African shoestrings – South Africa Day Twenty-nine
We left J’burg for Cape Town the next day via a domestic South African airways flight.
We had been to Cape Town before but we had felt that hadn’t done it justice, so this visit was to ‘see’ the place properly. Last time we had stayed in a pleasant Bed & Breakfast near the city centre. This time we were going to stay in a backpackers of which like J’burg there were many. Expecting to be hassled by their touts at the airport, we hadn’t bothered to book ahead. Guess what? The only touts we saw were for taxis. After a three or four phone calls to different hostels we soon realised why. They were all full!
It was a long weekend and Cape Town was almost booked. I say almost because eventually we found a backpackers that had a double room and they paid for the shuttle from the airport to take us there, saving us R30 each.
Unfortunately that was not as much to our advantage as we initially thought, we were now obligated to stay at least one night. The Cat and Moose was we thought at the time about as bad as it gets. The landlady led us to a dingy little room with threadbare carpet, paper thin linen and the sort of musty damp and putrid smell that makes you want to vomit! Worse still we had to walk through a dorm for access and it was across an alleyway from the TV area where a little blonde haired prick full of bullshit (we had met him earlier) had the sound loud enough for people in the next suburb to hear.
Needless to say we were out of there the next day!
With the help of the tourist office we found the colourful Observatory guesthouse in a suburb called, you guessed it, Observatory, a trendy uni student area. I say colourful because the rooms all had loud colour schemes and the owner, Andre and his manager, Gregory, were both pretty camp. This sorted added a certain ambience to the place and was cheap, clean, quiet and comfortable. But here’s the rub…..we were no longer within walking distance from the city centre and apparently public transport as we know it, was virtually non existent.