. OnHiatus.com > Journal 1 > Day Index > Journal Entry: January 29, 1999

Friday, January 29, 1999
Cape Town, South Africa
South Africa's Flag

Cape Town, South Africa:
Latitude: 33° 54' 41" South
Longitude: 18° 23' 4" East
Altitude: 50 feet
From Seattle: 11516 miles
Lodging: Hostel - Cat and Moose Backpacker

Today's Travel:
Country: South Africa
Region: Western Cape
Weather: Sunny

Available Photos:

That's a tortoise! Cat & Moose Backpacker, Cape Town, South Africa

All photo images © 1997-2000 Anthony Jones - Images may not be used without prior written approval.

Click on map to Zoom in...
Trip Stats to Date:
Day: 659
Linear Dist: 135807
Countries Visited: 49
Regions Visited: 184
More stats...
Hotels: 197
Friends / Family: 155
Camping: 77
Hostels: 168
Transit: 55
Other Lodging: 6
Beers: 2357

Journal Entry:
Slept in, and didn't really wake up until I was frightened half to death on my way to the shower. I stumbled down the stairs when out of the corner of my half opened eyes a large rock by the pay phone moved! I quite literally jumped - it was a giant tortoise! I'm sure I'd seen it before, but always just assumed that it was a rock or just a shell. Anyway when Simon (he works the office here and had seen me almost fall over in surprise) stopped laughing he told me she'd been injured when she was found and had been living at the hostel for about three months. Dean and Joys friends (another Land Rover they had caravaned through Morocco, Mauritania and Mali with) finally showed up. Toby and Katie moved into our room, while Simon and Monica found beds in one of the dorms.

I spent my afternoon hanging out by the docks reading. Met up with the others at MASH (the pool bar), but decided I needed to go get something to eat if I was going to be drinking. On my way down the street two police cars rushed up to a man sleeping on the street - but they couldn't wake him. I'm pretty sure he was dead. The police officers quickly spread out and started questioning the various night watchmen around. Meanwhile I'd continued by the street and around the corner there was a man in a window alcove desperately trying to break into the building. I took a few steps out of his sight and waved over a police officer. She shouted at the guy and several other police officers ran over and tried to pull him down. He broke through the window and was crawling in when one of the women officers drew her gun and shot. I don't know if the person was hit and I decided I didn't want to be there anymore so walked away.

After eating and returning to the pool hall I got very freaked out by the entire episode - someone may have gotten shot because I pointed them out. I really wasn't feeling social, but I definitely didn't want to be alone so I sat in the corner and drank alone. I felt more homesick than I have ever before - I really didn't want to be there. I wanted to be out of Africa, with a life, a job, near family and friends - I wanted to return to normalcy - and so badly it hurt.

I followed the others to another bar and continued to drink. At some point the Argentineans from the hostel showed up and distracted me enough to recover somewhat - or at least not be quite so cationic. The walk back to the hostel was rewarded with a fantastic sunrise from behind table mountain.

Related Sites:
CNN: Current Weather in Cape Town
US State Department Consular Information Sheets: South Africa
CIA World Fact Book: South Africa

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