Africa, Travel

Hiking up Lion’s Head, Cape Town

Ladies and gentlemen, finally my first hike of the year has taken place and I feel GOOD! It feels good to have had the opportunity to start again- Here’s to many more *cheers.

Where to go:

Every mountain has its people and Lion’s Head seems to be the place where everyone goes to start off their hikes whenever in Cape Town for a long stay or just a tourist, passing through. It is the easiest and give you the view of Camps Bay, Clifton, Seapoint and Robben Island and you don’t have to pay a single cent to climb it. This hike takes about 1h45 minutes on an easy pace.

(Other people who want a bit of a challenge always go for Table Mountain, Kasteelspoort trail or out of Cape Town where you find the ponds you can swim in after a long hike and these take place during summer or just before summer ends into winter). Such hikes can take up the whole day which can turn into picnics and are best in groups for safety and fun.

Did you know?

Lion’s Head peaks at 669 metres (2,195 ft) above sea level. In the 17th century the peak was known as Leeuwen Kop (Lion’s Head) by the Dutch.

-Wikipedia

What you will need:

My hike days usually start at 6am to give me time to be fully awake and get ready. I usually start with a nice cup of coffee and packing everything I will need which is something like this:

  • Jersey: the top is usually windy and a bit chilly
  • head-band/scarf: I sweat a lot so I need something to help me holding the sweat back.
  • My cellphone: For an Uber ride from my place to the mountain and back.
  • Wallet: I take my wallet everywhere
  • I always buy fresh food on the day of the hike so I make a pit stop at a grocery store to get the necessities like water, grapes, sandwiches because you really must have some food at the top, it is relaxing.
  • Sunglasses: I have a pair sponsored by ThisGuy Eyewear which are AMAZING and only go for R550 because they are on sale. If you want to buy, you can get an additional discount by applying this code: SHADY_KARABOM and get 15% off.
  • Friends: hikes are better done in a group of two or more, that way you get to have conversations and gossip about everyone lol.

 

What to expect:

Hiking for me is like church so I treat it with so much respect. It feels good meeting people along the way who also enjoy it and share stories about all their travel escapades and who they have met and all. The only problem I have is the humans who run up and down the mountain as if they are running from something because one mistake, one can fall and take you down with them.

There are also people who bring their kids on their backs which is really cute, you have to start them young! and if you are scared of dogs, just know that sometimes there can be dogs up and down there so be mindful and don’t be scared, usually the owners are nice and the dogs are friendly.

IMG_9329

Lastly, here is a video of my recent hike. Enjoy it and share your hiking stories or hiking dreams and you never know…

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Travel

!kwa ttu: A day in San culture.

The San, the first people in South Africa

The earliest hunter-gatherers in southern Africa were the San people. The San were also known as ‘Bushmen’, a term used by the European Colonists that is now considered derogatory. The San populated South Africa long before the arrival of the Bantu-speaking nations, and thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans.

Source: South African History Online

It is always exciting to use a travel opportunity to learn about cultures and tribes in your country and this past weekend that is what I did. My friend and travel buddy Bee from Bee Du Jour invited me on a day tour at the !kwa ttu education center in the west coast. !kwa ttu famously written as Khwa ttu, is an organisation that offers education and training for San people to deal with tourism and hot to showcase San culture to the world.

At first I was a little reluctant to go because I thought the heat was going to make it very difficult to do anything and plus I have nothing that interests me there, little did I know that it was going to be so worth it! Bee picked me up at my place and we drove about an hour out of Cape Town to what seemed like “the middle of nowhere”. When we arrived, there’s a certain cool breeze that is blown from the beach onto the hot plain land and there it was, !kwa ttu.

What you will need:

  • You are only required to pay a fee of R50 and little bit extra which can be found on their site for all the extra special tours.
  • A hat if it is hot like the day we went, the sun was at 30d/c, plus some sunscreen. They offer you water.
  • A camera because you will learn a lot and you definitely want to capture the moment to probably show your kids one day about the cultures of South Africa.
  • Comfortable shoes and clothing. In this case, shorts and a t-shit plus sunglasses will do. Luckily, ThisGuysZA gifted me with a pair.
  • An open mind and excitement to learn.

