Saturday, May 29, 2010

Day 4 Update: Cape Town to Durban

Woke up this morning in Cape Town, power was off again...or still – not sure really. On the bright side it seems to have been on long enough to charge my camera batteries! :) It was also a BEAUTIFUL morning – not the rain we had last night. Breakfast at the hotel included fruit salad with papaya and some unknown seed. I’m betting on pomegranate, but Shaun thinks papaya... Our hotel has an awesome view of Table Mountain and Loin’s Head

So we kicked off the morning with a walk through town to see more of Table Mountain and Lion’s Head.

We knew we had to get back to the hotel for 11:30 for Amier (our taxi driver) to pick us up for the airport. It’s a half hour drive and we had to be there for noon.

We called at 11:35 – he was 15 minutes away. WHAT?!?! Um...Okay ….

At 11:55 we started looking for other options. Now, I should apologize to my friend Andrea – I made fun of her for years for getting into some random guy’s car in Italy thinking it was a taxi. With no Amier around, I asked the nearest guy for a ride to the airport.  He agreed for R250. I kinda thought he was a cabbie until he said he had to get his car from the parking lot.... Luckily (maybe?) Amier showed up while he was getting his car. That 30 minute drive?  We were at the airport by 12:12. The back route that Amier drove took us right by one of the townships.  Sensitivity (and a bit of stress about the flight I thought we were missing) kept me from taking any photos, but watch District 9 and replace the aliens with humans and you’ll know what we saw.

The flight to Durban might as well have been a Comrades charter, including one guy who was doing it for his 20th time! On the bright side not everyone wearing Comrades gear – including a 12 year old girl! – looked all that fit.

We got to Durban and rented a car.  That’s right, driving on the left side of the road … legally! Thankfully there was traffic on the highway and we didn’t have to hit the 120km speed limit. That might have been where our luck ended – driving wise. You see, Friday evening rush hour traffic is always bad in Durban, but today they were closing a lot of streets in a dry run for World Cup. Take the worst traffic you have ever seen in Toronto.  Triple the number of cars, ignore stop lights, have pedestrians crossing in every possible place and take away that personal space buffer people have around their cars … you get the idea. I was having a lot of trouble with this, particularly when we were in such grid lock that the cars were woven together. Jess noticed the guy whose fender was 3 inches from her passenger door starting to laugh. I laughed too.  It was absurd! And I started to feel better. :) A little while later when we had gone roughly 3 blocks (it was an hour later). I was afraid I was going to miss the expo, so I got out of the car and started walking. To be clear, this was arranged among the 3 of us before I got out of the driver’s seat. I didn’t just leave the ladies behind!

Race expo was so exciting....and at the same time surprisingly uneventful. … but I did spend R700 on Comrades memorabilia (that sounds like a lot more than it really is).

By the way, Jess and Shaun did find me in the expo. The had made it through the hellish traffic!

Got to our guest house where our host apologized for Durban’s weather. "Winter had hit with a vengence!" I was wearing jeans and a t-shirt. :)

We checked out "Olive and Oil" for dinner - against our host’s recommendations, strangely.  Those jeans and t-shirt were a tad under dressed. Remember how cheap I said R700 was? Try getting dinner for 3 including Ostrich appetizer and tip for R350. That’s $50!!

I love eating here!


  1. wow! my mom and i are reading this together and we are in AWE! amazing description of the traffic (i can't believe you guys were driving on the left side too!)

    the pictures are stunning.

    no ostriche appetizer for me, thanks. how did it taste?

    xoxoxo love and hugs aunt rose and grandma marcie

  2. ... did someone mention traffic? I'm on my way!