arrived, they served us a small breakfast, and as seeing how I get horribly motion sickness I was wondering to myself how good this was going to taste once it comes back up on the boat.

Once breakfast was done, they took about 20 of us out on a large boat with no cage, and didn't explain much. We rode 15 minutes out into the ocean to find the cage floating in the sea. The guide then instructed us to get into our wet suites, due to the water being just around 50 degrees F. He told us, as they were throwing chum and blood into the water, to be thinking good thoughts and the "sharkeys" will come.

As soon as he was midway through his speech, he point into the distance where you could see the fin and the shadow of a giant sharking coming in the distance. It took a good ten minutes for a shark to appear with in the a 10 foot radius but at this time we were all primed and ready with out wet suits. The first group got into the cage ( 5 people ), Mark and I were to wait for the next. Two sharks circled the boat and jousted after the bait which was very exciting.

As the first group exited and we entered the frigid water (Mark opted out of the wet suit) the wet suit actually performed better than expected and kept us quite warm. With in minutes of us in the cage, three sharks were radiating our boat. One came straight towards the bait which was between the boat and the shark. As they pulled the bait up and the shark missed it (people arn't legally allowed to feed the sharks), the shark became disoriented and rammed the cage, literally inches away from my fingers inside the cage. I was eye to eye with a great white shark, something the size of a suburban. The thrill was amazing. As we exited, a total of seven great white sharks were surrounding our boat. As you will see in the pictures, these guys were massive. All in all the trip was very safe and we were well taken care of. I recommend this to anyone in cape town.

2. The most amazing sunset occurred two separate occasions. The first one, Deama, our new German friend at the Hostel, asked if this person with her car wanted to go see the sunset on Signal Hill just up the road, and then asked if Mark and I wanted to join. We soon jumped up, grabbed a few roadie beers, and headed off. Once on top of the hill you could see the cliffs in the back ground with the clouds rolling off, the sun sinking into the ocean, and the nightlife of Cape Town brewing up. Only pictures can accurately describe this.

3. The wine tour, haha, what can be said? Mark, Kate, Max, John, and Aaron, if you're reading this you are probably chuckling a bit as well. The tour started out at 8am. Aaron was still hungover from the night before, a champ you are my friend for making it. We were joined by two Germans, a mom and daughter. We had a small group which was really nice. We started off at the first tour which was about 45 minutes away outside of Cape Town, and tried around 5 wines. And was given a wine tour, and was told how to taste wine, what to look for, and the ever important question, WHY DO PEOPLE SWIRL THEIR WINE BEFORE THEY TASTE IT. We got a decent buzz, which wore off before the 2nd stop. At this point in time our tour guide also told us that South Africa has won the best award from Brandi/Cognac in the world years running. This meant we must try of course. All the wine was free here, but the glass of cognac was R10 ($1.25) we were loving it. Except Kate, but she drank it like a champ. This is when things got good, and we went on to the third and fourth different wineries.

At the fourth winery, Mark and I looked to buy a case of Wine to send back, we got the order form and of course the bottom says, " We do not deliver to Montana, Iowa, and Texas ".
Perfect. That night we watched a rugby match between Cape Town and Pretoria (a match that was described to us as best as- 'yanks vs sox'). Rugby is awesome, always has, always will. Very exciting Saturday to say the least.

4. Sky Dived. AMAZING. Simple story told quickly- (Remember this is Africa, pretty much anything goes) - Guy picks us up in a van, drives us 45 minutes, and picking up two swiss people on the way. Very friendly people, our conversations with them kept our hearts at ease as we approached the air field. As we arrived and exited the bus, we get to the airport hangar, and a guy walks out says hurry up we need to get you guys in the air. In no time we signed our death forms and were being hooked up in our harnesses. Our tandem professionals told us as hooking us up, "We'll fly for 20 minutes, I'll hook onto you with about a minute left, we'll throw open the doors, you'll tuck your feet under the plane as you sit on the edge, I'll push us out do all the work, you just have fun." With in five minutes of arrival we were in the plane. I mean shoe box with wings. There was one seat, the pilots. We fit 6 people inside, 3 jumpers, 3 tandems. I set on basically my guides lap, mark sat on my feet, and the other guy sat in his tandems lap. The engine was so loud, we didn't talk we just looked out at the amazing ocean, beaches, and table mountain from a far.

The events went off just like he said. My tandem signaled to everyone that it was time to get going, he then attached to me, two at the shoulders, two on my sides. The door slid open and Mark was first to go. He did it seamlessly. Put his legs out and they jumped out. The next guy went no problems and I was last. He told me to slide my feet under the plane, so I was basically sitting on the ledge of the plane waiting for the guy to push us out. This was absolutely the longest 4-5 seconds of my life. Then we basically barrel rolled out and managed to do a few flips on the way as well, just so we could see the plane we jumped out of. Once level, I flew my arms out and just looked all around in complete free fall and gazed at the pure awesomeness of Cape Town. We free falled for ab 35 seconds, and in that free fall the air was so loud I could barely hear my tandem. And with out notice he pulled the cord and it was as if someone put a concert on mute. Everyone was silent, and we just drifted to the ground. With the parachute open, he had to circle around the landing spot a few times which made me quite dizzy. Once we landed I sat on the ground for a good two minutes while Mark and I discussed how amazing it was.

5. Renting scooters in Cape Town is highly recommended and a blast. We set off to get the bikes early in the morning in an effort to drive to a few towns along the way but ultimately to Cape Point. The owner down at Dr. Scooter was a great guy and set us up well and told us all we needed to know. And just like that we were off. It didn't take long for us to figure out how to drive the scooters and the drive was pretty much just one road. The scenery on the way is amazing. Camp's Bay, Hout's Bay, and a couple other beaches are out of this world. My pictures can not do justice of how beautiful these beaches are. The majority of the ride was similar to Highway 1 in California. Steep cliffs on skinny roads, falling into the ocean. We stopped into Simon's Town and saw the penguins on the way as well. Once we got into Cape Point (R85- must have been a UNESCO site) we road our scooters through deserted roads down to natural beaches with no one in site. The mountains in the distance were incredible and seemed to be untouched, and everything around seemed to be as if no one had ever discovered it and how amazing it would be to be a sailor and just pop up onto this site. The pictures again a must see, but will not do justice.

The way home was a bit different. The hour and a half drive we made on scooters was through what can only be described as a Category 2 Hurricane. Easily the most dangerous thing we've ever done, and hind-site being 20/20, I'd never do that again. We survived though.

6. Table Mountain and Lion's head are amazing and two totally different climbs. Table Mountain is a whole day affair. There is a cable car going up, but we chose to climb it both times. The climb takes about an hour and a half, but is pretty grueling, but rewarding. The view going up is incredible, but the view once on top makes you speechless. I could spend hours up there just looking at the view. The second time we climbed, we decided to repell off the side of the mountain. Mark having done this before was a champ, myself a little different. I started out well but once we got half way there was a ledge on the rock that I stood on for a good 5 minutes because I could not bring myself to just free fall with no rocks to guide me. I manned up and did it. I think I'm good for a while on repelling. And not to mention, Kate totally nailed it and made me look like a wuss.

On our last night, Mark, Kate, Max, and John climbed Lion's head to watch the sunset. This climb is pretty easy for the first 3/4ths and the last fourth there is actual climbing which gets tough but is fun. I hope to get the pictures from John and Kate from the sunset view, they were amazing.

The next day we hopped on a bus to JoBurg, which took 20 hours over night. Stay tuned for JoBurg/Kruger Park.

Stay Classy America.

Tags: cape point, cape town, houts bay, sharks

 

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