The Garden Route: A Bucket List Checking Weekend
As I mentioned in my previous post, this past weekend I went on the “Garden Route”. This is an area full of mountains and right on the Indian Ocean with tons of activities about 5 hours from Cape Town. Our 2 coordinators drove the ten of us in a mini bus all over the place for the weekend. They do this trip 11 times a year on average with students, so they are basically professional tour guides but way more fun. We stayed at a really nice hotel right on the Indian Ocean and paid $60 a night for a room. Gotta love South African tourism. It was a wild weekend and I checked a bunch of things off my bucket list, and even did some things that I never thought in a million years that I would do.
On Friday, we left at 5 a.m. from Cape Town and went to the Cango Caves and did an adventure tour through the caves. It was really cool and I’m pretty shocked that I squeezed through some of the spaces that I did on the tour. After that, we went to an Ostrich farm and I rode an Ostrich. When would I have ever thought I would ride an Ostrich? It’s actually not too hard but I was about 15 kg’s over the weight limit but didn’t tell the instructor, so the Ostrich bucked me off pretty quick because it was probably pretty pissed. After a great dinner with the crew, we went back to the hotel to rest up for the crazy Saturday ahead of us.
After grabbing an awesome breakfast buffet at the hotel, we were off to a zip lining canopy tour. There were 10 different “zips” and it was so cool to just go flying through the trees like Tarzan. I’m kind of scared of heights, so I was surprised how much I enjoyed the zip lining. This euphoria gave me the confidence to participate in our next activity which I told myself I would never, ever, ever do. I bungee jumped on the highest bungee in the world!! It was 216 meters, which is 709 feet for those of you struggling with the metric conversion. I went first in the group and was glad that I did because then I could just relax and watch the other 4 interns go. It was one of the craziest experiences of my life and I still can’t believe that I did it, but I figured I couldn’t let the opportunity go. Fresh off our adrenaline highs, we went to an Elephant reserve where we got to feed the Elephants and walk with them. There is something almost majestic about walking between 2 huge Elephants and touching these amazing animals. After the Elephant farm, we went on a sunset cruise on the Indian Ocean, which was stunning but also relaxing after such a crazy day. After a stop at a little pizza place and a dip in the Indian Ocean, I was off to bed exhausted and a little terrified that I had swan dived off a 700 ft. bridge just hours earlier.
On Sunday we did a game drive at a really nice game reserve. We saw giraffes, rhinos, wildebeest, water buffalo, water buck, kudu, springbok, but the coolest animal was definitely the lions. I had seen most of these animals before on the safari that I did in Durban, but the property that we were on was awesome with rolling hills and mountains all around including a view of the ocean and Mussel Bay. After lunch at the reserve, we made the 5 hour trek back to Cape Town, exhausted but definitely satisfied with our weekend.
This past weekend was the best that I’ve had since I’ve been here. The activities were awesome, the camaraderie between the interns and the coordinators was really great, and I checked a bunch of things off my bucket list. I have three more weeks here and I feel like I have so much more to do. There is a ton to see in Cape Town and with my work schedule I really only have the weekends to see the area. This week I’m starting my internal medicine rotation at the hospital. Next weekend is the event I’ve been looking forward to the most this trip: cage diving with Great White Sharks!
Proof that I did it
On the way down