This past weekend I realized just how much I want to travel more. I spent the weekend at a hostel in Hermanus. We went for a hike along the cliffs near the hostel and walked through the quaint little town where we went out for dinner. For the first time since my arrival in Cape Town, it was safe to walk around at night. There were fewer homes with gates and high security and, it seemed as we drove through, fewer townships close to the small town.
The closest thing to a mud hut that I've seen
Staying in the open and welcoming atmosphere of a hostel made me feel instantly at home. There were posters everywhere of things that you could do, and walls full of flyers from local companies with activities.
After a nice evening of playing pool and chatting, we went to bed and it was instantly like a giant slumber party. There was one guy in our room who was obviously annoyed at how much girls tend to gossip, but we continued giggling into the wee hours, even though we had to be up at 7 to get ready for a big day of shark diving.
Shark diving was quite the adventure. The little boat went pretty fast and handled the waves with ease. Many of the other volunteers didn’t handle the waves as well. By the time we had arrived at the site that they dropped anchor, there were already 2 pukers who had laid claim to the front end of the boat.
While the boat was stationary, the waves coming at it from all sides lurched everyone all over the place. Making it almost impossible to walk, and next to impossible to think of anything except how sick you felt. By the time we got back to land, there were only 5 out of our group of 16 that had not puked. I have no idea about any of the others who were on the boat, but quite a few had tossed their cookies while waiting for their turn to climb into the water and see the sharks.
These suits were NOT the most flattering, head shots it is.
They tied fish to a line and let it sit in the water in the hopes of attracting some sharks. Not wanting to miss the action and for fear of the sharks getting bored of the crew member taunting them with fish that they could not have, I volunteered to dive with the second group.
Pulling on the diving suit was a ridiculous pain in the ass. Not to mention that I had forgotten to bring my bathing suit and was wearing a tank top and some underwear, or the fact that the suits had been stored wet from the previous trip.
Once I got into the cage and figured out how my goggles worked (No snorkel, just goggles for my eyes and nose) I was ready to see some sharks. I floated in the water for ages, being thrown about by the waves and wishfully ducking into the water to see something underneath or around me in the murky salt water. (Which I was swallowing every other few minutes) Finally, when I was just about through with being smashed into the metal bars of the cage, they scream from above “down in front” meaning, get in the water, the shark is right in front of you.
It was amazing; the shark swooped around the bait and came a mere few feet from the cage, eyeing the 6 of us gawking at it while it swam by. Looking into the eyes of a shark with no bars, no glass, only a thin layer of plastic in my goggles was worth the R950 for the trip. There were some that had paid and made the journey that couldn’t make it into the cage because they were too sick, and I am sincerely glad that I was not one of them.
There were a few spots where the tour guide had said to watch out for whales, however I didn’t see anything except a few seals playing in the waves behind the boat on the way back to land.
I wasn’t able to snap many amazing pictures of sea animals, but one of the guys in our group got the most amazing shot when a shark got hold of the bait and was in the air biting it.
I do, however, have a picture of a new found wonder that someone told me about. In the crest of a wave that has just crashed, from a certain angle you can see a rainbow in the spray. That made my hike along the cliffs, just peacefully watching all the rainbows form as waves crashed against the shore.