What I learned:

  • There is a difference between the San and the Khoi. The San are hunter-gatherers while the Khoi are more like farmers.
  • When a girl comes out of age (start her period), she is taken to a hut to stay with the elder women and for seven days, they will be teaching her how to be a woman. She then returns to her people and she will find a hut already made for her by her father.
  • Courting is something interesting: a boy will have a “love bow” which when he finds a girl he likes, he will follow her and her friends to a river or field and he will hide and try to shoot the bow on the bum of a girl he likes. She will then pick up the bow and ask him if it is his. He will then try to apologise and if she gives back the bow, she is not interested, but if she keeps it close to her heart then it is all systems go and their parents will start planning for their wedding.
  • A San village has huts facing the middle where there must be a bonfire all day everyday all year round. The reason for this is to keep them warm during the winter and to ward wild animals off especially lions because they hate the smell of fire. The huts are placed that way so they can be able to spot danger from all corners, it is a community effort.

We ended the day with a drive to Yzerfontein beach. Please watch video below and enjoy:

Europe, Travel

Paris, France

A day in Paris, France:

If someone told the twenty-years old me that I would someday find myself in Paris, I would have laughed them to shame. This year however, I did find myself in France and my oh my, it is absolutely everything they say it is and more. Well kind of!

My partner and I are in a long-distance relationship and with that comes traveling to each other’s countries. This year instead of me going to see him, we planned to a cross country road trip to Paris. In my head, I always imaged Paris as this expensive and inaccessible city where you must spend thousands of Rands to make the trip work. Here is how you can spend a day in Paris and spend less and still get to visit ALL the sites:

Paris is designed in a way that all the tourist and historical sites are in a semi-circular way when using the metro. We stayed in a hotel 35 minutes outside of the city center called Hotel Tilde , a cozy hotel that is close to the best bakery ever! (side note: my life will never be same after those croissants. It’s unfortunate I don’t remember the name). The best thing about this hotel and Paris is that there are Metro stations EVERYWHERE!

Where to go:

paris tour map

As seen in the map above, we visited five sites which we visited smaller and “in-between detour” sites while heading to the rest. This can be done from 9 am to ensure you have all the time to enjoy each place you visit. We visited:

  • Sacre-Coeur: The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris is a Roman Catholic church and minor basilica, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in Paris, France.
  • Arc de Triomphe: Is one of the most famous monuments in Paris, standing at the western end of the Champs-Élysées at the center of Place Charles de Gaulle, formerly named Place de l’Étoile — the étoile or “star” of the juncture formed by its twelve radiating avenues
  • Eiffel Tower: Is a wrought-iron lattice tower on the Champ de Mars in Paris, France. It is named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower
  • Notre Dame de Paris: Meaning ‘Our lady of Paris’ is a medieval Catholic cathedral on the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of Paris. The cathedral is widely considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture
  • Louvre which is the largest art museum in the world!
  • Champs-Elysees which is the longest avenue in France filled with restaurants and luxury shops.

There is so much to visit which we could not because of the service protests are currently happening.

Getting there:

As mentioned, there are Metros everywhere and it is so easy navigating the city with google maps. Google maps gives you detailed routes to all the places including which metros to take- either buses or “trains”. In Europe, the train we use on a daily is what they use for long distance travel and they call their daily trains “metros” and “trams”.

The best thing to do is buy a minimum of 20 metro tickets for € 14,90. You are given 1h40 minutes to use one ticket however you want between stations for all metros within the city- great right! I mean who has money for parking because it costs €15 a day out of the city, imagine how much it is within the city.

Things to look out for and more:

Paris is not really a clean city so don’t be shocked when you get there and get shook by the sites. It is not entirely dirty, but it is not as clean compared to the Netherlands or other European countries and the issue might be the huge number of tourists coming in and out of the city, so I am hoping there will be some sort waste management system going on around the country.

The city is insanely beautiful! The only mistake I made was wearing heels throughout the entire trip and I had a bad case of sore feet.

Eating out can be nice but Europeans love discounts so always ask around for restaurants that have specials and nice food. I always eat anything and everything on holiday because I do not have time to watch my weight or eat clean.

P.S: You can add more stops to your map as you go along. Also, something you do NOT want to miss, Paris by night is a sight for the gods especially the Eiffel Tower.

Here are some of Auguste Rodin’s work from Musee Rodin which is a must visit! 

Enjoy Paris if your next stop is there! I do however wished we went into the Louvre and Versailles.

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