This past week and a half or so has been legen – wait for it – DARY! I got to witness the Springboks destroy the Wallabies in Newlands Stadium, hiked up Table Mountain, and went to a music festival where one of my favourite bands ever was playing! So I’m sorry for not posting in a while, but I’ve just been too busy!
Last weekend was the Springboks-Wallabies test match. At around noon we started tailgating at our friends’ house, and I finally experienced my first real braai (South African BBQ – last time I tried was the first week I was here and it was pitch black outside and did not go so well). I continued to impress everyone with my cooking abilities by making homemade burgers (yes, people find that impressive. I don’t know how, but I’m gonna roll with it).
Kickoff was at 17:00, so we headed over to the stadium at around 16:00 to see the people there and make sure we found our seats and bought all required paraphernalia for the match. On the way we met an adorable Basset Hound and I played with his ears (this is clearly relevant to the story). The stadium was packed and had an awesome atmosphere.
The match was fairly one sided (an Australian report the following day was titled ‘Springboks rout Wallabies in Cape Town horror show’). The Boks scored twenty unanswered points in less than 8 minutes in the first half – but still, it was exciting to see. The Wallabies were scrumming better than the Boks, but not making any use of it. And our backplay was just amazing, so incredible to see live, and the Wallabies weren’t doing anything to stop it.
I do miss watching rugby with people who understand the rules, but it’s also been fun giving people crash courses in the sport and hopefully showing them why it’s so awesome (as though giant men in short shorts hitting one another weren’t enough reason for that)! And the people at Newlands in general were just excited to be there – I met another Canadian from Ottawa who used to play for the Irish – and you could tell how much this team means to the people here.
The Wallabies did manage to get another try in the last two minutes of play, making the final score 28-8 for the Boks. Their last try was absolutely beautiful, coming from a kick off a line out, and the Boks answered with some solid pressure for the last bit of the match (we spent the remaining time in their 22). After the big win we obviously had to go out and celebrate!
I spent the next couple days trying to get some work done on my takehome exam, but it has been so hard, because the weather is really starting to turn here! I was able to go tanning in my yard, have a beer, and write a little bit every day this past week. But I do my best work in the heat… so it’s fine.
Since the weather has been so nice, Ali and I decided to do a quick Table Mountain hike on Wednesday morning. We got up to leave around 7am, and started scaling the mountain around 7:40 or so. The weather had been clear for Monday and Tuesday, but Wednesday morning started out quite foggy!
We were a little worried it wouldn’t clear out by the time we got to the top, but as things started to heat up, it slowly started rolling out.
It was a really awesome hike though – we started by the Kloof Dam and took a trail that led to the main trails leading up to the top of Table Mountain. From that point, we did the India Venster route, despite the signs speaking to its danger level. It was so much fun. A really scrambly route where, at times, you had to climb straight up the mountain. Definitely not for the inexperienced or people with fears of heights!
But it only took Ali and I an hour and 45 mins or so, and the view at the top was definitely worth it!
We came down the same way (passing a group we had passed on the way up) and headed back to the Southern Suburbs so I could make my class that day (looking attractive, as always). The rest of the week was spent with me slowly trying to do work, but moreso being excited for Rocking the Daisies, the music festival I went to this past weekend!
It was a huge festival – I think there were seven stages total of different acts performing, and the campground was insanely packed. It made me think of my friends planting who needed to be on the outskirts of the site – that was impossible here. It was one tent on top of another, and there were so many people!
There were a few bands going into the festival that I really wanted to see, with one of the South African ones being Shortstraw. They have kind of a surf rock vibe, lots of fun.
We always intended on staying in our group of people, but with the size of the festival it was pretty much impossible to do. It was really easy meeting new friends though, so it really didn’t matter!
I did manage to stay with a UCT friend for Goldfish (again, at the front of the stage), and they were absolutely unreal! They have more dance/electronic music, and were playing at the Beach Bar, which was just a tent on the sand beside the dam.
The Saturday was so busy! After Goldfish, I wanted to watch the Boks play the All Blacks. Luckily they had a big screen set up so people could sit and watch.
Despite the fact that I’m currently living here in SA and love it, I had to cheer for the All-Blacks. Luckily, I managed to find a New Zealander! He and I were not the most popular people at the match, especially in the second half when New Zealand answered the de Villiers try with two of their own. It was an awesome, well-fought match though, and again, you got to see how passionate people here are about rugby and their team. With a New Zealand victory to keep me happy, I headed off to the main stage to get to the front for one of my favourite bands ever, Alt-J ∆.
They were amazing live. Their sound was album quality, and it totally reaffirmed why I love them so much. You could tell it was a live performance, and they switched a couple things up, but the quality of their music and their true talent was so blatantly obvious. They nearly brought me to tears when they played ‘Something Good’ and ‘Breezeblocks.’ I just don’t have the words to describe how unreal the performance was, but I will never forget where I was the first time Alt-J performed in South Africa – stage side.
The Hives came on after Alt-J, and they were a lot of fun to see. I’ve never been a huge Hives fan, but they’re such a group of performers that it’s hard not to have fun at their show, especially if you are right up at the stage. They like interacting with the crowd, so it’s cool getting to feel like a part of the show.
All in all, it was an awesome and exhausting weekend! I’m a little sunburnt now and have a slightly ridiculous sunglasses tan, but it wouldn’t be a festival without that! The weather this week is supposed to be mid-to-high 20s, so I’m sure I will be out and about outside (while of course working very hard on my school work – today is my last class of first term of 3L!!!!!)