I went to Cape Town during March

I arrived there on Saturday at about 11, went to the hotel.

At the hotel when I was at reception, there was an Indian man who was talking about how he’s in Cape Town for 2 days because the ship he came on (he’s in the Navy from India) and how all he really wants to see are penguins and other animals – he’s never been on African Soil before.

Prize-winner! This was our first prize-winning story. Congratulations, Welma!

He wants to do something really exciting like go to a game reserve, bungee jump off Table Mountain, just anything really amazing. So there I was just standing there listening to him speak and thinking what on earth have I done that is absolutely exciting in Cape Town.

I am a Jo’burg girl – had been to Cape Town twice before (first when I was 10 – school trip, then again when I was about 20/21 – for work). I don’t remember much about Cape Town. I had plans to just go to the Waterfront and shop (okay buy one expensive thing then call everyone I know to tell them how expensive everything in Cape Town is).

So there we are

So there we are standing at Reception (me waiting to check in, and him hoping to find something exciting to do). Then the receptionist suggests that for only R390 he can go on a half-day tour of the city. So I had to jump in, because at that moment I realised how boring my trip would be if all I did was visit shops that exist in Jozi. (I can always buy in Joburg).

So okay – I have cash on hand, I’m going on a tour bus. I’m completely South African (I’ve never even been out of the country, nor do I own a passport), and I really don’t know my country and in any case it just sounds exciting.

I’ve just made a new friend

I’ve just made a new friend (the Indian guy) and at 13:30 we are going on a tour around the city. Our tour-guide is a gentleman from Chicago – USA. So no! I feel completly embarrassed, but really who cares; that was my first adventure around a city I didn’t know.

He knew all there was to know about Cape Town – the history, the names of the mountains, who Vasco Da Gama is (History Standard 6 or 7 – or even before, the name sounded familliar, but God knows I didn’t remember a thing about him).

The tour went via Muizenburg, Simons Town (it was Navy Week – I didn’t know there was such a thing until we went through that town), The Cape Point, Cape of Good Hope, etc.

I am so proud of myself

I am so proud of myself for having taken that enlightening tour it’s not funny.

I have never had so much fun in my life – travelling with an Indian man (who enjoyed seeing things that I thought were normal – I mean the animals), my tour guide from Chicago (who was just a great guy who I’m embarrassed to admit knows my country’s history so much better than me it hurts), and my camera (full of pictures of everything – flora and fauna I couldn’t name if you paid me, I just love knowing that I saw all those things).

That is my story about my trip to Cape Town. And since then, my first ever trip alone, I am now planning to go on a tour bus to Mpumalanga in July (alone or with my cousin) and one to the North West (okay not the whole province just Sun City – with my friends).

Taking the Sho’t Left challenge …

Story submitted to SAinfo on 9 April 2008