A Travellerspoint blog

Garden Route

Went a few weeks ago it is basically a scenic drive up the east coast of South Africa, like the 101 in Cali or Route 66. Its called the Garden Route because of all the beautiful scenery along the way, there’s is actually no gardens on the drive. I went with 4 other friends through a touring company so we didn’t have to do anything but sit in the car and enjoy the ride. Along the trip there are a bunch of places you stop at. We left on Friday morning and made the long drive out of Cape Town up to Mossel Bay which is where the route officially starts. We stayed there for the night in an old train which was right above the beach. The cabin was tiny but the view was nice. I went and walked along the beach and my friend and i checked out a boat that had crashed right at shore. The next day we were up early and off to go canoeing. After canoeing we drove to Knysner and stopped for lunch. After we went to this amazing lookout point it was beautiful. It reminded me a lot of the water and caves from peter pan. Next we were off to Tsisikamma National Park to the beach. It was really cold and overcast but it was still cool to check out, some of my friends went in but it was freezing. We stayed in the park that night in these really nice little 2 person cabins, each with their own bathroom so it was an upgrade from the train.
The next day was a big day. In the morning we walked to the Stromsriver Mouth Suspension Bridges. The walk to the bridges was amazing and even nicer once we got to the bridges. They are between mountains and over the ocean. After the bridges we were off to another bridge, except i was planning to jump off of this one! The drive over was the worst, i was getting really nervous but knew i did not want to chicken out. We arrived at Bloukrans Bridge, which is the highest bungee jump in the world and also the highest single arch bridge. I was scared but i paid my money got weighed and harnessed up and after a little while went with my group and walked over to the bridge. I was in a big group so my turn did not come toward the end, but i was ready. The atmosphere on the bridge is very calming. They play music so i was just dancing and watching my friends go before me, it was so exciting. When it came my turn i was nervous but excited, and before i knew it i was jumping off. The feeling was indescribable, it was crazy, and amazing and im so glad i did it. When i came back up to the bridge i had the most powerful adrenaline rush.
After that we headed to our final destination Kango. The backpacker was full so we luckily got upgraded to this really nice place. Nice beds with heat and really nice showers it was perfect for our last night of the trip. The next day we were off to the ostrich farm where i was able to ride an ostrich this was surprisingly scary and they run surprisingly fast. Nest we went to the Kango caves which were amazing. It has huge inside rooms with beautiful formations and stalactites and stalagmites and all that cool cave stuff. In addition to these huge rooms there was also so very tiny parts of the cave i managed to squeeze myself through including climbing up a part called devil’s chimney and crawling and sliding on my belly at another part. It was hard work but it was very cool. After this we made the long but very scenic and beautiful trip back to Cape Town. But not before making a trip to Ronnie’s Sex Shop, which is actually just a bar in the middle of nowhere, but the name catches your attention doesn’t it.

Posted by kymack 09:51 Comments (1)

Do I really have to study?

Im am finding the STUDY in study abroad to be the hardest aspect of my trip. Focusing is always a difficult task and i usually am not excited to read or write papers, so on hand this is not new but on the other im in AFRICA! I want to be doing things and exploring and hanging out with friends or lets be honest sleep is always great too. Of course i do a lot of that but i also have a lot of school work as well. I really like school don’t get me wrong. Campus is gorgeous and i like going to classes for the most part, im jus finding the work load to be a bit much on top of all the other things i want to be doing out here. I feel as if i don’t have time for everything i need and want to be doing. Like this for example, haven’t written in so long and i feel bad about that but theres so much going on im just trying to balance it all. Balance is always important no matter where you are and what your doing, i just want to find mine here sooner rather than later because time is weighing on my mind. I’ve already been here over a month and that is crazy to me, and i know i have a lot of time left but sometimes it doesn’t feel that way. I just want to be able to do everything i want and still make school a priority and not have to make any sacrifices. Its not so bad though. I am still having an amazing time and wouldn’t trade this for anything.
Thank you mom and dad so much for all your hard work and being able to give me this amazing experience. I Love You.

in other news i took an amazing Garden Route trip 2 weeks ago, i'll write on that soon promise and was supposed to be on another trip this weekend but was cancelled due to weather... its crazy out here hot one day raining the next kind of like bay area weather so i like it in a way.
oh and see INCEPTION! it is crazy but worth the money to see in theatres, but go having low expectations that always helps.

