cape town continued

Friday morning I woke up early to catch a hot yoga class.  The cab I’d arranged the night before with the hotel was waiting for me at 6:30, so I figured I’d have plenty of time to make it to the 7:00 am class.  By 6:40, the cab had pulled up to the address I gave him, somewhere in the middle of downtown Cape Town, so I still had 20 minutes to find the studio and get situated before class.  Good thing.

The studio’s website said to look for the blue flags of the Pick’n’Pay (a supermarket).  Then it said the studio is on the tenth floor.  I find the Pick’n’Pay, which was actually in sort of an office/retail complex much like the Kaliedescope in Des Moines or the post office in the basement of K&9th in NW DC.  I find the building directory and floor plan.  Not only is there no mention of a yoga studio, the floor plan only shows a two story building.  Flummoxed, I wander back out to the busy street and over to the little convenience store next door, where I ask the squat, older, male attendant (who clearly does not practice yoga) if he could direct me to the yoga studio.  Predictably, the only thing he directs my way is a blank stare. 

So I walk down to the corner, scanning up and down all of the tall buildings around me for a sign that might even suggest yoga.  Completely unsuccessful, I make my way back to the Pick’N’Pay, where I spy two people who are totally yogis if I’ve ever seen one.  And follow them.  Right into the supermarket.  Into the line for fresh bread.


Stealthily, I act as though I’m meandering around the grocery store, nonchalantly buying a water to pretend as if it was completely my original intention.  I almost lose the yogis while fumbling through my wallet for correct change (damn those small dollar coins!), but out of the corner of my eye I spot them head down an escalator.

I dart to the escalator, too late to see where the original yogis went, but in time to catch another girl walking by in tight black pants and a head band.  She is clearly headed to yoga too.  She strides past the bottom of the escalator to into elevator on the right.

Once in the mysterious, hidden elevator, I easily found the button for the tenth floor and from there, the yoga studio too.  It felt great to sweat out all the martinis I’d had the night before, even if the two girls in front of me were way more flexible than me and that always pisses me off (I know that makes me a bad yogi). 

After class I woke Joey up and we hit the road, driving all along the coast of the Indian Ocean with our jaws dropped the entire way.  Let's put it this way: the landscape was so gorgeous that Joey was even willing to pull the car over - several times - so I could get out to take pictures.  

Our first stop along the drive was Boulder Beach, home to a colony of penguins!  Real penguins!  In the wild!  Well, technically it was a national park, but that counts.  

After we left Boulder Beach, we started to notice road signs, like the ones you’d see in Iowa for deer, but for baboons instead.

Still elated from seeing penguins waddle on the beach, I couldn’t hope to actually see a baboon.  And then there it was – a baboon!  He was just hanging out along the highway with his three friends, no big deal.  

A ranger flagged us down; she and her partner were trying to make sure people didn't feed the baboons, because apparently they can be quite violent when they see food.   In fact, if a baboon sees food in your car, it will open an unlocked car door, and take you down for your sandwich.  Kind of like Joey when you won't let him eat his burger because you want to take a picture of it first.
And people say we didn't evolve from primates...

We reached the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, from where we continued our drive to Cape Point and I continued my South African photo shoot.  As if wild penguins and baboons weren't cool enough in one day, soon we came across a family of ostriches!  They walked so close to our car window we could have touched them; Joey exclaimed, "I feel like I'm in Jurassic Park right now!"

Cape Point isn't the southernmost tip in Africa, but it's pretty close.  We trekked up the daunting stone staircase to the lighthouse (because what would a vacation be without at least a little "death march") and then took the funicular on the way down because I was sweating in my cute pink loafers.  

At the lighthouse summit almost at the southern-most tip of Africa.

As we slowly drove back from Cape Point to the entrance of the nature reserve, I noticed an animal in the distance.  "Stop the car.  There is a ______ zebra."

Joey looked at me skeptically.

"Stop!  Stop!  There's a _______ __________ zebra!"  (At least I'm only sort of turning into my mother.  She would have said, "DEER!  DEER!  DEER!"  I'm keeping it real with my sailor mouth.  That part I get from my dad's side.)

Sure enough, in the distance we spotted (or should I say striped) three zebras.  Just grazing.  How cool is that?

We drove back up the Atlantic side of the cape along Chapman’s Peak Drive, a winding trail built into the side of the cliffs.  The view over Hout Bay was truly breathtaking. 

We decided on a late lunch of fresh fish and chips at a local fish shack in Hout Bay.  The chips were a little soggy but the fish was perfectly crisp.  We followed it with a beer and some calamari on the deck of a restaurant overlooking the wharf and watched seals and seagulls and fisherman brave the freezing cold temperatures repeatedly to lug in huge nets of squirming fish.

We made it back to Cape Town just before sunset for a nap and a shower, followed by dinner at an amazing steak restaurant, aptly named Carne.  Still tired from our long haul from Abuja, we decided to skip the tempting nightlife on Long St. and turn in early to make the most of the rest of our trip.