So I was trying to figure out where to start this installment…do I start by talking about the amazingly beautiful and kind people here in Cape Town? The stunning views everywhere you turn-there are the most amazing cliffs at the edge of town and through the middle of town. These cliffs are steep and imposing, but are rolling in the horizontal direction with the most amazing intricacies etched into the rocky tops by time. Or do I start by talking about the fact that all of my favorite music form the late 90’s and early 2000’s is on everywhere? Or the fact that we putted around the waterfront yesterday and felt like we were in San Francisco and then on our way out of town today were smack dab in the middle of these townships aka shanty towns again with people living in such squalor in such a metropolitan area. The shacks…and that is almost liberal…are made of tin siding-usually multiple small pieces of tin to patch holes on the bigger pieces. But today we noticed there are a lot of satellite dishes on them.
But I think where I want to start is standing outside a gas station, eating salt and vinegar Pringles-which we never eat at home-pringles are reserved for foreign countries-and Toto’s Africa was playing in the background…which is my jam…so I knew it was going to be a good day. The sun was shining on this amazing landscape as we headed to Gansbaai. Once we arrived, there was a quick safety debriefing, some snacks and then we were headed out to make friends with some great whites.
As the boat arrived, they started chumming the water and then all these dudes were squeezing you into a wet suit and booties and a mask and a hood and weights and then you turn to your right and see this fin sticking out of the water and you think…hmmmm…that is a REALLY big fish. And before you know it…you are in this cage with eight other people and they are throwing fish heads into the water over your head-don’t look up they drip-and then there are some pretty big fellas swimming at you! They would swim by the cage and into the cage and the folks on the boat would yell down and we took a deep breath and under the water we went! We saw three different great whites up close and personal and 5 bronze whalers throughout the day.
The views from the boat were pretty stellar too. When we weren’t in the water we could sit on the boat and watch the sharks break as they came up hoping for some snacks. Towards the end the last great white hit the cage petty hard as he tried to grab the fish head and we learned that apparently they get scared and run away after they hit the cage…which seemed odd since they are such ferocious creatures. Oddly enough, I felt safer being in the cage with the sharks than some of the other open water adventures we have done. Today was the first day it felt like we were in Africa…yesterday was nice to relax after all the traveling since the weather wouldn’t allow for us to do much…but the area we are staying in is smack dab in the middle of a metropolis…so it felt like Seattle, or some other US waterfront.
As we were driving home we saw an amazing sunset over Table Mountain and the 12 Apostles and caught glimpses of pick up soccer games even directly by the high way from kids who live in the Townships. We missed Table Mountain and Robben Island this trip due to weather…but this has been one of my favorite cities to visit with my Deeter. We tend to enjoy our non-city adventures more…but this town intrigues me. People are so kind but there are cops and hired security everywhere. When Deeter went to take a picture of the sunset on our way back into town, the security guard by the gas station told him he couldn’t go that way because it wasn’t safe. There are bars on the windows and doors everywhere…so we know there is a lot of crime…but everyone seems so helpful and worried about our safety. It’s an interesting combination.
Tonight we are headed to Kloof street where the first Thursday of the month they have an art walk with street food vendors and wine tasting and then in the morning we are off to Namibia!