Chantal on tour – South Africa through my eyes

As not many of you know yet, I’m currently having a gap year and just started traveling the world. The first stop of my great adventure? South Africa.

For those of you already following me a great century ago, it comes as no surprise that I’ve Always wanted to revisit the mother land. For all the others, I went on an exchange to Stellenbosch two years ago and have ever since said I wanted to go back. Lucky for me that time has finally come and I’m driving through the Majestic fields of South Africa on my way to Cape Town as we speak (or as I’m writing, more specifically).

First of all I must take a moment to appreciate being back, it feels like coming home, yet as if I barely ever left. The wonderful people, the beautiful nature and all of these great experiences I can never get enough of. Being back I actually did not only want to take a trip down memory lane, without seeing some of the other things this country has to offer. You see, two years ago I ran out of time and money and although I saw many other countries and amazing places, I couldn’t visit the East Coast anymore. This trip seemed like a good opportunity to do so. Now let me talk you through some of my experiences of the past two weeks.

It all started off in Cape Town, where I arrived on the 22th of January. Arriving in summertime South Africa came as a warm welcome after leaving Europe in 1 degrees celcius and rain. I quickly went to the V&A Waterfront (your go-to for whatever shopping it is that you need to do) to get some extra goodies for my big trip the day after. When I arrived back at the hostel, I was torn between having 15 hours of sleep or trying to be social and make some friends. Although those 15 hours of sleep sounded very attractive, I came to the conclusion that it was probably a fun idea to make some friends and do something nice. 30 minutes later I was a couple of shots into making plans to go out for what was supposed to be an early night in. I’d say it was worth the fun, however, the 2,5 days on a bus that followed would most prob disagree with me.

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Those 2,5 days were well payed for by my new place for the next 3 days. I arrived at Drakensberg, a place known for its miraculous hikes, breathtaking scenery and precarious weather. I’ve done some amazing hikes across the Drakensberg national park ending in rock pools, passed the waterfalls and learned many new cultural insights during my daytrip to Lesotho. I thought I’d seen Africa before, but this was a whole new deal. It looked as if I just rolled into the latest LOTR movie, but with cows. To be honest, I was somewhat surprised about the presence of these grazing creatures everywhere. Besides a tiny baby snake and one big bird, no tropical animal spotted.

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After Drakenberg it was time to hop back on the bus to Coffee Bay. Along the way I stopped at some hostels overnight. My original plan was to have a stopover at Umkomaas, which is supposedly one of the most beautiful dive and snorkling spots of South Africa. Unfortunately the weather was very depressing (for me at least, read: lots of rain), so I decided to skip this and drive straight to Coffee Bay. This was again something so different from both Drakenberg and the Western Cape. It’s in an area called “The wild coast” and it quickly shows why this is. Far away from any cellphone service or solid roads, where the kettle (again what’s up with these cows) walks across the road and there are definitely a lot less tourists. The wild coast wears its name proudly. This is a place where it’s very hard to arrive without your own transport or something like the Bazbus (which I’ve been using my whole trip). Unfortunately I only had 2,5 days, but if you’ve got the opportunity to stay longer, don’t hestitate and maybe make a little stop at Mdubi and Port St Johns as well, same beauty, different activities.

My last stop on this trip was Wilderness. I’ve been very into the wild stuff these weeks. A little town on the garden route with an almost tropical vibe. Can I say that the hostel I’ve stayed at had the most AMAZING view ever? And by that I mean I had a bed at the window overlooking the ocean and mountains. I could wake up to this every day. Of course I didn’t only came to Wilderness for the great bedroom view, although I could have. Like the other places so far, Wilderness is a great place to get moving. During my 48 hours there I made sure I did some Stand Up Paddling, Kayaking and a walk along the beach. You would expect me to be some sort of atlethe by now actually. Or at least, I expected myself to be. I wonder if it was the three-day-in-a-row pizzaday that ruined this or the good parties. Either way those snacks were worth it, this country’s food is delicous!!

I hope I’ve given you a proper inside into my weeks so far and speak to you soon! Howdy!

Love, Chantal

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(Very) Long time no see

Hi everyone!

I should be very ashamed, and I am. It’s been over a year since the last time I wrote something here. Not completely without reason though, because even though I’ve loved everything and anything in South Africa and I would have loved to share it with you, there are always some drawbacks you’ve got to learn to adjust to. One of those was the fact the wifi was completely shit. Like I-cannot-even-look-at-this-snapchat-shit. So you can imagine that to upload photos you had got to be some kind of magic worker, and magic has never really been my passion, nor my strength for that matter. Another reason was that unfortunately my phone and other important stuff got stolen, so I was trying to work that out, calling back and forth with home and trying to get my new stuff to me in South Africa. These things made me a little reluctant to write, unfortunately. Despite these two unfortunate events, I have lived probably the best six months of my life so far in South Africa  and I can only recommend everyone else to also go there and explore.

But now I am back, or actually, I am in Cologne in Germany at the moment. A little less adventurous, but nevertheless also beautiful, just very different. At least my wifi is good enough to post pictures and I can eat a lot of bratwurst. So allow me to virtually take you to all of my favorite spots in Cologne, through all of my streetstyle fashion moments and of course some new money-saving challenges. Now that one trip is over I have got to start saving for the next ones. Who made traveling so addictive and expensive?!

But first, let me take you through my SA highlights, so you can enjoy just as much as I did. Okay, almost as much.