Sunday was the first day of the week that we woke up to no rain. Not only was there no rain but it was absolutely beautiful outside. With the great weather came even better plans! Today we’d all be heading to Muizenburg to try surfing. Dan spent a month in Muizenburg last year and learned to surf and he knew that we would all love it. To top it off, Muizenburg is widely recognized as being one of the best surf spots around.
The 7 of us got our things together and went down to the train station around 10:45. We had to catch the 11:10 train to Cape Town and didn’t realize how pressed we were for time until the train started to depart while half our group was still grounded. I step in just as the train started to move and behind me was Mieke and Hanneke. In the second it took Mieke to decide whether or not she’d board many things flashed through her head. Mieke got on just in time but she wasn’t the last to board. Hanneke was still behind her and had to make a great leap to join us. I was quite impressed with their brave moves. Once on Mieke told us how in that split second she thought about if Hanneke hadn’t followed she’d have been stuck at the train station, stuck in Kayamandi, and with no key to get back into her flat. That’s a lot to contemplate when you’re about to board a moving train!
The rest of the ride into Cape Town was fairly ordinary. We played some games to pass the time and the trip took just over an hour. A few of guys played the game Ninja on the train which was pretty funny to watch. Once in Cape Town we had to kill an hour before the next train to Muizenburg would be available. During this hour we shopped around market square, taking the time to teach the girls how to say, “no” to the street vendors. They are very persistent.
Finally arriving in Muizenburg, for the second time that week, we were welcomed in with a blue sky and a bluer ocean. Like I said, this place is THE surf spot and today was the first beautiful day in a week. Everyone came out to play and we were all very anxious to get started.
To rent a wet suit and a surf board for the day it only cost us $8 each. The girls tacked on another $10 for a lesson but for the amazing day of surfing that was to come I would have paid a lot more! Because Dan knew what he was doing he opted to just show Eric and I how it was done.
After a very brief lesson on the sand we made our way into, what everyone else described as, freezing water. I honestly found it refreshing and with the wet suit on had no problems with it. The first wave I went after wasn’t my most successful ride but I did get up on one knee. I was determined to ride a wave all the way in and continued to work and work at it. I can honestly say that I was having the time of my life out there and worked to minimize my vocabulary to just a few words. Gnarly, Bro, Dude, and B-Dubs were a few choice words I used out on in the water. I was a surfer bro and was totally feelin it. Eric, Dan, and I were hungry for waves and went after them nonstop.
Midway through our session Dan got out grabbing his camera. It was probably right around this time that I started to actually get a feel for riding in the waves. Dan, I really really appreciated the effort you put in to your photography!
Not far from us the girls were practicing with their instructor and I happened to ride in a wave close by to them. Feeling confident I told them I’d ride the next one past them and give them a high five. A few minutes later I caught the right wave and was actually able to do it. I don’t know who was more surprised about that. And as it turns out, I freaking love surfing and can’t wait to do it again.
The man in charge of the Surf Shack is Dave. Dan knew Dave from last year and I’m super glad he was able to introduce us to him. Dave not only runs and operates the Surf Shack but he also started his own volunteer organization. It provides volunteers with the chance to work with students, teach them to surf, and help out at the after school program. Not only did this seem like an outstanding idea but his location was ridiculously incredible. Both his store and his newly renovated café / after-school care building had beautiful ocean front views. I really wish I was staying longer so that I could participate more in what he’s doing. If anyone reading this wants to do something amazing, please contact me and I will direct you right to Dave.
After spending all day on the waves we made a late start back to Stellenbosch. To get home we had to first catch a train to Cape Town but the ticket offices were all closed. We decided to board the next train anyways with no ticket with the plan to purchase one at the other end. We’ve done this in the past, when the stations closed early, but never with 7 people. It turns out that they weren’t even checking tickets in Cape Town and we ended up with a free ride. Unfortunately, we still had a long ways to go to get back to Stellenbosch and there were no more trains headed out that way. Our options were limited with so many people but we ended up just taking two taxis home. I knew the kids were anxious to leave on their trip which starts Monday and I was keen to get back to them.
We arrived back home around 8 and several kids were out playing soccer on our street. We answered any questions they had about the trip and told them we’d see them at 8am the next morning. We were all exhausted from our day and very excited to start this trip with the kids.
The next few blogs will be about our trip with the kids. The trip YOU helped make happen. I can already tell you that you are in for some amazing pictures and great stories. I’m going to do my best to stay up to date but the days are long and I don’t want to cut any blog short. I’ll make it happen though! #ReachingOut2TheWorld