Tuesday, August 21, 2012

An Ill-Fated Journey to Cape Town

At breakfast the next morning, we learned one of the girls had gotten sick during the night. We'd had a delicious dinner of lamb curry and lemon pudding cake dessert. We'd literally been raving about the meal since we'd eaten it, but apparently it hadn't agreed with Katherine. We all felt bad for her, especially because that day was all traveling. A van to a bus to a plane. And traveling when you're sick is the worst.

The van that took us to the shuttle (since the shuttle couldn't fit up the backpackers driveway) could only fit half of us, so I was part of the second group. Once all our suitcases were loaded in, there was barely room for me to sit. Alex, one of the guys, sat in the aisle so that I could have a seat, which was really nice. The only problem was, the luggage was stacked so high in front of me, I couldn't see out the windshield. And when I can't see out the front of a car, I get motion sick. So by the time we got on the bus that would take us to the airport, I felt lousy.

But what makes everyone feel better? Chicken, of course! After driving for a few hours, we arrived back in East London, only about fifteen minutes from the airport, with several hours to kill. So we ordered lunch at Nando's, the same place we'd eaten earlier in the trip, and went exploring in the city while we waited for them to make our food. I got a coffee milkshake from a fast food diner down the road (because they're ADDICTING). When we went back to Nando's to eat, the staff started taking pictures of us with their cell phones while we ate. Which was way weird. Then they asked to take a group photo. Which was even weirder.

Maybe we'll make it on their wall of famous people!

By the time we got to the airport, I was feeling pretty bad. My stomach was hurting, and I figured it was from stress. I was getting sick of some people, and the inconsistency of traveling was taking a toll on me. I was able to sleep on the plane, which was a little puddle jumper with propellers. I probably would've worried about it if I'd felt better.

Cape Town was urban, a total turnaround from the week we'd spent in Mdumbi. I immediately fell in love with Table Mountain, which you can see from anywhere in Cape Town.

Our backpackers was called 33 South. The room most of us stayed in was beautiful, the nicest of the trip. But there was drama with a girl who'd been staying there before us. Apparently the staff moved her things into another room without telling her, and she was yelling and storming up and down the hall while we sat in the room, pretending not to notice. Once she explained herself to us, though, we realized the staff had handled the situation all wrong, and we felt bad for her. 

The staff cooked us dinner (curry, like we'd had the night before), but by that point I had such a stomachache that all I ate was bread and a few bites of rice. By that time, three of the guys had stomachaches as well, so we were in misery together. We were all supposed to go to a mosque that night, but I told Glen there was no way I could go. I've always had a fear of throwing up in front of people, and I was feeling worse and worse by the minute. So I stayed at the backpackers by myself (the guys were in a different backpackers up the street) and called my mom for the first time since leaving home. 

That turned out to be a huge mistake, because as soon as I heard her voice, I started crying. I suddenly got so homesick, I was feeling miserable, and I couldn't hold it back. I told her that I was having a great time, I promise, except for today. She got me calmed down, and I told her about my day at Inkwenkwezi and other trip highlights. We talked for 18 minutes, and then she had to go pick my brother up for school.

And basically after that, I threw up. And felt 1000 times better. Apparently I still looked gray and miserable, and Meg made me switch bunks with her. She was afraid I was so weak I'd faint and roll off the top bunk and die. I didn't think that would happen, but I switched bunks anyway. It was nice being closer to the ground. 

So that's why I don't have many pictures of this section of the trip. But please enjoy other pictures of 33 South Backpackers that I took before I got really sick.

The backyard/outdoor dining area.

The front entrance

The bar and music venue

The cool sign in the lobby with travel quotes.

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