Mandy, Sarah and I decided to invest in a car for five days in order to enjoy one of our last weekends properly. Saturday morning Roy (he’s 21 and therefore we got a cheaper rate) and I headed downtown to pick up the car. Not even an hour later, we were driving back along the M3 towards Mowbray listening to the radio with the windows down. Already I felt more free.
Soon, Mandy, Sarah and I were in sundresses and on the road to Stellenbosch for our self-created bikes and wine tour. We pulled up to the Stumble Inn, our backpacker and immediately got bikes from the back and set off with a map into the world of wineries. We biked alongside the highway, squealing and slightly screaming each time a car sped by us. We stopped to take pictures of the beautiful scenery that lay around us, peddled, peddled, stopped to take pictures, peddled and made our way to our first winery. We did a tasting and some time later were back on our bikes and out on the side of the road. We had gone to the furthest first, planning to go to all the vineyards we had passed on the way back. We cut across a road and to a brandy distillery but walked in 6 minutes too late, as tastings ended at 3:30. Shame.
We hopped back on our bikes to go to the next winery. As we chugged up the hill and were making quite a racket while laughing about how ridiculous we looked, we heard the wedding song. Immediately, Mandy and I looked at each other and shut our mouths with surprised expressions. We slid off our bikes, tiptoed past the wedding as the bride walked down the aisle. We motioned to Sarah to stay silent and as she caught up, we leaned our bikes against bushes and went inside for another wine tasting. We sat outside on the porch and watched the wedding from not so afar, wondering aloud if we could manage crashing the reception. While we were there, the wedding concluded, the bride and groom walked towards us: the groom with a big, goofy grin on his face and the bride looking as nervous and beautiful as ever.
As 5 rolled around, we decided to head on back to town. Back at the backpacker, everyone was watching the Currie Cup Finals, which the Western Provence was about to win! The first time in 11 years! Everyone was excited, everyone was celebrating! After cleaning up a bit from our biking, the three of us headed out to celebrate with all the rugby fans.
Sunday morning we headed back into town for a quick turn around and headed on down the peninsula. Whenever we wanted to stop, we stopped. We took tons of pictures, enjoyed the music and the breathtaking views. We stopped on Long Beach. Skipped going down to the point (as it was R85 per person!) and went to see penguins in Simons Town. We climbed around, trying to get to Boulder Beach without going through the entrance but ended up on a private beach and had to turn back. We drove along, up through Kalk Bay, Muizenberg and back into the Southern Suburbs.
Monday, we woke up to a loss of power in all the Southern Suburbs. Luckily we had a car and were able to escape the powerless area. The running joke was that Hurricane Sandy was affecting us all the way across the Atlantic. We drove into town to find a café I had heard about, the Field Office. A very cute café with delicious food, the Field Office supplied us not only with a home for the day, but with internet and power as well. We studied, I for my Afrikaans exam that was on Thursday. As closing time rolled around, we headed over to the Eastern Food Bazar for some cheap and scrumptious food.
Tuesday, I had Mandy drop me off at Cocoa ChaChi, our go to internet café, for the day so I could study while they went to the beach. I spent more than my fair share of time and of their internet vouchers, but I made progress on both my Afrikaans and history studying.
Wednesday, Mandy, Travis and I made use of the last day of having a car and drove north to Die Strandloper, a restaurant we had heard about through the grapevine. This restaurant boasts a 10 course set menu and the venue is right on the beach. It says to allow three to four hours of eating time and we were more than happy to allow that. As we drove north, starting around 10:45 (in order to get there by 12), we started questioning how valid the website was as it had said it was only an hour north of Cape Town. An hour passed and we were still in the middle of nowhere, empty land stretching out from the road at all angles. Two hours later, we arrived in Langebaan, turned into a pothole ridden, sandy road and parked the car. We were directed towards some huts by the water and were speechless when we saw where we would be eating. We sat down at a makeshift table right by the water in the sun. We had live entertainment by Donnie, a guy playing guitar and singing. Some people were singing along, one man was harmonizing. The food was delicious and endless. We’d sit around for each course and then be called up to the braai pit to get our next dish. Hours later we explored the rocks out from the beach but soon found ourselves as the last people in the restaurant. We headed back out to the car, full and happy. On our drive back, we stopped at Blouberg to look across the bay at Table Mountain. We watched people Kite surfing after work but soon were on our way back into the city.
Thursday, I unwillingly dropped off the car in the morning and headed back to campus to take my first final. Afrikaans. It was unexpectedly difficult but I was surprised by how much I actually did know. A good sign I suppose.. Walking back to Forest Hill after the exam, there was the most spectacular sunset behind Devil’s Peak. As the sun sank down, I called it a night, exhausted from the week’s activities. What a way to start November.