Posted by kymack 10:10 Comments (4)

TIA

This Is Africa

TIA is a common phrase heard in africa simply standing for this is africa. I heard it the first day i arrived and ive heard it everyday since. Its a phrase that is used to explain why certain things are the way they are in Africa. Perhaps a story will help you better understand the phrase:

Last week i woke up and went into the kitchen to get some breakfast. I switched on the light and nothing happened, i tried the bathroom again nothing. Clearly the lightbulbs didnt all go out so i go and check the electric meter and find that we have no electricity and this is why nothing will turn on. So i cant really make breakfast and the cereal was gross because the milk had not been refridgerated in who knows how many hours. So the power wont work but hopefully the shower will be in buisness and thankfully it was bc i smelled like gross bar and cigarettes because of the previous nights outing. Dont worry i wasnt smoking its just not California and people can pretty much smoke anywhere. So i got a hot shower...in the dark but whatever it worked. I went to school and wanted to text my roomates that i was going to buy more electricity after school, but i couldn't send a text because my phone no longer had enough airtime to send a text. Phones here work very differently than home and basically work like a pay as you go phone. You buy credits whenever you need them and when you use them up you can only recieve texts and calls. So i had no power and couldn't use my phone. Luckily because everyone is always in need of airtime they sell it everywhere including school. So i bought some but then i couldnt register it to my phone...it finally did but after all of that all you can really say is TIA.
At home if i woke up and had no power and couldnt use my phone i would probably be very upset. Here however expectations are very different. When something doesn't work or doesn't go as smoothly as home its ok, TIA. You get over it and you move on, you adjust.

Posted by kymack 10:10 Comments (2)

Im Hungry!

The food here is amazing. Every time i eat out the food is great and its cheap and im completely happy with the restaurants here. The problem is that i cant eat out everyday. The other problem is the difference in food culture, they eat so much meat out here. Beef is everywhere and there are few beef or meat alternatives. Braai's are a frequent happening here there basically a bbq. Everyone gathers around a big outdoor grill and brings meat and cooks it. There fun and we've had a few at our apt complex since moving in. The food is good but im usually the only one that wants chicken so my options are limited. The grocery store also has a lack of other non-beef things for me to eat. I really need a trader joes about now then id be completely content. So in between all this complaining im asking for cooking suggestions. i've been attempting to cook but my skills are limited and im already running out of ideas. What should i buy? what should i make?

Posted by kymack 11:07 Comments (3)

1st Day of School

Today was my first day of school. I was surprisingly not nervous at all but was pretty excited. My first class was History of South Africa in the 20th Century so it was full of study abroad students, mostly americans. So even though i was one of the American students i was pretty annoyed at all the other students, but the rule is if Africa is in the course title then theres going to be no African students in the class. A good thing about thhis class is that because there are so many abroad students in the class i know a lot of kids in the class. The professor also seems very good. He was very relaxed and straightforward and let us know you have to try to fail this course.

After class i had a break and used that time to get my id picture because i didnt get it the other day when we had registration. Lets just say reg here is old school and all on paper so by the tume it came to taking the picture i was not willing to stand in another line. So today i stood in line for over an hour and got my id! and by the time that was over i had only a few minutes to find and get to my next class.

The next class i had was Psychology of Religion, today was just intro but the course should be really interesting. Theres going to be alot of reading but i think the course will be worth it and hopefully it will transfer back and actually count at school!

Posted by kymack 14:30 Comments (4)

Welcome to South Africa

Hello!
So I've been in South Africa for almost 2 weeks now and everything is incredible; the people the food the scenary everything. While somethings are entirely different there are many aspects that are very much like home. These homie touches have made my transition here much easier, i feel very comfortable in my environment and love exploring my new home. Im still trying to figure out this new blog and promise the next entries to be much more informative and interesting. For now this is just a simple start.

Posted by kymack 08:42 Comments (6)

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