Finishing up the cape peninsula and we’ve got 16 mins on the GPS to get back to the hostel, leaving 22 to get to Budget, in rush hour probably, and drop the Polo off before getting charged another day. It always turns into a race.
On the way, we drop Mark off at The Backpack to see if Drisdelle has arrived yet. Looks great right now with Table Mountain behind it.
Peter and I Polo over to the Cape Town Budget, get lost twice, and just manage to find it before they close. “I see you’re missing a hubcap”, “Well, we’ve replaced the whole wheel actually.”, “Can I see your paper?”, “We’ve got the waiver here”, “Ah I see. Sign your details here and describe what happened here.” Aaaaand we’re done. Hopefully the WTDW holds and nothing extra gets charged to the credit card.
It’s only a 15 min walk back to the hostel so we strut it up. When we get back our ol’ pal Jamie Drisdelle is there in the common area with Mark. So is our new friend Priscilla who’s just loving the vibe of this adventure shaping up. We get her to snap a pic for us.
Gotta love when a plan comes together
Grab four Blockhouse IPAs and swap horrendous flight stories with Drisdelle who took upwards of 36 hours to get here. Really wish it was easier, I’m loving this country so far.
Whelp, let’s get to it then. Mark has scoped out a wine bar nearby that’s walkable. Priscilla joins us. We’re on the case…
Publik Wine Bar
Trendy spot with an open air seating area, dried meats hanging from the bar and a good looking wine list.
Priscilla tells us she’s going shark cage diving tomorrow. Sounds fun. Where we tend to lean towards the ‘let’s plan nothing, get lost, and meet the locals’ traveler type, she seems like the adrena-venture traveler type. She tells us that she’s a registered nurse in El Paso. “You’ll have to come out to California and hang with us there”, “OMG, that would be so fun!” She shows us pics from Kruger and this treehouse she stayed in by the park. She’s got some quality pics. It’s fun to run into people that know how to travel and you skip past the bullshit right to the good stuff.
We each get a wine flight. It’s all relatively good wine but we’re so lost in stories and catching up that I don’t really notice what I’m drinking. Priscilla whispers to me, “Did you notice the guys are all wearing basically matching blue shirts with prints on them”, “Oh yeah, I’ve already made fun of them about it. Waited until we were almost here so they couldn’t get changed”, “Haha let’s get a pic”, “Good idea.”
My friend Karen checks in to see where we’re at and comes over to Publik to meet up with us. I haven’t seen her since High School so we’ve got a loooooot of catching up to do. She walks in and I instantly recognize her. She looks great. I stand up to great her and get a big ol hug. “It’s great to see you!” You just can’t beat friends from home.
I introduce her to the gang. “Are you guys wearing matching shirts or something?” Haha, yes! High five for Karen and Priscilla, “That’s what we were saying!”
Ahhh this is great. Good wine, good company. Karen fills me in on her Cape Town backstory. She basically came here to visit Cape Town, met a dude, liked the dude and stayed. Now they’re raising twins. Two, 2 year old twins. Boy and a girl. Wow. Amazing. “Sounds exhausting. But you look fantastic”, “Thank you, so do you!”
Karen and I re-engage with the rest of the table and everyone finishes another glass of wine. New friends, old friends, everyone coming together, it feels like the first day of the trip again. It’s an easy mix of people and the red wine smiles are flying.
Priscilla takes off due to her early morning shark excursion. We wrap up and move on too.
The Power and the Glory
Karen takes us to another place where we can grab some grub called The Power and the Glory. Bold name, this place kind of has to be cool. We walk in and there is an ordering counter up front, you grab your number and find a table. The menu consists solely of gourmet hotdogs and meat pies. This may not sound all that powerful and glorious, but the plates look damned good going by.
I order a Hot Dog con Carne, a beer to work with it, and find an open booth. Three matching game show hosts sit across from Karen and me.
Old friends, woot!
The hot dog con carne comes in a pretzel bun with chilli and cilantro on top. It’s really good. Everyone is raving about their meat pies too. Good choice Karen.
We tell Karen about how spectacular the sunset on the drive in here was. Being on a cape facing West there must be killer sunsets all the time. “They call it ‘Sundowner’ here. Going for sundowner. The best sundowner in Cape Town is in Clifton.”, “We’ll have to have a sundowner in Clifton then!”
We get a few rounds in at the P&G and then the itching to ramp things up starts coming on. Karen recognizes that gleam in the eyes of her fellow Maritimers and decides to bow out. I let her go without too much chirping, raising twins and all. “Great city you’ve got here, thanks for showing us around”, “So good to see you. Really”, “It really is. I’ll probably be back sometime, so…” Huggy hug hug bye bye.
The Orphanage Cocktail Emporium
After passing by this joint a couple of times already it’s finally time to check it out. It’s rad. Dimly lit with a great bottle display. The signature cocktail list looks phenomenal and the bartenders take great care in crafting their drinks. As a huge bonus, the bartender also looks exactly like Anthony Kiedis
We get some cocktails and take to the tables outside to chill in the Cape Town air.
A street performer kneels down not far from us and starts lighting something on fire. Alright! Whadda we got here?
Some nearby security guards make him stop and kick him off the street. Ahh man, we didn’t even get to see what it was.
Back in for another round and we opt for a couple of Swim and Tonics. These end up looking like a fish bowl in a large goblet, complete with rubber goldfish. The cucumber is sliced lengthwise to look like an underwater plant or hairgrass. Not only is the presentation super extra, the drink’s slightly unbalanced flavor, tipping heavily to the gin side of things, is about perfect for this hour.
It’s getting late and we’re all a little gooned. Also surprised Drisdelle is still standing after his flight horror schedule today. We take another look through the emails about picking up the truck tomorrow. Always best to figure out details while your swaysted. “That rig looks like an absolute unit!” Can’t wait to hit the road. Maybe we’ll get to Table Mountain in the morning and grab the truck in the afternoon. We could even hike Lion’s Head for sunset (recommendation from Waldo’s Joburg friends) and then have another Cape Town blow out before we start making our way North for Namibia in our monster truck on Friday. Things are getting exciting
(When you start taking bullshit pictures because the lighting and textures are blowing your mind, it’s time to go home)