All the energy to get somewhere – noted in previous posts - can muddle arriving and actually being in the destination. Getting to the bottom tip of Africa is no small feat via air travel, and the 10-hour time difference kicks the acclimation phase into high gear. Somewhere along the way, maybe during our 10-hour layover running around London in the frigid rain, I caught a nasty cold. The never-ending headache, congestion and stuffiness, I was all messed up and sleeping during the day and wired at night. My friend who was getting married and I, booked a place on airbnb (www.airbnb.com), the best way to travel – you rent out people’s rooms or entire houses ranging from $5-$10,000/night all over the world. My friend had been to Cape Town several times because his dad lived there for over 10 years, so he was connected into a community and had friends. Nice to have someone who had been there and also good when booking a place in an unknown spread-out city like Cape Town. But also made me lazy about researching the touristy stuff and must see attractions, etc. I was totally clueless about what to expect, except for the couple photos on airbnb when looking at places to stay. I was pleasantly surprised and the views were so incredibly beautiful.
We booked a really cute cottage in Costantia, the wine country, which was a 20-minute walk to anything and a 15 + min drive to get downtown. Without a car we were at the mercy of his friends to fetch us, or these minivan type buses that go everywhere for cheap, or walking. We had only booked a week luckily, because by the time the week was up I was ready to be in civilization again. It was in a beautiful safe neighborhood and the Australian family in the main house, who were new to Cape Town, were awesome. One night they invited us to dinner and we solved the world’s problems over a bottle of wine.
Friends would email, “I bet you’re having a blast!,” which sure there were very fun moments being in a new place and in warm weather, etc. but feeling normal takes awhile. I sometimes forget this about traveling in general, like you just step off the plane and start having the ‘best time ever.’ It was that way on my senior trip to Mexico, but can’t remember any other time when it was a pretty constant “blast.” So, I calculate it takes at least a week to get acclimated and back to feeling somewhat like yourself again.
Random Travel tip: If you’re visiting Cape Town, book a car or stay close to the beaches (Sea Point, Green Point, Camps Bay, or downtown) You’ll have easy access to cheap mini-buses and trains for getting around.
VISIT CAPE TOWN!!!!