So we unexpectedly found ourselves in the Mother City. A last minute visit to Cape Town from some of my favourite people from home and more tyre troubles led us to speed down the last bit of the west coast (with promises that we will be back) to get to civilisation, tyres and friendly faces.
Our arrival to Cape Town wasn’t very well thought through (we aren’t meant to be planning right?) Coming into the city, having driven almost through the night with the exception of a few hours sleep on the side of the road, saw us phoning every caravan park in the area to find a spot to pitch up at. In between messaging the boy’s family members for advice, endless ringing, places not accepting dogs and others not accepting on the day bookings, we decided to chance our luck and just turn up somewhere hoping we would have pity taken upon us. So early Sunday evening we found ourselves pulling into Muizenberg caravan park and hiding Girl Dog underneath towels on the backseat while pretending we hadn’t seen the large ‘No Dogs’ sign emblazoned across the campsite rules. Luckily the security guard was less strict about advance booking than the office and seemed to have tunnel vision looking only at the front seats of the car so we were safe.
We spent two weeks in Muizenberg, getting our surf on (well in fact actually just watching the cool looking surfers while muttering about how cold the water is), being tourists with the lovely C&M from ‘home’, finding penguins, seeing where the two oceans meet, discovering the green lush landscapes of the peninsula surrounding the city, and looking for temporary peak season work (not as easy as it sounds).
Muizenberg is a very ‘cool’, trendy town just south of Cape Town itself, situated between the Indian Ocean and a mountain…not THE mountain but a mountain that could be jumped off nonetheless. I guess I would go as far as to say it has a hipster vibe to it, mixed in with surfer dudes of course. It has an arty vibe to it with small, independent galleries and stores showcasing local’s works of art and crafts. There are lots of community initiatives; beach clean ups, music and surf festivals and co-operative stores and, of course a hit with me, a local food and craft market. Unusually, the market is only open on a Friday evening meaning we could wander round, try local food, look at jewellery and have a glass of wine at the same time (or a lemon liquor in a dark chocolate shot glass). Perfection. The main streets are lined with local stores, surf schools and cafes and people don’t seem to be in a rush to go anywhere. All in all, it’s a suburb I like. A lot.
Girl Dog has learned that ‘down’ now means hide on the backseat and pretend you’re not there. Who knew you could train a dog to break the law?
We spent time with the boy’s family, him getting reacquainted with cousins and aunts not seen for a long time. Sadly, Girl Dog had to stay overnight at the vets having swallowed a stolen bone and it puncturing her stomach. One morning our tequila induced hangovers we were met by a car FULL of diarrhea which hadn’t been noticed when we retrieved her from, what we thought had been a nap in the car the night before. Needless to say, the hangovers got worse and we headed straight to the vet.
Despite there being plenty to explore, see and do, reality hit and we decided we couldn’t keep asking Girl Dog to hide every time we got to the caravan park gates so we needed to make a plan. Finding temporary work and a place to park the caravan proved to be harder than expected. Our good old fashioned paper posters and online posts advertising ourselves (well, our skills to be more precise) in return for space to park the caravan, were for the most part ignored. That was until one lady decided she wasn’t a fan of us, our scam to con people and decided labeling us on social media as ‘White Trash’ was the best course of action to put an end to us asking for support.
I suddenly realized, as much as an area can have a great vibe to it and can feel ‘welcoming’, living somewhere and being integrated into the community is a whole different ball game. Despite the suburb being part of a larger city, it still has it’s own community, a group of people that tend to either welcome or reject newcomers. Of course, not everyone falls into the same category but once rejection has been experienced, it’s hard to get over. Despite the positive comments from strangers assuring us her opinion wasn’t collective and others calling for more policing on community groups to prevent negative comments, people are entitled to their own opinion. Its just a shame that they feel the need to share it with no solid understanding of a situation. I guess by using social media, we open ourselves up to hearing other peoples thoughts and concerns, whether we want to or not.
So, we headed onwards, back in to the Mother City to visit friends of the boy and stay with them in the southern suburbs (inside an actual house, what luxury!)
If you don’t know Cape Town, Durbanville, is on the edge of the city, a mix of vineyards, rolling fields and suburbia. We spent our days living the family life, looking after a toddler, doing laundry, cleaning the caravan and grocery shopping. Girl Dog slept outside with the other dogs, something she was so unimpressed with, she developed an attention-seeking couch that flared up anytime the Boy went near her. As lovely as it was to sleep in a house, have an en suite and to have different company (so lovely that we spilt into boys and girls for a whole weekend!), it didn’t take long for us both to come to the conclusion that’s not a life for us right now.
So, now we are headed out of the city, along the coast to Pringle Bay. Away from suburbia and responsibility. Girl Dog is as excited as the two of us to be sleeping in the caravan again 🙂
This travel blog update is my way of taking you on this journey with me so to start from the beginning and find out what the adventure is all about, click here