The Cape Town diaries ~ part 2

Welcome to part 2 of the Cape Town diaries, offering a glimpse of time spent in this wonderful part of the world. If you missed the Cape Town diaries ~ part 1, you can catch up by clicking here. Without further ado, let’s get into what’s been happening…

A change of scenery.

One of the reasons I’m in Cape Town is kitesurfing but, after a week of strong conditions and six days of blasting around on the water, I was grateful for a rest! As my latest Air B & B accommodation had come to an end I decided upon a change of scenery.

From the north side of Table mountain I drove south along the Cape Peninsula to a surf town called Muizenberg. Here I checked into a rustic home owned by a girl called Dune. After a conversation it transpires she knows my friend and yoga teacher, Yvonne, who lives on the other side of the Cape. It’s a small world!

Air B and B is proving perfect for this adventure. Some hosts, once they know you, are willing to extend stays and make arrangements directly.

Surf vibe.

Muizenberg is a beach-side town, situated where the shore of the Cape Peninsula curves round to the east on the False Bay coast. It is considered to be the main surfing spot in Cape Town and is currently home to a surfing community, centered on the popular Surfer’s Corner. It’s a cool place. There’s loads of coffee shops, restaurants, and surf hire shops. It feels relaxed and chilled.

I’d recommend Gary’s for surf hire and the attached restaurant / café for the variety of smoothies, coffee, pastries. Whatever you choose to eat, I don’t think you can go too far wrong.

Surfboard hire was R80 for 90 minutes (approx £4). The water is (relatively) warm and waves seemed gentle. Yes, there are sharks. There are also shark spotters and a flag system to warn people. Never has the sound of people screaming having fun in the water panicked me so much, especially when you catch glimpses of kelp floating between the waves…

Mini road trip

Muizenberg is perfectly positioned to make a road trip to other parts of the Cape. I’d recommend a drive to Kommetjie, Misty Cliff, and Scarborough.These are other surfing and kitesurfing spots. Kommetjie and Scarborough are small towns, where Misty Cliffs is more of a magical little hamlet which seems to have kept hold of its serenity.

You can also visit (and swim with) the cute penguins at Boulders Beach (close to Simon’s Town), take in the dramatic shoreline of Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope, drive the stunning Chapmans Peak road, and visit the Cape Point Vineyards. All of which come recommended.

On this particular drive I stopped at Hout Bay – the starting point for swimming with seals and the home of a seal rescue centre. Whilst I didn’t get into the water this time, I did partake in an obligatory coffee and Almond croissant at Hout Bay Coffee.

South Africa does many things to a high standard – coffee (and wine) are some of them. South Africa also does many things that are questionable. Which leads me into load shedding…

Load shedding – its so bad it’s (almost) funny…

Load shedding is a complicated subject, way beyond the scope and understanding of this blog, but in short, since 2007, South Africa has experienced periods of power-outs as demand exceeds the capacity to supply.

Basically, power is rationed across the country in various stages / levels of load shedding. There are many suggested reasons – ranging from corruption, to theft of cable, to inadequate power stations. What it really means is the power turns off at the most inappropriate time!

As a tourist, the impact is minimal. For locals, business owners, and those not able to work with alternatives such as solar, batteries, and inverters, it is a real pain in the ass. Plus, there’s no sign of it getting any better. In fact, the main power suppler (Eskom) CEO has just resigned…

Welcome to South Africa…

Cape Town Swing

The final part of this post goes to Cape Town Swing – an enthusiastic group of dancers, sharing the love of Swing music and Lindy Hop dance. I’m very new to dancing, my only experience being hazy nights spent in UK clubs many years ago.

I happened across a crew of dancers in Cornwall last summer, took myself to a few lessons, and met a crowd of friendly and welcoming people simply having fun. I was hooked.

I was curious to see how it was here in Cape Town and, similar to Cornwall, I’ve met a friendly mix of Captonians doing their dance thing. Being a city, it’s a busy little community and CTS run a variety of classes across the city and suburbs. There are social events to practise your skills which are generally a relaxed vibe (with some talented dancers).

One of the events sporadically happens at Cape Point Vineyard – a rustic mountainside restaurant with a modern interior and terrace with views. There’s a small platform reaching out over a lake which is where the dances happen. It’s no more complicated than someone with a speaker and a phone plus a few willing dancers. Pop up Swing!

The sunsets are stunning and it’s really relaxed and open to all. As Thursday summer evenings go, it is spectacular. Click here to see a quick video..

Thanks for making it this far. The next post will cover a road trip to a different part of the Western Cape plus a visit to Panthera Africa Big Cat Sanctuary, where I volunteered in 2016.

Panthera Africa is one of South Africas only seven true sanctuaries for Big Cats. A place where some of what I experienced influenced my decision to write my first book Adventures In Happiness...

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