Do as the Capetonians do!
This final chapter of my time in Africa saw life return back to normal for Joe and all his local friends. This was my opportunity to test drive what it’s like to simply live in Cape Town, aside from the craziness of the holidays and big events etc.
One thing I took from Ninja Camp that has helped me tremendously in situations like this is writing down a schedule for the following day, each night before I went to bed. Anyone that knows me knows I’m not much for schedules and that I’m a really good procrastinator. This exercise helped me not just waste the gift of free time I was working with. I had done some research and found some yoga studios, a boxing gym, and I of course had the beach just down the street and the mountains just up the hill! I was going to take these last 8 days seriously as it related to my physical and mental fitness… with a massive added bonus of STILL being around some amazing people.
My daily routine went something like this:
6AM Wake Up/Stretching
630 Hike or Beach Workout
800 Brekkie/Coffee down on the beach (Kauai got a lot of my $ this week- Avocado Toast, a Protein Smoothie, and a Ginger/Cayenne shot was pretty much what I ate every day!
900-11 Meditation/Reading Poolside
1100 Light Lunch- usually back down at the beach
600 Sunset Hike?
800 Dinner and Wine/ Braai
This is pretty much my perfect day. Now this wasn’t every day, things switched around here and there, activities were added/changed, but just to give you an idea of what my general day was like. I’ve never been less stressed in my life… Here’s a bit more about some of what I did.
It’s a way of life in Cape Town. EVERYONE hikes, all the time. There are so many amazing trails which lead to more amazing views of the mountains, beach, and city! What I love about CPT is often rather than just meeting up for drinks, people catch up over a hike. It’s a great way to pass the time while being athletic and being out in nature, connected to the universe. For example, one day Joe, Dinesh, AJ, and I did a ‘boys only’ hike where we really discussed life plans, goals, and dreams. Pre-homework was to think of one thing we thought each other could work on this year or a general piece of advice we may not see as we always see ourselves from our own vantage point. We hiked 5 hours up and through many different types of terrains, had a lunch WAY out on a point that seemed to overlook the entire world, and seriously had just the best day. We’re way past the point of taking any feedback personally as we’re all looking to help each other grow (and are open to it!) so these discussions end up being so so good- we are all learning from each other AND still about each other. It’s truly a blessed thing to be surrounded by these types of people. The one memory that will always stand out from this day was the four of us running through a grassy field up near the top, blasting the Rocky theme song- running, smiling, laughing… the happiness I felt inside in that moment is impossible to put into words, it really was pure #bliss.
Sometimes we just did quick hikes in the morning (as I mentioned) to get ready for the day! It’s an exhilarating way to kick things off and really points one in the right direction with purpose, intention, and a whole lot of good energy. We’d usually find a spot to pull over and meditate as well, really completing the experience…
We even hiked at night! Another hugely popular activity is heading up Lions Head for sunset, armed with wine, cheese, and snacks finding a spot at the top and just taking it all in. I mean, this costs next to nothing and is probably the best way to spend an evening! We did one hike for the full moon and it seemed as though all of CPT was up there, it was crazy. In fact, it took us twice as long to get down as it did to get up (hiking in the dark takes a little longer and the trail bottlenecks in a few places)- luckily I had the jammy pack to keep us company and we (and many others around us) just sang our way down the hill- again, quite blissful! We night-hiked several times and I have to say, watching CPT turn from light to dark is an incredible treat, it’s a truly beautiful city wearing either set of clothes…
The last thing I’ll say about hiking and I’ll get back to this later on as well, is that it really gave me an opportunity to spend more quality time with Joe’s CPT friends, getting to know them better. Til now I’ve really only been down for holidays and a wedding, so the opportunity to just chill out and chat hadn’t really presented itself fully until this trip. This is a guy I obviously care a lot about, and these are the people that he cares most about (and vice versa) so it was great to get to connect on a new and deeper level with them.
Very simply put, a braai is a South African BBQ… but it is so much more. I see a BBQ as being food-driven, with everything else following after. A braai is social-driven, with everything else being more and more additive. As much as South Africans love to hike, I’d say they equally love to braai. Heaven forbid you try this on a gas grill by the way- it’s charcoal or wood chips or nothing! I don’t know, it’s hard to describe, but the overall spirit of friendship I felt in Cape Town is the centerpiece of this community ritual. Friends, family, kids, music, dancing, so much epic food and wine, and once again amazing conversation. JoJo has an amazing backyard at her new house and was a braai hosting rockstar. Joe and Dino hosted at their pad overlooking the beach as well… Man I love hanging out with these people! They do life right.
I’ll say it again, Joe has awesome friends in Cape Town. They all push each other constantly to grow, explore, and generally just BE better. Maybe it’s simply the lifestyle they’ve all chosen to adopt, but I think the magic of Cape Town adds a little bit extra to the mix. It’s so cool watching from the outside, and even better now being a part of it. Whereas I first said Joe has awesome friends in Cape Town, I can now really say I have awesome friends in Cape Town. This final week I was there I really got to spend quality time with everyone and got to know the gang much much better. I love each and every one of them and am truly blessed to genuinely be able to call them my friends now as well.
Wrapping things up
It had been a long few weeks for us. I have to admit I was a little spent, multiply that times 100 for Joe, who had been planning and entertaining for the better part of a month WHILE still having to work. So, after yet another amazing morning hike, a Man Date up to a spa in Stellenbosch was just what the doctor ordered! Pedicures, Massages, and Poolside meditation/conversation is how I spent my last day in Cape Town. Not a care in the world… We topped things off with a nice Indian meal in Stellie (as the locals call it) and I was off to the airport (Joe would spend a well deserved 2 more days up at the spa). To say I had an amazing time would be the understatement of the year. This trip had everything and my heart was so full- albeit a little sad to be leaving. But… I know I’ll be back. The magic of Cape Town can’t be denied, I’m officially hooked. Everyone should put this right at the top of their ‘Places to Visit’ list!
Thanks to Cape Town and the crew- until next time…
Much Love, B
Night Hike #1 for the Full Moon
Table Mountain at SunsetTeam Photo/American Pride (Cris and AJ in the back). Photo cred @JoJoI must’ve said something funny!I see a bad moon rising!Much traffic on the top of Lion’s HeadGood thing we had some tunes to keep us company for the slow walk down!
Day Hike up to Judas Peak/ Back Side of Table Mountain (4.5 Hours!)
“If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path…” – Joesph CampbellChatting about life… So good to be able to be open and vulnerable with friends.Not a bad view on the way up (why does it seem like everywhere in Cape Town has a view like this?!)Joe ‘just making sure’ we weren’t lost, he never had a doubt…Group shot- me, Joe, AJ and DineshAt the top!But we still had to hike all the way out to that point for our lunch…Great spot for lunch and more discussion about how we can continue to help each other improve… What an awesome day.
Braai’s Braai’s and more Braai’s
A festive crew!As you can tell, Ethan was the hit of the party!Vanessa was off to India for Yoga teacher training, a good excuse to Braai!Three Men and a Baby…Dino still has the best selfie skills…
The moon always seemed to be around!These guys start most of their days with this! No wonder everyone is so happy…
Night Hike #2
Had hung a bunch with Joe and Cris already, but was nice to finally spend some time with Martin and Jess, who are busy in the final prep for their wedding! A wedding which will no doubt be awesome, just like them…Always rockin’ my Chōsen shirt!Look at that face… 🙂Love this pic- photo cred @Joe
Last Hike up in Stellenbosch
Such beautiful picturesque scenery, like something out of a movie…
Just a guy on a hero's journey...