A few notes to start things off...
Let me begin by saying that I started writing this at 5am. Despite thinking that I’d conquered jetlag, my body hasn’t been fully convinced. Early bird gets the worm, I guess? (Or in the case of living in NYC, early bird realizes just how many rats live in and around their apartment’s garbage bins).
South Africa was awesome, simply put. I’ve been to Africa once (Kenya, in high school) and have spent a decent amount of time in Latin America, but South Africa definitely stands out as a unique place to travel/live.
A bit further south (~2hrs), the Cape of Good Hope rests along a desolate part of the coast that has a decent bit of history (shipwrecks) when it comes to early maritime explorations. I love dried seaweed and I decided that this would be a good place to sample the wild-caught seaweed (aka I pulled it out of the water). I can confirm that it’s good, albeit a bit salty. Most people are probably more interested in hearing about the vineyards – it is true, for less than the price of a single glass of wine in NYC, you can enjoy a bottle of high-quality, locally produced wine in S Africa. So yeah, they’re good.
You know how at every concert there are a few people that are clearly in their own world, dancing, genuinely not caring about what anybody around them thinks? You probably initially look at them kind of weird, but everybody secretly comes to acknowledge that the “weird” people are without a doubt having the most fun. This was Origins – people from all walks of life and all ages that were there to enjoy the music, dance and have a good time. It was great.
Part 3 – The Return – After four days of camping and festival life, we continued our journey back to Cape Town where we spent the next five days before heading home. This proved to be the ideal way to wind things down. We went for early morning runs, watched the sunset at Lions Head and Table View, and caught the Redbull King of the Air kite surfing championship, which was awesome. Kite surfers are insane and watching some of the world’s best launch themselves 75+ feet into the air was a treat. Feeling rested, we bid our farewell to S Africa and made it back to the states just in time to watch Tom Brady and Co. lose to the Eagles. Fly eagles fly :)
*The Cape Town Water Situation*
As you now likely know, the water situation in Cape Town is a bit sketchy. Basically, the entire Western Cape of South Africa has experienced an unprecedented drought over the past few years and dams are at critical levels. “Day Zero” – when the city will shut off normal water supply – is wavering around the April-May timeframe (Cape Town is moving into the dry months of summer). For a modern city, this is obviously an extreme situation.
While we were there, the issue was gradually getting worse and people were becoming noticeably more aware of it. Radio stations played consistent adverts from the government about saving water and every bathroom that you used had signs about water conservation. At this point, residents are asked to use no more than 50 liters of water per day. To put that in to context, that’s roughly 1 two minute shower, 2 toilet flushes, and a few minutes of running the sink. I was raised in a super water-aware household (my dad went to Woodstock and my mom wanted to name me “Iron Eyes Hawk”, I’ll leave it at that) and even for me, the 50L limit was tight.
There are a few contextual issues/interesting thoughts about the water issue: