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Ashel's search for Carmen Sandiego

Cape Town to Nairobi in 7.5 weeks

Diary Entries

Friday, 08 April 2011

Location: Cape Town, South Africa

This day has been a low one on the travel days, the car has died, and repairs are going to take longer than expected, probably another week. In addition to this, the man who sold it cannot be contacted since he wont return phone calls or SMS messages.

The solution to this dilemma unfortunately is that Michael will be travelling to Johannesburg once the vehicle repairs have gone through and I will be heading to Windhoek, Namibia to meet up with Anne and Bek. I'm glad to have two great friends who I am able to continue my travels with, however I'm upset that Michael and I will not be travelling together as we had originally planned. My fingers are crossed that somehow, miraculously, everything will end up working out and we can all meet again in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.

(This. Is. Africa)

Monday, 04 April 2011

Location: Cape Town, South Africa

So this is a pretty rockin' continent, or as they say at J'Bay, it's a rad place bru! My trip so far has consisted of a week in Jo'burg waiting for some car stuff to work itself out, once we had wheels Michael and I headed to Durban through the Drakensburg mountains, and from there to Coffee Bay...we drove the most crazy roads I have ever seen in my life. Future travels will not include taking the "road less travelled" because it's covered in potholes, eroded river crevices, cows, horses, pigs and people...everywhere, I have no idea where all the people came from but in the darkest light they were everywhere, somehow magically seeing where they were going.

Aside from the drive to get there, Coffee Bay was pretty amazing. It is best described as a rural beach, and very idealic. Seeing cows on the beach was very odd, the two don't usually pair well together, however it just seemed to fit in this setting. We also found a gorge which we ended up jumping over just because we could. It would be a great place to stay longer if I had the time and infinite money at my disposal.

From Coffee Bay we headed to Jeffreys bay and stayed there for three nights. In that time we took surfing lessons, ziplined and dove off a cliff in some farmers back yard, and went shopping at one of the six Billabong shops there. I would estimate the town to have a population of about 100,000 people, but being surfer heavy it's enough to support this many Billabong stores.

From Jeffreys Bay we drove to Cape Town, with a stop at the Bloukrans Bridge for bungee jumping, this was awesome!!! I was pumped the entire time and if the cost were lower I would have gladly repeated the jump again. After the jump we continued along the Garden Route and arrived at our hostel around 5 or 6pm. At this point we met up with friends of mine who are here at the same time, Anne and Bek. This has been fantastic, it's a nice piece of home on this side of the world.

Two big activities we have done in and around Cape Town would be a Wine Tour through Paarl and Franschoek, and cage diving with Great White Sharks the next day. The highlight has definitely been cage diving with sharks. We woke up at 3:30 am for this and drove to Kleinbaii, it was an incredible experience to see these magnificent creatures so close, and the company we went through was very dedicated to great whites and preserving their habitat. The most amazing thing is how peaceful it was to see the sharks so close, I have an entirely new perspective on them.

At the moment my search for Carmen Sandiego has been put on hold as we are waiting on some car repairs which will probably keep us in Cape Town until the 7th or 8th...and hopefully no longer. This is much better than the original repair time which was estimated to be around 2 to 3 weeks. We talked to them face to face and were able to ask for a used part instead of a new part ordered from France of all places. In the meantime, Cape Town has no shortage of cool places to visit and things to see. More posts to come!

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Location: Johannesburg, South Africa

What a crazy place! I spent many hours on planes, a train and two automobiles. After three solid days of travel I finally made it to Jo'burg mid afternoon on St. Patricks day.

There is much less anonymity in South Africa then in Canada, if I want to sit and be with my thoughts at home I just stare into space and am left to do so. I found out very quickly when I arrived in Cape Town that is not the case here. Everyone loves to chat with you. For example, I had my own personal tour guide in the form of a bus driver from the airport to the bus station in Cape Town, it was a 20 minute ride but I learnt a lot about the history of Cape Town. Next I met a young artist in the bus station ( who also had a long wait, we shared stories to pass the time. On the bus ride I sat next to a rugby player, from the Bluebulls team ( Finally I arrived at the bus station with plenty of people asking to carry my bag or sell sunglasses...while walking through the station searching for a phone to call the hostel I would be staying at yet anther person matched my steps. I assumed it was another person asking to carry my bags, so I scowled over my left shoulder to give them the hint to bugger off...and I see Michael asking if I need a ride! It was a pretty great way to arrive in Joburg, a familiar face and a ride ready and waiting.

As a fun start to this city we went on a St. Patricks day pub crawl, again I met a ton of people, danced, partied, chatted. Good times and more to come!

Monday, 24 January 2011

Location: Calgary, Canada

7 weeks to go and counting!

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Recent Messages

From Solita
Hey Ashel, I hope it all works out...hang in there!!!
From jennathefirst
Awww, not good. I'm really sorry to hear about the car, but I know you'll have a good time and as always, make the best of it. I think you may be on to carmen sandiego's tail. Such an excitting adventure! Miss you and fingers crossed.
Response: Yes, I will prevail! Thanks for the encouragement!
From jennathefirst
Awww, not good. I'm really sorry to hear about the car, but I know you'll have a good time and as always, make the best of it. I think you may be on to carmen sandiego's tail. Such an excitting adventure! Miss you and fingers crossed.
Response: That's right, she can't escape my super-sleuth abilities for very long.
From Orla
Wow Cage Diving With Great Whites - Totally awesome and totally jealous! Unbelievable. Love the blogs it all sounds so exciting! I am worried about all the violence there - tell me you are far away from it!!
Response: No worries, I just heard an update from a couple who had been to Egypt, they said it's great because there were only two other people at the pyramids. Haven't heard about any violent outbreaks anywhere near where I am!
From Kelty
Sounds like things are going super awesome!! PICS ALWAYS WELCOME. :D Yay sharks...great whites are absolutely amazing creatures...Evolved to pretty much the exact same thing a couple hundred million years ago, got it right and stayed there.
Response: You would love seeing them inches from your face, there is nothing like it that I have ever experienced. Very humbling!
From Barb
Wow - you guys sure do pack a lot of stuff into a week!! Sorry about the delay in your travels, but I guess if you have to be stranded for a few days, Capetown seems like a great place for it to happen! Good luck with the car repairs, and keep on posting!
Response: I want a teleport machine and a truth detector. Cape Town has been amazing
From KC
AWwwww, so glad to hear you are loving it..... just as i knew u wud!! Keep enjoying & keep updating!
Take care!
From Kelty
YAY!! Glad to hear things are awesome so far! KEEP UPDATING. That's a threat from a bridezilla. ;-)
Response: Promise! Having a blast and I hope to update again at the next hostel with FREE wifi :)
From Robyn Panda
Ooh! Ooh! can I be the first to leave a message?? Congrats on surviving your first couple days! Please keep blogging/facebooking, remember us poor souls who are living vicariously through you! :) hope you have an awesome time. Give Mike a hug for me!
Response: Yay! BTW I think you and KC are right, ocean beats mountain!