Back to Cape Town, Day 4

Sunday, March 12

With our change in schedule, today we headed back to Cape Town, and even arrived early enough to give you time to schedule a full day of activities.  How did you fill your time today and when did you learn about South Africa along the way?

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31 Responses to “Back to Cape Town, Day 4”

  1. Phil Says:

    Kavita’s birthday! The concert at the botanical gardens offered a beautiful backdrop and fantastic way to lay out and enjoy those around you. Later in the night, the wind started howling and gave a glimpse at how quickly the weather can change in Cape Town.

  2. Samantha Frapart Says:

    This day was so joyful. If I could sing about Kavita getting a little bit older forever, I would.

    Many of us attended the Sunday concert in the botanical gardens. Not only was it a stunning view of the SA landscape, but it was also a glimpse into the lives of the SA community. The music was folksy and fun and the families adorable. Two noteworthy moments:

    1. Being the obnoxious Americans we are, we all got a bit tipsy and quite loud. Apparently, concerts are not for loud talking in SA and it became clear very fast that we were out of our element and not liked by all.

    2. A couple of us found some adorable older travelers on our way to the bathroom, and discovered that they came from all over the world, but that one woman was from D.C. When I asked her if she went to the March she said sarcastically, “Did I go to the March?” We learned that she had once been the President of the American Associate of University Women and warm embraces were had by all. It was SO COOL to have this beautiful feminist moment between two generations of American women in this perfect SA setting.

  3. Eugene Shearer Says:

    The concert for Kavita’s birthday was amazing. We saw folk singers from all over Africa perform in an absolutely stunning venue. I learned that South Africans really enjoy their free time. Whether at the concert or at a nightclub, South Africans enjoy their leisurely time and enjoy it until the very last moment possible until they have to go to work on Mondays.

  4. Sam Says:

    After spending the night cursing the wind and the HVAC design at Krystal Beach, I was excited to get back to the more familiar confines of the Pepperclub. We spent much of the morning walking around Bo-Kaap and the V&A, showing Eugene what he had missed earlier in the trip. Bo-Kaap was especially interesting given its past history, and the current struggle of longtime residents to maintain some of that originality as the area gentrifies.

    Having gone to the summer concert series in Kirstenbosch the previous Sunday (one of the prettiest venues I think I’ll ever go to), a group of us opted to go to Cafe Caprice on Sunday afternoon. While not the most intellectual of endeavors, we had a great time meeting locals and other tourists alike while catching a spectacular sunset over Camps Bay.

  5. John Says:

    It was nice to get to know Cape Town a little better today. I particularly enjoyed the Muslim neighborhood of Bo-Kaap, whose aesthetically beauty hid some troubled circumstances just under the surface. The number of displaced cyclists from the day’s canceled race lent a surreal air to much of the town. I also chose to return to the Rugby museum and purchase a jersey, since I wanted to support the mission that Andy had so eloquently articulated a few days prior. Also, it was just a pretty sweet jersey.

  6. Tyler Says:

    This day was a fairly relaxed one. In the morning and early afternoon, a group of us walked through the colorful neighborhood of Bo-Kaap, where many of Cape Town’s Muslim people live. We continued onward to the Waterfront, where we also ate lunch. I found a vendor stand that was serving 4 different times of exotic meats on a kebab: crocodile, zebra, warthog, and ostrich. I’ve had ostrich before but I had never tried the other 3. The zebra turned out to be my favorite. Later that day we ventured out to Camps Bay where we celebrated with a few sunset drinks at Cafe Caprice, which turned out to be a favorite watering hole in Cape town.

  7. Linda Says:

    This was a very fun, full day – Kavita’s birthday! A few of us girls went to find a place where she and we could get mani/pedis. Our search took us to a local mall. I noticed that most of the nail technicians were from different countries – Congo, Zimbabwe. I’ve also noticed that about the Uber drivers.

    Then we went to the beach for about an hour where we were hounded by men selling cold drinks. I braved the frigid water for a few seconds.

    We ended the day with the concert at the Botanical gardens – great tunes, gorgeous setting – and dinner at a wonderful seafood/Greek restaurant in Camps Bay called Mezepoli.

  8. Bill Quach Says:

    I spent this day walking around Cape Town, exploring and connecting the dots between the Pepper Club, Bo Kaap, the Springbok Rugby Museum, and the waterfront for some stew and pap from the food court. The evening was spent at one of the most beautiful concert venues, the Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts. It was amazing to see such a strong showing on a Sunday night at the Cafe Caprice and catch a glimpse of Cape Town nightlife.

  9. Caley Says:

    Today a group of us went to Truth Coffee to try the best coffee in South Africa. Since the bike race was cancelled, there were a bunch of bikers having brunch and making the most of the day, regardless of the fact that they didn’t get to complete. Later in the day I went to the Green-market where it was interesting to see the types of products locals were selling and how much overlap there was from booth to booth.

