3 months probation!

3 months probation! It’s not what you think. it’s the good kind of probation.

I’ve now been at my job for almost 3 months. What defines 3 months to you? When I look back, 3 months to me equals 3 horribly difficult, soul numbing months of banana farming in Australia. 3 months was just under half of my trip through South America. 3 months can drag by, or it can fly by, depending on what you’re doing. But this time, the 3 months have flown by,  3 months of probation at my new job, and at the end of this month we will (hopefully) sign my permanent contract.

So, what has been happening in the past 3 months (other than me neglecting my blog)?

Well, to summarise…

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Since I’ve been home…

I’ve been home for 6 weeks already. Time. Where does it go? It’s crazy to think that 6 months ago I was all covered in banana sap on a grubby, sweaty, humid, spider infested banana farm in Australia, living in an 8 bed dorm for 3 months, and counting those days away with so much resentment. Now, the days are flying by quicker than I can even imagine.

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Must do list for: Cape Town, South Africa

  • Table Mountain – Whether it is hiking up or cable car, it’s just a top attraction, filled with panoramic views of the breath taking city that I call home

    Table Mountain and Cape Town City Centre

    Table Mountain and Cape Town City Centre

  • Boulders Beach – Penguins penguins everywhere. A beautiful beach off Simon’s Town, with huge boulder’s and nosey little penguins. And be sure to stop in at the famous Brass Bell for lunch in Kalk Bay on your way home.

    Boulders Beach

    Boulders Beach

  • Kirstenbosch Gardens.  – Be sure to go check out the Botanical Gardens, they are magical. There is a bridge walk you can do over the tree tops. Bring a picnic basket, wine (lots of wine), friends, and enjoy the magic. If you’re here over Summer, you’re in for a treat. The botanical gardens offer sunset concerts every Sunday through Summer. Live music, in a natural amphitheatre, surrounded by trees and Table Mountain as the backdrop.
  • Go see a Jeremy Loops concert. By far my most favourite musician that has grown up on these shores, your heart will melt as he captures the essence of Cape Town through his music.

    Jeremy Loops playing at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

    Jeremy Loops playing at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

  • Mosey around the Bay Harbour Market in Hout Bay for a cruisy Saturday brunch with a glass of bubbly in hand and some great local music.

    Bay Harbour Market in Hout Bay

    Bay Harbour Market in Hout Bay

  • Go to The Assembly to see a live show. I can’t explain it. It’s just a must do.
  • Go to Robben Island and see where Nelson Mandela lived for so many of his prison years. If you have time before coming to South Africa, you should read The Long Walk to Freedom while you’re sitting on one of your many flights/busses/trains around the world.
  • Hike up Lion’s head to watch the sunset

    View of Cape Town from Lion's Head on a Full Moon

    View of Cape Town from Lion’s Head on a Full Moon

  • Another great market to go to on a Saturday morning is the Old Biscuit Mill to the Neighbourhood Goods market. Great food. Craft beers. Happiness.
  • Drive along Chapman’s Peak Drive. The views are incredible. The road was closed for a number of years because of dangerous rockfalls, but now that that’s all fixed up, take advantage of the scenery.
  • Looking for a tip top beach to soak up some South African sun? Llandudno beach is the one for you. A local surf spot, a small beach, lots of boulders to clamber onto, white sand, and the only thing you could try fault it on is the crisp cold ocean, but even that is hardly a fault.
  • Go SKYDIVING!! Cape Town has one of the most beautiful settings in the world. Mountains, Ocean, City. Why not do a jump out of a little aircraft and take in all the sites from the sky. These guys are great www.skydivecapetown.co.za
  • Go to a music festival. Cape Town is know for it’s PsyTrance music scene, and the parties are world class. When it comes to other music festivals, Rocking the Daisies is a brilliant one.
    Rocking the Daisies 2012 during Bloc Party's performance

