SOUTH AFRICA: An extra day in Cape Town
Friday night I was robbed in Cape Town following a return to the city from a side trip to Johannesburg and an epic safari in Mayaleti Game Reserve (you can read about the entire awful experience in its own post). My flight back home was to depart a day and a half later on Sunday, but I was suddenly without my passport, ID, credit cards, phone, laptop and cameras. It was just my luck that this happened on a friday night and the US Embassy was not open on the weekend, so I had no choice but to pay a penalty to change my flight and fly back after I could get a replacement passport.
I spent the weekend on my friends phones and laptops trying to get my life in order to return home. When I finally gave in to take a break from phonecall after phonecall, we went to a winery where I drowned my sorrows in delicious Cape Winelands wine.
First thing Monday morning I drove myself to the US Embassy, and relatively painlessly got myself a temporary passport (as painless as 2 hours and spending $130 I didn’ t have and had to borrow can be). Things sucked, but they could have been worse. I now had a rental car and the remainder of the day in Cape Town with nothing to do. I had a few rand cash and my friend Alex’s credit card, so I went and bought myself a disposable film camera and went for a drive.
It was the most beautiful day so far of the time I had spent in Cape Town. The sun was shining, the sky was bright blue, and the ocean was calm and clear. I made it out to Muizenberg Beach and St James Beach to see the colorful beach houses that I had wanted to see the whole trip, and would have missed without this extra day. I rented a surfboard at Muizenberg and went out in the mellow waves and surfed for a couple of hours (another thing that I had hoped to do but not had the opportunity to do until that day). After that I hoped to go out and kayak with the penguins at Boulder Beach, but the kayak trips were already finished for the day, but I enjoyed another visit to my favorite birds nonetheless.
Maybe this perfect last day was an apology from Cape Town for what had happened the other night.