Cape Town 2016

About time I sent some news! It’s been a while since I blogged regularly about travels and actual new experience. When I did it before it was from Sweden for a year, over 5 years ago! I was fresh out of Australia and so stoked to make a change. I just re-read my first posts from the old blog and I’m quite impressed at my younger self for being so enthusiastic and appreciative! Good on you mate; I’ll try to bring that back as much as I can!! Right now I’m travelling from Mauritius to South Africa and Scandinavia again; a trip that is something of an investment and renewal (see previous post: new beginning).

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In SA the main objective was to get certified for rope access, a method of positioning at heights (cliffs, buildings, bridges, dams, etc) where the actual work can be non-destructive testing, inspections or even cleaning windows! Last week was the training, assessment on Saturday and now it is done!! I’m officially an IRATA Level 1 Rope Access technician (plus the other things in my CV of course, haha!). I’ll write more details in another dedicated post.

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That was one objective, added to the facts that currencies are really in our advantage at the moment, that I have great friends there and that I’d never been on the African continent!! How crazy is that?? So voila! I’m in Cape Town since nearly 2 weeks, hosted by my friend Robert who I met via windsurfing when we were much younger, when he and his family used to holiday in Mauritius. Big thank you (and Marleen, Nish and Roberto) for having me at your place! I couldn’t hope for a better spot and company!

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My hosts Robert & Marleen

We are in Sea Point, a beautiful area by the Ocean and right under the mountain called “Lion’s head”, close to Table Mountain. I arrived on Jan 20th late at night, and the next day I walked to the town centre to get some camera equipment (great prices over here people!!). The first thing that struck me was how similar it is to Australia in terms of town planning etc. That said, someone told me it “isn’t Africa”. Secondly it was bin collection day and as I walked along High Level road there were a lot of people going through the bins and collecting whatever was still good and useful: reality check. I felt safe though, greeting people when appropriate and moving along, but like anywhere, you don’t want to walk in certain places at certain times. Needless to say I didn’t pull out my camera very much, keeping it hidden in my old backpack!! One afternoon there was some real nice surf and I went to try out my new big lens, plus walk around and soak in the surroundings. It’s my first time by the Atlantic Ocean!

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From Sea Point you can’t see Table Mountain, then as I walked around Signal Hill the first day it slowly appeared and looked majestic! I love this way of seeing places for the first time, rather than have it in your face from the very start. To the South there is a range of mountains called the 12 Apostles. I saw them in a magazine first and they looked stunning, but I had no idea they were so close! The first glimpse I had of them was through thick clouds as I climbed Lion’s Head.

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Yesterday we drove to signal hill to watch the sunset, and as we drove back the dusk light on the mountains was just stunning – reflecting the horizon’s red/orange haze that lingered for nearly half an hour post-sunset. I still have to go and capture that.

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We also went sailing yesterday from town to Camps Bay: the best thing to do on a hot day! With very little wind we had to use the motor for most of the way. There were many seals, big seaweed plants floating around and we saw an impressive sunfish!!

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Despite the relative calm I didn’t feel too well though, the tiredness and hangover (from Rob and Marleen’s friends engagement party, where I met many great people) not really helping! I slept for most of the way back and once there Kevin, the boat’s owner hoisted me up the mast to check the cables and take some photos from there. That was definitely a highlight!!

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That’s about it for now, aside from the rope access training and the bus system I took every day! I’m very grateful for these opportunities already and have one more week to enjoy. Today I’ll go to the indoor climbing gym for some lead climbing practice and I hope to meet people to go climbing outdoors with too. I still have to go meet Table Mountain properly as well, so there is plenty to do before leaving! Stay tuned!!

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