We entered South Africa with no issues and immediately treated to a dramatic change in landscape. Gone was the dry and dusty Namibian landscape and in it's place was lush green fields and mountainous backdrops.
The contrast was most welcome and a stunning sight.
Our camp was only 15km over the border so we arrived early and relaxed. The camp was situated on the Orange River and if the desire to know what Mexicans feel like overcame us we could swim over the river and re-enter Namibia without border issues.
As such, I felt no need to change my name to Jesus and contented myself with enjoying the view.
The day was uneventful, aside from the unnecessarily-needed Halloween party. As an Australian, I see no point in celebrating Halloween. It really has nothing to do with us, but being the good sports we are we decided to go with the flow.
I put on my new wetsuit and went as Scuba Steve and Danni went as a Terrorist, using my headscarf I got in the Middle East.
Wasn't too bad considering what we had with us, but then one person decided our "costumes" were not good enough and we didn't try. Coming from a guy who decided it would be funny to dress up as a "coal miner" which was basically his way to get away with colouring his face black.
Very clever thing to do in a predominately black country.
Once he opened his overly opinionated mouth, the idea of any fun was gone and I got changed, also it was freezing cold.
A pretty cool birds nest
The next day, the cleverly costumed people thought it would be a blast to go out in public like that, including the white guy dressed as a black guy. He was proud of the looks he was getting.
It was another driving day, the weather was cold and it was a miserably grey day but we arrived at our new camp mid-afternoon and I was happy to know it would be the last night I would be pumping up that bloody air mattress. It was also another day of Mr. Opinionated to throw out snarky comments to Danni and I.
No idea what we did to him but he was a real dickhole for the last couple of days of the trip, but then again all he wanted to do was control the entire group. Thankfully our tour leaders (who were awesome) didn't let that happen.
It rained that night, a fitting finale to our camping days with the floor becoming semi-flooded. Thankfully no one got too wet or have an items affected.
CAPE TOWN, HERMANUS & STELLENBOSCH
It was both a pity and a relief that when we arrived in Cape Town. A pity that our tour ended (despite it being on a sour note with certain people) and a relief because Cape Town is one of our favourite cities in the world. It was great seeing table mountain, even though it was covered in clouds due to the overcast conditions.
I immediately left our lodge where we had checked in for the night (the tour technically didn't finish until the next day) and headed to the Two Oceans Aquarium where I had booked a dive with the sharks.
It was a busy dive with 4 others including the Scottish Divemaster who could have make a whale feel skinny. He was a big boy but a really nice guy (and not shy about his weight).
The dive consisted of 5 female jagged-tooth sharks, a couple of sting rays, fish, one huge female loggerhead turtle who decided to make a small appearance before settling back behind her rock.
Sharks generally don't scare me but, as we were told it was near feeding time and since they are hand fed it's not a good idea to extend your hand out least they think you are feeding them, I had the sudden feeling they were watching me, and waiting. One of them even swam past me and I could see her eye following me. Quite unnerving.
The loggerhead was beautiful though and I scored a sharks tooth from the floor of the aquarium.
I see what you doing…boy
After the dive, I caught up with Danni and we explored the Waterfront, and Cape Union Market to buy some more supplies for our trip to Europe. We had dinner at the Greek Tavern, one of our favourite restaurants in Cape Town, before heading back to our lodge.
It was so nice to sleep in a bed again.
We had breakfast with our tour leaders the next day in the Waterfront and then we picked up our hire car and drove 2-hours towards Hermanus.
Hermanus reminded me of the perfect seaside town. It was so peaceful and quiet there, lots of restaurants and it is situated on Walkers Bay. We checked into our Guesthouse and walked across the road to the bay where we were immediately treated to Whale's playing in the bay.
Apparently during this time of the year it is a common sight to behold. We walked along the coastal path and into town where we explored the sites. There isn't a whole lot there which is part of the appeal.
The next morning we woke up insanely early and headed to Gansbaai for our Cage Diving with the Sharks. We thought we were going with the group who we booked with but they palmed us off to another group. Much to our dissatisfaction. The group we booked with are the only company who have a constant air supply so we don't have to breath hold while in the cage.
Anyway we were a packed boat, 19 people in total, and we headed the short ride out to see where we immediately got to see one shark.
I won't go into detail, the video is below, but in the end we saw 10 sharks - 6 females and 4 males, one of them being a young one.
They are such beautiful creatures and didn't at all look threatening.
We finished and returned to our Guesthouse around midday and had a much needed nap. Afterwards we went back to the bay and spent a good hour or so watching 4 or 5 whales playing in the water. They were breaching and splashing their tails about, or just sun baking upside down. It was pretty cool.
Dinner was at the local steakhouse and I had possibly the best steak I've ever had. I've go back just to have another one.
The next day we drove back towards Cape Town but stopping in Stellenbosch, the wine region of the Western Cape. Stellenbosch is the classic country style town.
The town is only a couple of blocks in size, it's well kept and probably one of those places where all the locals know each other. It also has a European feel to it. The outskirts are lush green fields of vineyards and farmlands (and a golf course).
We didn't do a whole lot there, we explored the town and had lunch and dinner there, spoke to some of the locals who were studying there. Stellenbosch is a really nice place. Peaceful even.
We returned to Cape Town the next day and just relaxed. It was to be our last day in Africa.