A Day for the Momentary Slow Pace in Cape Town

By Dane Glenn, Chase Brady and Hannah Frick

Hello, and welcome to another exciting adventure in Cape Town, South Africa, where mountains look like tables,   Mandela still affects, and penguins are aplenty. On this exciting journey, we are tagging along with Hannah and Chase, both WT students. You can check out their VLOG by clicking this link.

Day of Rest

We had until 3:30 pm to sleep. Or shop. Or do whatever. Point is, we were able to rest and chill. Going full throttle, nitrous tank opened wide, we were ready to refuel. Some of us took advantage of the pause, taking an extended vacation in dreamland. Others checked out early, tackling the city for amenities, things we forgot to pack, gifts, and of course, lunch.

Cocoa Wah Wah

Within walking distance from Little Scotia are restaurants, supermarkets, malls and a number of other stores all peddling different services capitalizing on our tourist inclinations. Our humble resort away from home sits off the main road, our own little stretch of pavements guiding us to these lifelines. All students and staff piled into Cocoa Wah Wah, a local joint near our hotel. Cocoa Wah Wah ‘s flavors ranged from American to Mediterranean to African, catering to familiar and adventurous tastes. Mountains breathed their cool air into the open windows and doors of Cocoa W...! Most places don’t have central heat or air, relying on nature to provide its own innate HVAC system. Another thing common in South Africa (ZA) is “they don’t split the check up between people. They just give you one receipt and you have to add up all the things that you got,” says Hannah, giving advice to any future ZA tourists. Also, when ordering water, “you have to ask for still water if you want regular water because they also have sparkling water.”

Boat Ride

Remember the red bus tour? Yeah, the double decker bus written about in an earlier blog entry? Well, we had the premium package, which included a tour of Alfred Harbor, named after Queen Victoria’s son. The tour lasted about a half-hour, same headphone set, same voice over, same concept. In, out, and around the water front we went, never waking or making it to sea, just hugging piers and jetties until time to disembark.

The Waterfront and Aquarium

So, here’s the thing: our boat ride was supposed to last 2 hours, our nautical non-essential crew adrift outside the city, the Atlantic painted by sunset. Due to miscommunication (not on our end), that didn’t happen. Instead, we took the kiddie ride version. Regardless, we had time to kill, and since we were already at the waterfront, might as well let the tourism market exploit us to the fullest.

We hit up the aquarium first. Upon entering, we scattered like kids at Wonka’s. Black lights highlighted the natural fluorescents of the jellyfish and other aquatic wildlife. Clownfish pooled atop a viewing window in which one could climb under and see Nemos galore. Hannah a few others pet some “slimy” fish and coral, a “way cool” experience. Penguins nipped at curious fingers. Sharks swam around in their giant tank, their open-mouth grin revealing a nice set of slice-n-dice teeth. Rays glided over the observation tunnel, wings rippling like sound waves. Immersed in various oceanic habitats, we lost track of time, but the lady on the PA system reminded us that the aquarium would be closing soon.

Dinner at Sunset

We planned to head home at 9, giving us two hours to hopscotch among the stores and restaurants on the waterfront. One mall boasted the posh and gaudy. The other, super-Americanized with globally recognizable brands/shops with a couple local flair thrown in to add personality. For Hannah and Chase, as well as several others, they ended up dining at San Marco, a cozy Italian eatery looking out over the harbor. Nothing like creamy pasta and new friends to commence the New Year..The painted sunset upon the Atlantic didn’t hurt either. Cheers!

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