Cape Town – City of the Neverending Wind

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Good Morning Cape Town

I arrived yesterday evening at Cape Town and came to Pan’s flat. Pan is hosting me through Couchsurfing, an internet community that pairs traveler’s with locals around the world. The idea is that you receive a glimpse of the real “culture” and not just what tourists see, meet new people who like to travel as well and then host fellow backpackers when they come to your home country.  Leona, a German girl, was staying here as well and to celebrate her last night we all went out to eat sushi.

 The following morning I headed out to the BMW Motorrad Dealership to see my partner for the journey for the first time. My F700GS or “Brunhilde” as my family has dubbed her (Django reference), was on the stand, being fitted with new tires.

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The full list of modifications and additions:

  • Metzler Karoo 3 Tires
  • Comfort Seat
  • Hand Protectors
  • Full Crash Bars (as opposed to the BMW crash guards which only protect the engine, these bars come up to the plastic casing between your legs, protecting them as well)
  • Bash Plate
  • Wider Foot Pegs (from the F800GS Adventure)
  • Aluminium Panniers (+ Plastic Top Case)
  • Alarm System

And now for the unpleasant bureaucracy. In order to buy a motorcycle you must obtain a Traffic Register Certificate. For that you need a Proof of Residency. For that you need a good friend who will agree to help you by testifying that you live with him and providing his lease. This will take asking a lot of huge favors from people I’ve just met, as well as probably a couple of weeks.

But the thing is it’s all how you look at it. There are seldom few things in life which are actually a problem. Most of the things that bother us are just functions of time and money. So they are not worth getting upset about. For me, it helps thinking about it that way – not as a problem but just as a small obstacle that will be gotten through.

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The Gates of Hell a.k.a. The Traffic Department

A few words about Cape Town; My first walk alone I was very wary and suspicious. After hearing so many bad things about Cape Town I was certain that I would be held at gun/knifepoint and mugged. But after trudging around the city all day I began to feel much more comfortable.

Cape Town is colourful and diverse. Table Mountain looms over the city, casting half of it in shadow in an almost foreboding way. The constant wind makes even walking difficult – the kind of wind that blows dirt in your eyes, shrieks through the windows and confuses you as to wether it is hot or cold outside. But the streets are full of life, chic shops and lively markets.

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Practical Tips and Information:

  • The easiest place to buy a sim card is at the Vodacom shop at the airport (once out in the Arrivals hall all the way to the end near the Domestic Arrivals). You can order online and save yourself the trouble of waiting in line. If you try buying a sim in the city they will ask for Proof of Residency, so it is better to buy one at the airport.
  • Use Uber to get from the airport to the city. The taxi’s there will ask for 350 ZAR, on Uber it will only cost around 15o ZAR.

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