Monday, November 16, 2009

Cape Town

We had a GREAT time in Cape Town, despite the record-breaking horrible weather the one week we were there. We were so excited for this trip because Ben hasn't had a day off for about 5 months and also because it's just such a cool place. It's always on the Top 10 lists of places to visit. We left Thursday afternoon and stopped halfway for the night in Colesberg at this awesome campsite:

We continued on our way and arrived in Cape Town around 1pm. The weather was a little overcast, but not raining so we headed to Boulder Beach in Simon's Bay to see the penguins. On the way we saw this restaurant. I wanted to stop, but Ben said no:

The little penguinos! They are so cute.

It was molting season, hence the funny feathers:

Little buddies:

After the penguins, we drove down to the very tip of Africa, to Cape Point. We hiked to the top to the lighthouses and out to the edge. It was incredibly windy, but so cool.

Where should we go next?

Baboons are crazy. They are so funny to watch.

We had some fun on the beach:

Saturday morning, I got THE FLU!! And it was raining and crappy. We had quite the bad luck. We had no idea that the rain would persist every single day of our trip...and we'd never get to break out our swim suits. I was feeling okay enough to go to the City Center and see some of the historical sites. Here is the Castle of Good Hope:

And the court house:

And an awesome bedazzled car:

The rest of the day, I was throwing up and achy....which wasn't fun. But the weather was so crappy that at least it wasn't sunny when I was sick. Sunday morning we went to church at the Mowbray ward, the very first chapel built in South Africa in 1917! It was pretty cool. Then quickly back to bed to recover.

Monday was supposed to be Table Mountain day, but it was always covered in dark clouds and raining, so we pushed it off, praying we'd get one good day to hike it. So instead, we headed to Hermanus (1.5 hours away) to hopefully see some whales. It's always been my dream to see one and I didn't think we'd see any...with our luck.

WRONG! We saw like 50 whales!

These are Southern Right Whales and they come to the South African coast from Sept-November to breed and then they take their babies back to Antartica. There were lots of babies and this one was ALBINO! It's the only one they've ever seen!

There were lots of fun restaurants right on the beach and we were able to have some good food while watching all of this breaching! It was amazing. And it was good weather here.

I love their tails.

We went down to these rocks and 6-7 whales came right up to us and were rolling around and doing funny things. We were so close!

It was definitely one of the highlights of the trip. Dream come true! When we went back to Cape Town, we decided to go up to Table Mountain and try to hike it. There were still clouds but the weather was only supposed to get worse. We decided to hike it and talked to some of the people coming down that said it was totally worth it and you could catch glimpsed through the clouds now and then.

It was the hardest hike! I still didn't feel 100% and it was straight up the mountain. It rained harder and harder as we got closer and the wind got so bad we had to get down and brace ourselves so it wouldn't blow us off the cliffs. When we were only 20 minutes from the top, lots of people were suddenly coming down and told us that the mountain was closed because the weather was too bad. And the cable car that we were planning on riding down was closed too. BUMMER. We had to turn around and walk all the way back down.

A cool pic of Table Mountain without any clouds. (from

Here was the view before the weather became crazy. Cape Town is known for having 4 seasons in one day. We'd wake up to blue skies and it would stay for about 20 minutes before it was dark as night and raining like crazy. I definitely prefer Jo'burg's weather.

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday we pretty much just chilled and relaxed. Ben studied hard for the GMAT (which he's planning on taking when we get back). The weather was just too poopy to do anything, we couldn't skydive or swim or anything. We were pretty disappointed...but still had a great time just being together. We did take some cards and hang on the beach a couple of times, but it only lasted about an hour before the weather got too bad again.

We left Cape Town on Friday morning to drive the Garden Route on the way home. We were hoping to leave the bad weather, but we seriously just took it with us everywhere we went. Even today being back in Joburg, it's overcast when it had been sunny previously. The Garden Route was really pretty, but it was hard to really enjoy the beaches with it raining. We stopped in Mossel Bay, Wilderness, Buffalo Bay, Knysna, and Plettensberg. We did a hike in Plettensberg to see these cute seals, there were 4,500 of them!

We stayed the night at a fun backpackers place called Starling Village where we got to play ping pong and turn down cocktails all night! We had skydiving set up for the next day, Saturday, and when we woke up it was the bluest skies of the whole trip. We were so excited, so we called but they said it was TOO WINDY!! Ah. We were so frustrated by this point. We decided to hang around and hope that the wind would settle down. It finally did around 1pm and they called and said "Let's do it!"