    Rocking the Daisies 2012 during Bloc Party’s performance

     

cyclones and bananas

Two weeks ago, the town of Innisfail was in a panic because of a category 5 cyclone headed our way. Although it is incredibly selfish, my mind was secretly hoping that there would be enough devastation to the banana farms that Hayley and I would lose our jobs and have to relocate, but obviously in reality I didn’t want any devastation to be caused for the locals. It was just a little inside pang to get out of here, any excuse would do. The cyclone did hit, but further up the coast in a town called Cooktown. They will have a lot of work to fix up the damage of this natural disaster and its a sad situation for the residents of that town. Every few years, a bad cyclone hits in this region and causes so much damage and loss. A few years ago, cyclone Yasi hit in Innisfail, and it took years for them to redevelop the area. A lot of the houses are relatively old (in Australia terms), and are easily ripped apart by the heavy winds and rain. Luckily for Innisfail, we only got the aftermath of this particular cycle, with some heavy rains. Our bananas won’t be in the best state, but at least the town wasn’t completely wrecked. Selfish reasons aside, I am happy for this town, that it withstood another test from nature.

That was the little bit of excitement that hit our town this past weekend. Other than that, not much news. I’m just slowly but surely counting down the days until my farming career is over. I’ve passed the half way mark now, and its only 6 weeks to go until I a have done enough regional work to be granted my 2nd year working holiday visa.

birthdays and other weekends

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Banana farming is not for the faint hearted. My heart might be faint. Everyday while I am working, my mind is in a spin. Why am I doing this???? The money is great, 3 months of this regional work and my working visa for Australia gets extended by a 2nd year. All the right reasons. TRAVEL! But still, my mind is starting to doubt that that is enough.  I hate every moment of every day here. I’m in week 7 now, with 8 more weeks to go after this. Only 8. I’m almost half way already. But still… sometimes I wonder if it is really worth it.

Why am I doing this????

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the countdown to cordoba

10 sleeps until Sam and I fly to Buenos Aires. I am beyond excited. All my unimportant things have been sold. I’ve only got my backpack of things to take with me, and one trunk of belongings I’m leaving at home. And that’s it.

We’ve been so lucky. We’ve already organised a job at a hostel in Cordoba from 15th September, and another job at a hostel in Bariloche thereafter. Now all we need is to find a couch to sleep on in Buenos Aires for two nights upon arrival in Argentina on the 11th September. Yes, 9/11.

I cannot express how excited I am for this journey to begin.

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A casual 20 hour bus ride to Namibia

Reyno & I before our 20 hour bus trip

Reyno & I before our 20 hour bus trip

Living in Cape Town is quite a crazy life to live if you fully submerge yourself in all the activity’s that it has to offer. Lately I have been doing just that, and it’s starting to take it’s toll on me.

I decided to take some leave from work and hop on the bus to Windhoek, Namibia. It’s a casual 20 hour bus ride. 20 hours is LONG!! But, if you get the Intercape Sleepliner from Cape Town to Windhoek, the trip isn’t all that bad. The seats recline substantially, but do remember to bring your own pillow and blanket. It’s cold on that bus at night and I was stupid enough not to bring a blanket.

One of my most special friends of all time, Jaco, is currently working in Windhoek, and he’s always inviting me to visit. So Jaco’s brother, Reyno, and myself, decided to go on a little trip to Namibia, and here we are.

There isn’t much to do or see, but the time out is what I needed and what I came for. While Jaco is at work during the day, his house mates have been taking us around the town. I’m also spending a lot of my time researching and planning my next adventures. In the evenings we’ve been going to see some of the locals bars. Sunset at the Hilton Hotel, Wednesday night live music at the Warehouse Theatre, Friday night drinks at Joe’s Beer House. Namibia is all about the beer and a miss-mash of English, Afrikaans and German. Everybody speaks a combination of these three. It’s incredible.

One thing random, but worth mentioning, is the dry air. It’s higher in altitude than Cape Town of course, but man I’ve been struggling with my nose. It’s been dry and bloody and crusty this past week. I’m leaving to go back home tomorrow, but my nose is only coming right now. Be warned.

I’m so glad I decided to come on this little getaway, to refreshen my spirit and my body. It really is the time-out that I’ve been needing. Consider me back in my happy bubble again at last. It’s been awhile now.

Sunset from the Hilton Hotel

Sunset from the Hilton Hotel