There are too many things I loved about Cape Town, so I am just going to write about a few of my favorite!
1. Hiking Lion’s Head
After lunch in Bo-Kaap, people decided to walk to Lion’s Head instead of taking a cab. Little did we know it was a 6.9 km walk just to get to the base of the mountain, not even counting the actual hike – and it was uphill the whole time! And we had just finished climbing Signal Hill before lunch... The hike itself was not bad because it was not steep. Towards the top, however, there is a section where you have to basically rock climb without the harnesses. Nonetheless, of the three mountains we hiked, the view from Lion’s Head was the best. It is next by the ocean so you have the view of 12 Apostles and Camp’s Bay on the left, and Sea Point and the Soccer Stadium on the right.
2. Homestay in Zwelethembe
The homestay was one of my most memorable experiences. It’s nice living in the city of Cape Town, but exploring the more nitty-gritty parts of the Western Cape is a more refreshing experience. My home stay mama was Thempse, and she had five grandchildren, two dogs, and a son living with her. We all shared one bathroom and there was no hot water, so we had to boil the water if we wanted to take a shower. The close-knit community atmosphere was something new to me – we went door to door to her neighbors and hung out with each family. My favorite part of the homestay was playing with her twin grandsons! Wearing matching clothes at all times, Azole and Azile were the most naughty boys to look after. One boy would whine if he wasn’t matching his brother’s clothes, they were jumping up and down all day, and driving their grandmother crazy.
3. Chapman’s Peak Drive & Cape of Good Hope
Coming from California, I see the coast all the time. However, Cape Town’s peninsula coast is really something else. All along the scenic and twisty Chapman’s Peak Drive were magnificent mountains and a never-ending stretch of ocean on the other side. We visited Cape of Good Hope, the southwestern-most tip of South Africa. As we were leaving the cape, we witnessed the infamous baboon tamper with the car in front of us. Later, we visited the Boulder’s Beach penguins that are native to Africa. It was so cute watching them waddle from the ocean to their little nest with baby penguins.
4. Weekend in Muizenberg
In our free weekend, we decided to stay in Muizenberg, a little beach city on the other side of the peninsula. We stayed at a hostel called Stoked Backpackers, which had a cool vibe and a delicious café in the lobby area. I got a chocolate croissant immediately upon my arrival. The next morning, four of us took surfing lessons and it was the first time I was able to consistently stand up! I was proud of us for surfing the sharky waters (the probability of a shark there is low, although there have been shark attacks recorded there). It was also the first time that I saw shark flags at a beach.
We took the train to Kalk Bay, two cities over Muizenberg, which was another charming beach city that was slightly more developed. The train system in that town is very convenient because it is right along the coast and comes every couple minutes, connecting the small beach towns together. We also hiked to Muizenberg Peak, a five hour hike round trip. At first we were on a mission to find these caves supposedly somewhere in the mountains, but we got lost somewhere. So instead, we hiked to the top of the peak and saw the whole inland and coastline. I sat at the top of the peak, thinking, I hope I never forget the