  10. Garry Ferguson Says:

    Sunday, 12 March: Back to Cape Town and more valuable, valuable time with friends on the bus. The bus rides were probably the most underrated, yet fruitful parts of the trip. I am so thankful for the friends I made on the bus. That cannot be overstated. Additionally, the bus ride became a pseudo-safari, offering the opportunity to view striking vistas and a myriad of native wildlife.

  11. Parnali Says:

    Today, as we headed back to Cape Town we were extremely excited about the concert a group of us had planned on attending as part of the Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts, in the Kirstenbosch gardens. This was the most incredible concert I had ever gone to. Though ACL and SXSW are extremely fun as they are outdoor concerts all around Austin, they did not at all compare to the views we witnessed at Kirstenbosch. To be able to listen to incredible music, bring your own food/drinks and socialize with friends and family surrounded by the most beautiful gardens and mountains I had ever seen was a surreal experience. I was so happy to share this memory with so many of our classmates, as I will always tie that incredible memory back to the friendships I made with first years from our program in the Kirstenbosch gardens.

  12. Mansi Narula Says:

    Today was a very relaxing day in Capetown. A group of us walked about through town in search for the best coffee that Cape town had to offer. We came upon Truth coffee which was filled with poor cyclists that couldn’t race. They were known for their flat whites (house blend) and many of us ended up getting two rounds of coffees. On the way back I went to small market near by. My favorite part of the day was watching the town wake up from its Sunday slumber.

  13. Alana Says:

    When we arrived back in Cape Town, I took some time to walk around. I headed to the Cape Town Kirstenbosch Summer Concert with the group. The scenery was beautiful and the concert was a lot of fun.

    At the concert, a good number of people were there with blankets, food and wine. There was a great sense of community during the concert. I also noticed how loud we were compared to the others at the concert, and thought it was funny. During the Kirstenbosch concert, people were either talking quietly or solely focused on the music. At the very end, everyone started dancing together.

  14. Nick Eyer Says:

    Today was relatively uneventful for me as I was still feeling a little out of it from whatever got to my stomach the days prior. However, I did make it out to the local Muslim community in Cape Town, which was full of vibrant, picturesque buildings. I also walked over to the Waterfront, where a group of us purchased our tickets for a Wednesday morning trip to Robben Island. Later that evening, still feeling a little out of it, I stayed at the hotel and watched a series of Rugby 7s matches as part of the Canada Sevens Tournament in Vancouver. Unfortunately, the US finished 4th and the South Africans placed 2nd to the English. Regardless, it was much more enjoyable watching now that I understood the basics of the game!

  15. Micah Says:

    Seems I mixed days up the days again. This was the day of the concert, which was beautiful. We then went to dinner for Kavita’s birthday, where Garry and Phil and I had to carry the load for our table and finish all the food we ordered. Thankfully, we were up for the challenge.

  16. Caroline Says:

    In the morning I went to the market where I learned that Micah is the worst bargainer I have ever met. After that we spent some time at the beach before coming back to get ready for the concert at Kirstenbosch and celebrate Kavita’s birthday! The concert was awesome. I have never been to Red Rocks in Denver, but I imagine this is similar. The scenery was just incredible and the music was great. It was as if we were in a little sanctuary up in the mountains. The rest of the night was filled with lots of food and birthday festivities.

  17. Preeta Maitra Says:

    This was a great day. Not only was it Kavita’s birthday, but my husband also arrived in Cape Town that day! I wasn’t sure how much we would be able to do with Bradley’s jetlag, but he was a trooper and we joined the group for a concert at Kirstenbosch and then dinner. Kirstenbosch was the most magical concert venue I have ever experienced! It was surreal to be surrounded by gorgeous mountains and gardens while folk bands serenaded us. I was surprised, however, that there was only one park-run food vendor stall. At a concert like that in the US, it would likely be over-run with vendors selling funnel cakes, fried oreos, and the likes.

  18. Samantha Toth Says:

    Happy birthday Kavita! This was a very relaxed day. Upon arriving back in Cape Town, we visited the Long Street Market, spent some time on the beach, and went to a folk concert at the botanical gardens in the evening. It again highlighted the stark differences between the white and non-white experience in Cape Town. As many people have pointed out, the concert at the botanical gardens was lovely, but attended almost exclusively by white people. It was relatively rare for us, while touring Cape Town, to see non-white people who were not in service roles, given that 90% of the country’s population is non-white.

  19. Renee Weissend Says:

    This was a relaxed day – I truly enjoyed having free time to explore Cape Town. We went to an epic coffee store for morning coffee. Best coffee of my life. The beans were grown right in South Africa. Such a treat. We also went a market down the street from the hotel. It was interesting to see the different cultural crafts being sold. It was such a treat to simply spend the day in Cape Town – the more laid back pace allowed me to see what “a day in the life” in Cape Town was in a more realistic way.

