Cape Town South Africa
33.9253° S, 18.4239° E
Welp we made it to South Africa and out of Joburg all in one piece! BTW it’s Joburg not Jo-burg as I was calling it when I arrived…oops my bad.
Anyways I say that first sentence because Tom and I have not heard one good thing about Joburg. Even the people who live in Joburg tell you to get out of Joburg. In fact the locals we met asked us why we even came to Joburg, and the answer is that’s where our ticket into South Africa was to.
The plan was always to get out of Joburg as quickly as possible because we have heard Joburg can be an unsafe area and while we made it out completely safe the only thing I can tell you about the area is navigate it cautiously and probably don’t plan to stay long.
So we planned things very carefully for our arrival to town and thanks to good planning we had a great time during our one night in Joburg.
We stayed at Brown Sugar Backpackers who conveniently gives you a free ride from the airport to their hostel! From then on they also have a driver available to take you anywhere you need or in our case pick up tickets to the Eminem concert we purchased 3 hours after our arrival upon finding out he was in town for the night.
This was Eminem’s first time in Joburg, which made it a pretty big deal! I’m not gonna lie, it was a pretty fun concert. I’ve listened to enough radio growing up to know almost every song he sang, my favorites of the show being Love the Way You Lie, Lose Yourself, and Toy Soldier.
Anyways, back to Brown Sugar. I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND this backpackers.
Travelers Tip: Stay at Brown Sugar Backpackers! It may be a little more spendy than some of the other backpackers in the area, but it has everything you need from post cards and stamps, to a free GOOD breakfast buffet with eggs!, free WIFI and computers, meals available on site, and a driver to take you to the close grocery store in a safe area of town.
Most people find themselves in Joburg for at least the beginning or end of their journey as most International Flights fly in Joburg. Plus it’s an easy hop to Kruger National Park with many safaris running out of Joberg. Tom and I plan to do that toward the end of our trip and will definitely be back at Brown Sugar the night before we fly out.
We woke up and checked out of our hostel around 10 Sunday morning.
We then chilled for a while. Brown Sugar is fine with you hanging around as long as you need. The bus we booked wouldn’t be leaving until 1430.
There are a couple ways to get from Joburg to Cape Town. The first being fly, but when I looked into tickets, it was $300 a person. Bus and Train are both around R660 with is about $60 USD so we went with it.
We would have preferred to take the train, but as the website will only book tickets 3-90 days out we opted for the bus as we didn’t want to deal with buying tickets out in Joburg. (Maybe we were a little too cautious, so if you know otherwise please tell us SOMETHING good about Joburg below in the comments. But not one person has said anything about Joburg other than GET OUT!)
The bus was an ok way to travel. But any 18 hour trip gets old fast. None-the-less I feel like a real traveler now having rode the bus.
We caught up on some reading and attempted to sleep.
Before we knew it, we were in Cape Town and met up with our friend Claudia, who we met in New Zealand.
When we last said goodbye, we knew we’d be meeting up in Cape Town as Claudia had lined up an internship here at the German School.
We crashed with Claudia at her gueststay for a couple days as we figured out where to go next.
This was turning out to be a trickier task than otherwise planned because our first weekend in town is the Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Cycle Tour , which apparently is one of the largest timed road races in the world. Claudia is actually competing in it this weekend! Go Claudia!
Tom turned out to be my hero in finding us a home.
Shortly after arriving at Claudia’s I decided to go check out the yoga studio in town.
Despite leaving in time to get there a half hour early, I still found myself walking in circles trying to find the studio when class would be starting.
Thinking positively I figured it must mean a better use of my time would be to find us a place to stay. Setting out, I started walking into every guesthouse and hostel on my way home only to be met with no availability (and a couple places just way out of our price range!)
60 min after returning home Tom had not only calmed me down, but also found us the perfect gueststay just north of the city near Tableview in Big Bay.
There is a reason they call it Tableview. While Cape Town may be walking distance from the iconic Table Top Mountain we have the perfect Iconic view of the city with Table Top rising up behind and we are loving life!
Here’s what a typical day in the life of Court Court and Tom Tom looks like in Big Bay:
Wake up, drink coffee
- Go for a run on the beach, buy Americanos.
- Head home make breakfast
- Tom works, Court Mucks around
- At some point in the afternoon Beer thirty rolls around so we head down to the beach.
- Head back for a couple more hours of work.
- Call it a day a half hour before Sunset when we head back to the beach and hang out with the locals particularly one family who we’ve also seen every night.
As you can see it’s a pretty awesome life, but here are some things that make that possible.
- While our close to beach front property is a little bit of a splurge at R410 ($40) a night, it is worth it for the safety we have (It’s in a gated community Mom with not 1 but 3 locks to get to our door!) and it’s proximity to the water.
- Food costs are very affordable. It’s almost a toss up as to whether eating out or buying dinner is more affordable. (So when you head to the grocery store at 8 and realize it’s close, it’s no big deal!)
A beer at a restaurant might cost R30 and if you buy it at the bottle store it’s R10. ($3 and $1 respectively)
- The internets are some of the best we’ve had so far.
- Good Internets=Happy Tom=Happy Wife=Happy Life!
- Wine is even more affordable than beer and it’s good! There is a big difference between the cheap stuff and the more spendy stuff, but more spendy mean R50 versus R30.
As a side note, this is a country where tip is expected. If you don’t tip in fact the waiter will come over and ask why. Acceptable tipping practices, however, mean 5-7%.
Long story short, we are loving it in Cape Town. We are so grateful to be in this wonderful area for 30 days!!! and looking forward to the following month in South Africa when we will travel around and see what the rest of this country has to offer. From what I’ve read and heard that means lions, rhinos, giraffes, dunes, desert, elephants, victoria falls, and much much more!
Ocean Front Apartments are going for R1.2 million (That $120,000!!) Anyone want to go in on a property together?!?!
Lots of time to muck: