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Travel Guide: Cape Town

I hear the drums echoing tonight. But, she hears only whispers of some quiet conversation. She's coming in, 12:30 flight. The moonlit wings reflect the stars that guide me towards salvation. I stopped an old man along the way. Hoping to find some long forgotten words or ancient melodies. He turned to me as if to say, "Hurry boy, it's waiting there for you..." It's gonna take a lot to take me away from YOU. There's nothing that a hundred men or more could ever DO. I bless the rains down in AFRICA.Gonna take some time to do the things we never had…

 

So, that was some free verse I've been working on for my very cool and well-traveled coworker, Erin Fox. She just returned from her trip to visit her sister, Kara, who’s studying abroad in South Africa. I would be remiss if I didn’t warn you that the content of this blog may ignite a hidden desire to flee to the continent, crank some Ladysmith Black Mambazo, settle down, and start a family in the highly trendy (and friendly) place that is Cape Town.

Kara Fox is vegan, so that was a major factor when it came to dining. Hungry Herbivore met her vegan criteria and exceeded Erin's non-vegan expectations with vegan spins on popular, on-trend foods. Naturally, they went there approximately 4 times within the week.

As Erin’s coworker and fellow sweet tooth, I understand how serious afternoon chocolate cravings are. They are real, they are intense, and they must be satisfied. I was relieved to see she found refuge and satiated her chocolate cravings at this vegan bakery, Honest Chocolate Cafe.

Erin described this as your classic “smoothie bowl, juice heaven. *DC homies, think South Block. I really feel like Erin was living her truth as our resident healthy person during her exotic hiatus. Yo, Erin. Let’s ask for a blog travel stipend this summer and eat smoothie bowls err-day.

If you’ve had the privilege of watching James Camerons’ Avatar, then you're fully aware of how phenomenal it would be to spend a day, or even, an hour, in Pandora. It’s the most beautiful, lush, and magical place imaginable. It’s also fictional, and Na’vi isn’t one of those romance languages you pick up because you know basic Spanish. For all you Avatar/nature dweebs, I bring tidings of great joy. Erin scoped out the next best thing at the South African National Biodiversity Institute, Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden. Founded in 1913, Kirstenbosch was established to conserve, promote, and display South Africa’s indigenous flora. It truly doesn’t get much better than this, readers. Needless to say, Erin sorely regretted not packing a lunch and taking a full-business day to explore Pandora. Pardon me, KIRSTENBOSCH.

Translated from Afrikaans, Bo Kaap means “Above the Cape” and is one of the oldest residential areas in Cape Town. The Bo Kaap is one of the most photographed areas in the city with its highly Instagrammable colors and architecture. The neighborhood is also characterized by its Islamic history and culture. Look how cutie Kara and Erin are. Sister, sister.

Erin took some sick sicky gnar gnar pictures at Lion’s Head. However, she would tell you that this hike made her question her athleticism. She read loads of reviews by locals describing how Lion's Head would be an “easy!” and “fun, little hike.” She felt these reviews proved to be inaccurate as she was forced to climb up ladders, chains, and ledges overlooking waves crashing against the boulder-y shoreline. From this day forward, Erin began to notice how effortlessly South Africans approach any and all physical pursuits. She also noticed how friendly and hospitable they are. She and Kara happened to be hiking Lion's Head on Easter morning. At the summit, they were greeted by a table of friendly locals, offering them a freshly prepared breakfast. I mean, come on. Isn’t that lovely? I really liked that anecdote. My takeaways from that anecdote are: South Africans rule.

Erin’s theories about South Africa’s general can-do attitude and approaches to daily survival were reaffirmed during her tour at the Cape of Good Hope. Not realizing she would be climbing 125 stairs, Erin made the error of taking a path marked “125 steps” (like literal, footsteps), rather than the tourist-recommended cable car. After learning her lesson sign consideration, she spent her lunch on high alert in an area covered in warnings to “mind the baboons,” because “they will eat food.” Aside from the Jumanji-like ambiance, Erin truly enjoyed herself at the beautiful and renowned, nature reserve.

So many penguins, so little time. I specifically remember the day Erin went to Boulders Beach because her social media was top shelf. Her Instagram and Snapchat stories featured adorable, waddling (and squawking) beach penguins. Everyone at HQ was jealous and wishing they, too, could march with the penguins and Erin, of course. However, she did confirm that, though very cutie, penguins will bite, which is freaky. So, keep a healthy distance during penguin time.

Pssssst. If you like that Overpacker Erin's rocking, then bless the rains down in Africa and get your own.

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