  20. Rooma Chi Says:

    I feel like we made most of our day back in Cape Town. A group of us hung out on Clifton Beach for a bit where drink vendors were very aggressive in trying to sell to us. The number of vendors was quite high for the number of people on the beach and we couldn’t go five minutes without someone trying to sell to us. It really spoke to the large issue of unemployment that South Africa is facing.

    Later that night, we enjoyed the concert at the beautiful gardens at Kirstenbosch followed by a delicious Mediterranean dinner near Camps Bay.

  21. Kristin Johnson Says:

    This was one of my favorite days on the trip. We spent time at a steampunk-themed coffee roastery in the morning followed by a market visit and exploration of Cape Town. We later on went to Cafe Caprice, where we enjoyed fantastic rose and experienced the nightlife on Sundays in Cape Town.

  22. Moni Says:

    I spent the morning at the market where I bartered for some souvenirs. I think after having the perspective of the village and seeing the poverty in South Africa, I was torn between not being taken advantage of with “premium” prices and negotiating over what was equivalent to $5USD, which I’m sure was more valuable to them than to me.

    I spent the rest of the afternoon celebrating Kavita’s birthday at the Beach, a Kirstenbosch concert, and dinner.

  23. Adriana Penalba Says:

    We used this free day to celebrate Kavita’s birthday! First, we went to the mall to get manicures, and it was interesting to see how differently South African parents rear their children. There was a child running around barefoot in the mall, and her mother and father were not the least bit concerned! We also visited the beach which was beautiful, and finally we went to a concert at the botanical gardens which was even more beautful. It was a great day.

  24. Kavita Says:

    It was a wonderful day! I got to celebrate my 29th birthday with so many wonderful people in the program. Some of us started out the day by getting manicures, and then headed to the beach to get some sunshine. We went to an incredible folk concert in the botanical gardens, where I was surprised to hear so many familiar American songs. The backdrop, company, wine and music was perfect. We ended the night at Mezepoli, a Mediterranean restaurant. We ate ourselves into happy food comas and went to bed. I couldn’t have asked for a more relaxing day!

  25. Baoxin Says:

    We rushed to the Green Market as soon as we arrived at Pepperclub. The market was full of beautiful African styled artifacts. I wished I could buy some staff to my parents, but they were in China and I could not bring the gifts to them. So I searched “South African giraffe wood carving” on Alibaba, and ordered one to my parents. What a great company Alibaba is! We went to the Botanical Garden to attend a concert. Really enjoyed the music.

  26. Swati Seth Says:

    This day was all about Kavita’s birthday. We spent the initial part of the day shopping at the local market in Cape Town. For a moment, I felt like I was back in some market in India since I was haggling for price and using similar bargaining tactics. I got the biggest surprise when a random couple I spoke to while shopping turned out to know my father since they had been colleagues. What a small world! We ended the day celebrating Kavita’s birthday at the botanical gardens and having a group dinner thereafter.

  27. Lauren Busch Says:

    What I loved about this trip was the amount of time we had to explore Cape Town on our own. It was the perfect mix of education and fun! On this day, some of the girls and I visited a popular roastery, walked around a garden in the middle of the city and visited the African market. An eventful day ended up turning into a rough night as I started to experience stomach problems like some of my classmates. But a good night’s sleep was enough for me to be on the mend by the following morning. A huge relief as I didn’t want to miss any part of this trip!

  28. Frank Jia Says:

    A group of us went to Bo-Kaap area at the afternoon. Walking down the street with its distinctive pastel colored houses was an memorable experience. On my way to the Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concert, my Uber driver was from Somali and he has 13 children. We talked about his immigration story and how he has built up an family, raised children and make a meaningful living there.

  29. Brian Murphy Says:

    Checked out Bo-Kaap – what a beautiful area! Also worked out at a local Crossfit gym. Crossfit in S Africa was almost exactly like Crossfit in the states. Everyone was very friendly and introduced themselves before class. A S African guy talked with me for about 20 minutes about things to do and see around Cape Town. Same community feel as the Crossfit in the states. Except everything in kilograms.

  30. Katie Thigpen Says:

    Went to Truth Coffee–what a funky, cool place. Had some amazing cold brew coffee (was missing my cold brew from home) and then walked through the main park in the center of town. It was so strange that people were selling nuts to give to the squirrels (literally everywhere). I want to get close to squirrels/feed squirrels about as much as I want to encounter a raccoon in the daytime. I don’t. So it was weird that this was a practice in SA. At night, we went to Cafe Caprice and watched the sunset with good friends. It was a happy very happy day.

  31. Natasha Mayekar Says:

    This was yet another wonderful day exploring Cape Town! I enjoyed visiting Truth Coffee with other ladies and sipping on a lovely cup of coffee with a pastry. I then rested up at the hotel and joined the group at Kirstenbosch Gardens for an evening concert and dinner for Kavita’s birthday – what a wonderful day! The garden was absolutely unreal and I loved relaxing on the lawn while enjoying some local tunes.

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