I recently moved back to Cape Town from living in Dublin, Ireland and doing a bit of travelling. It seems I just can’t stay away. Even though I am a born and bred Cape Townian and I know my home town pretty well, there are still some places I haven’t got to. I am now determined to make the most of living in my beautiful city and get over my FOMO by getting stuff done. So to kick start my travel blog, I have written my own Cape Town to-do list of experiences. By putting it out there, the intention is to hold myself accountable and also hopefully find willing partners in crime to join in the fun. I also aim to encourage and inspire others to get out there and continue to explore and have adventures where ever they are.
1. Wally’s Cave at Lion’s Head
I have hiked up Lion’s Head countless times: during the day, the long way around, the shorter way up the chains, in moonlight and even had a celebrity encounter on the trail with Sir Richard Branson. But I have never been to the classic Instagram worthy spot of Wally’s Cave where people take beautiful silhouette shots against the background of Table Mountain. This is apparently a short 25-minute hike but with vague internet directions, including climbing over a barbed wire fence, I have never been there. And after checking with a number of my Cape Town local peeps, they have also yet to venture there. It makes the top of my list because it is a free activity requiring minimal effort on my part but I have not got to it in 30-something years.
2. The ledge at the Old Cable Car Table Mountain
There is another classic Instagram pic of Cape Town and Table Mountain that I have no idea where it is. It usually features one person sitting out on the ledge looking as if they could just fall off the edge down into the scenic vista of the beaches below. The internet has revealed that this spot is by the Old Cable Car on Table Mountain and while I have hiked up Platteklip Gorge, Skeleton Gorge and Nursery Ravine, I have yet to venture to this scenic spot. I too want to hang my feet off the ledge in a death-defying awe-inspiring shot while looking casually cool and empowered.
3. The Blue Bird Garage Food & Goods market in Muizenburg
I have been to my share of Cape Town markets: The Biscuit Mill in Woodstock, Oranjezicht City Farm Market, Hope Street Market and the Bay Harbour Market. But this market in Muizenburg on Friday nights has been on my radar for years and yet I have never gone. On a recent trip to Kalk Bay, a shop keeper recommended the market because it had an extensive selection of vintage clothing and suggested that I go. Who doesn’t like vintage clothing. Challenge accepted!
4. Woodstock graffiti art walking tour
I love art particularly modern art and am inspired by graffiti artists like Banksy. I would love to indulge in a walking tour of the graffiti art in Woodstock that I have driven past so many times but never really paid attention to. Who is with me?
5. Indoor Rock Climbing at City Rock in Observatory
I have been to the UCT climbing wall years ago when my brother was in his brief rock climbing phase. At that stage, my interest in the sport was more vested in the some of the hot male climbers, but I did try to climb the UCT climbing wall and I wasn’t very good. There are so many beautiful outdoor climbing spots in and around Cape Town and while it will never be my sport, in the way that swimming is, it looks like good fun and something I have been wanting to try out again for a while. The best place to start is obviously at an indoor rock climbing wall at a place that comes recommended.
6. Secret Location Tidal Pool
I did not even know that this place existed until a saw a friend’s Facebook pictures of a slide going into a tidal pool. Google maps were consulted and we eventually found the location. As a mermaid, I feel like I am obliged to try out this unexplored swim spot but maybe keep its location secret for now.
Babylonstoren is a classic Cape Dutch farm situated in Franschhoek with the most amazing garden inspired by the Cape Company Gardens. The farm opened its doors to the public in November 2010 and after more than 6 years, I have yet to visit it. I think this needs to be rectified soon with a garden tour and some lunch with wine tasting. It’s pretty embarrassing on my part.
8. Cape Point Vineyards
The Cape Point Vineyards is an incredibly scenic winery just after Ou Kaapse Weg opposite the turn off into Noordhoek. Pictures of people having picnics on rolling grass lawns with a wooden jetty in the middle of a lake and the sun setting over the view of the coast have taunted me on Facebook and Instagram for years. Apparently the vineyards have been running for 8 years with a delightful market on Thursday evenings but I have never made it through.
9. Swim from Llandudno to Camps Bay
This swim has been on my adventure swim bucket list for the last 3 years. I think the distance of 9km has put me off which is a tad over the standard 7.5km of a Robben Island crossing which I am more familiar with. I suspect that this is not on everyone’s to-do lists and that I will only find a limited selection (if any) of willing participants but as it has been on my bucket list for years, it needs to get done. It is towards the bottom end of my to-do list because it requires a fair amount of swim training and logistically with expenses and planning is not that easy to accomplish.
10. The Test Kitchen
This world class culinary experience has been on Cape Town top restaurants and foodie lists for years. Bookings need to be made months in advance and it’s uber expensive. This is on the list for when there is a worthwhile celebration and a reason (and funds) to splurge.