Egypt Won the African Cup of Nations!
So I have no idea how it happened but the week has flew by. I have meant to write about last weekend for a few days now, but here it's Thursday and I have yet to catch up my journal on the amazing weekend I just had.
Saturday AIFS, the program I am studying here with, took all of us Americans to Cape Point/ Cape of Good Hope in the morning. It is basically a nature reserve on the western coast. It took just over an hour to drive there from campus, but it was well worth the drive (plus nothing seems like a long trip after the 2 days it took to get to Mole in Ghana). First I hiked to the top lighthouse that overlooks the coast. It was quite the climb, but I'm sure it would have been ten times easier if I wasn't being blown around by the insane wind. The view was amazing though as we all took in the ocean view.
Next we hiked down to the coast and lower overlook cliffs. There's a nice little bay that is surrounded by cliffs which had groups going to both areas. I have never seen such pure sand and clear waters. It was AMAZING! On top of that we saw a giant moose/antelope thing called an Eland that looked like a humpback cow with horns. I had to go off the path a bit to get a good picture, but he was quite friendly.
Next we piled back in the university vans and went to Boulder Bay. This is where the penguins hang out. Apparently about 20 years ago a couple penguins showed up here, and now there are hundred just chilling on the beach. We could get about a foot away, any closer and they would get a wide ways look at you and try to snap. But it was sweet just swimming and hanging out with a bunch of penguins for the afternoon. So, yes… skeptical people... there are penguins in Africa.
Rounding off the day we went to Spier Vineyard which is about 10 minutes from campus. They have everything there from Cheetahs to African art to wine tasting. On this particular day we went for the contemporary art show. It was, put simply, the most interesting thing I have ever seen. At one point there was a performance of a man dressed like a girl chasing a bearded guy in a top hat until they ended up at a Braai (BBQ) where they many boerwors (sausages) for the crowd. Then the still art was basically a conglomeration of random scary images that I would not allow any under the age of 18 to ever experience.
As if that wasn't enough… i woke up early the next morning to hike Botmanscop. It's one of the mountains that surround Stellenbosch, and a group of International students decided it would be a good idea. I, always being ready for an outdoor adventure, jumped at the chance; even when I saw that it was raining on the way to the mountain base. We made it up in about 2 hours (I was the first one to the top out of about 30 people!!) From the top we could see an indescribable panoramic view of every mountain and town in the surrounding area, Gorgeous! Then, after a brief lunch, we saw the rain cloud we had just been in climbing up the mountain. Soon we were in a torrential downpour and hiking as quickly as we could back down. Part of the hike was a climb though so we had to take it slow back down the rocks. I got the name mountain goat as I hoped down the boulder, but no worries I was born and raised in the mountains and was never in real danger.
Well... that was my amazing weekend full of Western Cape adventures.
Note from the week:
When people call a house "hillbillies" they are not referring to anything that we would think of when we hear that term in WV. A group of International students were placed in a house away from where we are in the dorms, and after going there last night for a Braai I stand very jealous. It's basically the MTV Cribs of Stellenbosch with full bedrooms for everyone, a huge kitchen, living room, TV, and back court yard. If anyone ever decides to study here make sure you push for the Hillbilly House!!