Today we are headed to Cape Town. It is where we plan on calling home for the next month or so. Neither Carl nor I have ever been to the Cape before, we both hope we like it. The nice thing about remaining flexible in our plans, is we can change them if things don’t work out like we expect.
Our flight on bargain Kulula airlines left Johannesburg at 7:30am. We left our new friends home at 5:15 am. Kulula is like most US airlines nowadays. Their airplanes are a bright lime green and the cabin announcements are peppered with comedy. They are cheap, and serve no food on board unless you pay for it. This was fine by us as we were accustomed, after Kruger, to eating cereal out of one Rubbermaid container with a plastic spoon. Yes, we are all living large! Our flight was fine and we arrived in Cape Town on time, and to the driving rain and cold wind. Winter at the ass end of Africa.
Rain is something we hadn’t seen since leaving the US almost five weeks ago. It seemed strange to put on the coats and run like heck with our stuff to the protection of the car. We had a rental car lined up for the Cape. Car companies here pick you up from the airport and take you to their main location to sign the paperwork. It ended up being a free taxi ride into the city. We are all for that.
After signing the paperwork for our bargain car, only 15 USD a day, we were off in our raging fast Mazda 323. Ok, so not so fast, but off at least. We drove to our prearranged hostel to dump our stuff. “The Backpack” was warm and had a very nice fire raging in the fireplace. The hostel has a huge travel agency in the lobby, which we needed in order to help us find the most important thing in Cape Town, a place to live. The hostel was run by a bunch of women, and was the most technologically advanced of any we had seen yet. Everything was on computers, even the bar, which Carl quickly put to the test.
With the sky still opening up, we decided to stay put and do our research from the hostel. Since I am very antsy, I wanted to find a place right away. I wouldn’t feel settled until we had a place to call home. So, after being in the city 2 hours, I was already on the phone with real estate people to find us a place. We went out to see our first place a few hours later. The home was way past our budget, but we needed to see something so we could compare all the others to that.
The agent came to pick us up at the hostel. I bet that doesn’t happen oftenJ She drove us out to Hout Bay to look at the home. The road out there was absolutely breathtaking. We had heard how beautiful Cape Town was, but they didn’t prepare us for our complete shock at how amazing this place is. Even with the rain coming down and clouds everywhere, the place is phenomenal. Our drive took us along the coastline. Picture aqua blue water crashing against huge boulders in the surf on your right. On your left is a steep rock cliff lined with beautiful deep green trees. Homes with walls of glass looking out over the sea cling to the sides of the mountains. It is breathtakingly beautiful. The only thing similar in the Pacific Coast Highway in California, near Big Sur and Carmel.
We looked at the home, which was a four star property and absolutely perfect for us. It had three bedrooms, a nice kitchen, a grill, and an office loft area. However, it didn’t have the wireless high speed internet we needed and was way out of our price range. But at least we had our data point. The next day we would look at more reasonable properties with a variety of agents.
High speed internet is very, very hard to find in a short term property in this country we were finding out. Carl spent the rest of the evening looking for solutions. Without internet we can’t upload to the website and talk to our friends and family back home. It is key to our life and we needed to find a way to make it work.
After looking at 4-5 more properties the next day, we got a call from the agent that showed us the four star place. The owner decided to drop the price went out and purchased a wireless solution for our internet problem. It is winter season here, so perhaps we were the first really interested people to look at his place. In any event, we decided to sign the contract with Chris and move in to his home. Yes, it was more than we wanted to spend but it felt like home and we knew we would be happy there.
The link, if anyone is interested is www.treasureafrica.com/themanorcottage The site has a lot of photos of not only the home, but of the surrounding area. Hout Bay is 10 miles south of Cape Town. It is far enough to feel out of the city, but only a twenty minute drive in. It is beautiful here.
Tags: Cape Town, South Africa, Travel