I wasn't as scared as I thought I would be. Bungee jumping was definitely scarier. I certainly had the butterflies and had many thoughts of "what if I die" .... but we LOVED it and are so happy we did it. Here's the beautiful view from above:

I didn't get super scared until the second he opened the door right next to me and I had to get my legs out on that But we went out so fast and were falling, it all went by in a blur. It was sooooo awesome. And when he pulled that chute, it was like heaven. We stayed up in the air forever because of the wind and it was just so quiet and peaceful with stunning views of the coast and ocean.

We got the DVD's which are so funny, but way too long to post on here. I'll figure out how to cut them down shorter and post them sometime. After that, we just drove the long 14 hours home and didn't get back till 4am. Overall, we had a great time and loved the last 2 weeks of being together. Ben's back to work now on a tough new case, but all is well. We're excited for my cousin Jared and his wife Tiff to come visit in 2 weeks!! And also--we are officially the new volunteer lion caretakers at the Rhino Lion Nature Reserve!! We are so excited. Our names have been on the list since we got here, so we can't wait to spend most our weekends there playing with the cubs (and feeding them meat and cleaning their cages and stuff). Pretty dang cool huh?


Nades said...

O my gosh! I am so jealous! if it weren't for my "big"trip next year i would so be visiting my cousin in capetown this year! I loved the penquins to! there were really really cute to watch! Sorry u didnt get to go right to the top of tablemountain! it is absolutely breathtaking! i'll have to send you my kodak moment of the sunset(which was at like 9:30pm! seriously! And Hermanus i have to agree is amazing! My aunt and her husband have a farm there in the mountains where they grow strawberries and rasberries for woolworths and that they export...seeing your photos reminds me of my trip, next time you go you must try go to Ceres for cherry picking! its so much fun! So glad that you had a great time, even though you were sick! X

Jill Revell said...

What an amazing trip!! I can't believe you went sky diving...I'm such a chicken. Great pics.

Wendi said...

Wow! What a trip! I too didn't get nervous till they opened that door and swung my legs out. But sooo awesome, right? I can't wait to do it again, but Cameron is too chicken. Funny huh?! Glad you guys had such a great adventure. And glad you weren't sick for too long! The pics are gorgeous! Love it all. I hope someday that will be me!

Sarah said...

That's great that you got to sky dive like you wanted! Glad you're feeling better too. Guess what I was randomly thinking about last night... remember when we dressed up Candalyn's pillow with her clothes/stuff? I almost peed my pants thinking about that.

Steph and Brady said...

Brave girl! I don't think I would ever dare to go skydiving! What a fun trip for you two! Those little penguins are SO cute! That is a bummer you got sick but I am glad you still got to do lots of fun stuff!

Lauren Tatton said...

Oh my! How amazing! What a fun trip! So beautiful!

The Hills... said...

Man, you guys have it rough! :)

Your pictures brought back memories. Way to go on sky diving!

Lindsey said...

Wow, sounds like you guys are having the time of your lives there! I can't believe all the cool things you've seen and experienced there! Great pics too!

paige and jord said...

how sweet!! skydiving?!?! you're a brave one camille. although it sounds like SOO much fun, i dont know if i would ever get the guts to actually do it. i will just live those adventures vicariously through you :)

The Gerritsens said...

that is a very small airplane to be jumping out of. love the pics. fabulous june, i love the feathers!

Unknown said...

HOLY COW! You guys do THE COOLEST FUNNEST stuff. I want to be you :) I was thinking that you have got to have the coolest pictures on your walls at home...they are amazing! You would need huge galleries to put all the cool stuff you have done and cool pictures. So jealous you got to jump out of an airplain...i wanna sky dive someday! and I can't believe those whales were so close! Seriously amazing trip :)

The Phipps: said...

holy amazing pictures! and amazing models as well. I've been skydiving and it's probably the most exciting thing I've done (besides marrying David of course). so cool!!! I"m so glad you guys had a good time.

love ya!

Chelsie said...

holy cow! talk about making the most of bens time off! what an amazing trip. you guys are always off doing some fun adventure. i'm sorry that you were sick though for some of the time, that's never any fun

Sara said...

What an awesome trip!! Glad that even with sickness, and bad weather that some of the things you had planned turned out perfectly! I am intrigued to visit there someday!

Andrew Cardon said...

Wow that looks like an amazing trip! Africa has so many amazing animals - way more than the U.S. The pictures are also phenomenal - that new lens really does a great job (plus the photographer is awesome as well :))! The triathlons look really cool too. Enjoy your last few months in Africa!

Rachel said...

love the new pictures!! you always get amazing talented! looks like a fun trip, hope you are feeling better!

Haylie said...

Looks like you had an amazing trip! WAHOO! I love the penguins! Oh so cute! And the baboons, and whales! Good for you for going skidiving.. I still think you're crazy, but whatever!!! I also want to bedazzle MY car! yippee!