Of course my first blog post from South Africa is midway through my stay here but nonetheless here’s what’s been going on the past 5 days.
Saturday we departed Malawi and said goodbye to our group as we went to meet Tish at OR Tambo international airport. Tish was their waiting for us with her cousin Jo-Marie and they drove us to Tish’s uncle’s house in Benoni. The house was beautiful and every little convenience of the developed world was greatly enjoyed (such as flipping a switch and light coming on). That evening we went to a restaurant to watch some rugby (stormers v. bulls) with Tish’s mother, uncle, aunt, cousins, and other friends.
Sunday we went to the Lion Park outside of Pretoria to of course play with lions and other animals. It was so cool to touch such large animals like a Giraffe and the lion cubs. It was really weird to touch the lions because growing up I had always thought of them as animal to run away from and not to touch. That’s probably still true but it makes the experience that much more exciting.
Monday was our last day in Gauteng with Tish so we went to the infamous Sandton City to experience the high life of South Africa. We took the brand new Gautrain (built for the World Cup) from rhodesfield into Sandton and it’s fair to say that Sandton lived up to its reputation. Across from the train station was a huge hotel situated along an immaculately clean road. We strolled down the sidewalks towards the shopping centers and walked into the Michelangelo Mall at Nelson Mandela Square. Once we walked into the mall, however, we realized that we weren’t going to be making any significant purchases there. Gucci and Louis Vuitton are a little out of my price range. We were able to afford a small lunch at one of the restaurants there and that alone made us feel very privileged. Our last night in Benoni was spent with Tish and her family at Jimmy’s Restaurant where we enjoyed a nice dinner.
We departed the Gauteng province at noon on tuesday and made the 2 hour journey to Cape Town to meet up with Pasqual whom I had met during my stay at Stellenbosch last summer. She and her friend Nicole were waiting for us at the airport and since Cape Town was enjoying unusually clear and sunny weather, they suggested we do Table Mountain right away. We first made sure we checked into our hostel at Cape Town Backpackers so they wouldn’t cancel our reservation.
It was a real success that we made it up Table Mountain right away because the view was so amazing with the clear weather. My previous trip to Table Mountain was ruined by the lack of visibility. I have to make this post end kind of abruptly because there’s a lady here waiting to use the computer but I’ll everyone in on the rest of my trip so far in a few hours.