Orientation Part 2
Day 4: Pre-registration = pain in the ass. We sat through a few more lectures in the morning, listening to how rigorous UCT is with exams and academics in general. Found out that what we thought would be free internet in the university libraries is actually limited to something like 200MB per month of downloads/surfing the web…so everyone's plan of using the library for free internet will work for like a day. Everything regarding registration at UCT is old school and not computerized. So what Stonehill considers pre-registration (checking off a form online and clicking submit) involves standing in lines for hours here. At night we went to an African play at the Baxter, a really nice theater about 15 minutes from the house. On the way there we were approached by a homeless man that told my roommate Jamal he's gonna rob his ass next time he sees him The production was excellent and I would have never guessed it was done by a local theater company. It was about prejudice and justice in S.A. After the play some went home and I joined the other at Cybar, a chill spot close to the theater. Dancing music always plays at bars here (a lot of American stuff). Met some cool folks but decided it was time to peace when a man with an open knife walked in. My drink was only less than $4…awesome.
There are free condoms in most bathrooms. crazy about AIDS prevention.
Day 5: Woke up extra early to go register for classes. Expected an 8 hour day based on the past week, but I was done in 10 minutes. Sat around drinking tea with pigeons and waiting for the others to finish. Earlier in the week I received an email about a hike on Friday at 12: 30 pm but I assumed we'd be consumed with registration so I didn't think much of it. Of course when we finished early I decided to go back home and get my things together and join the hikers…I got my roommate Susie to go with me. The plan was a 5 hour hike to Devil's peak, the hardest route up Table Mountain. The first 45 minutes or so particularly kicked my ass, and most of the hike was straight up. Quite steep and quite a bit of climbing rocks. The views were unbelievable and I was sweating profusely. We made a pit stop for some trail mix snacking (they put nuts and raisins in it = normal but also gummy candy = peculiar but delicious). The higher we got the colder it got and it was also extremely windy, particularly when walking on the edge of rocks. We finally got to Knife's Edge, a ridge that we had to cross in order proceed up a little further and then cross to the left and climb straight up some more to the final destination. The conditions were worsening however and visibility was really low. The clouds were flying right above our heads and kept obstruction the mountain for seconds at a time. It was so strange to see wisps of clouds flying overhead, especially because they would come and go so quickly. I was pissed of course that we had to turn around but our guides were certain that it was unsafe. We returned to the bottom in a little over an hour and stopped at the Cecil John Rhodes memorial restaurant for some hot drinks (guide's treat). I had some Rooibos, the signature African tea that I've found myself drinking multiple times a day (caffeine free!). A lot of us agreed to give the hike another try in the coming weeks.
"Good hiking is good eating"