My Top 5 Activities While Visiting Nungwi, Zanzibar

Sometimes you dream of being in the most magical place, surrounded by an endless array of beauty to ignite your senses. Then suddenly one day you wake up and you are on the island of Zanzibar. Your dream is now your reality.

Ten years ago I was privileged enough to spend many months in Zanzibar, diving every day and enjoying the postcard life. Since that time, Zanzibar has always been in my dreams. I knew I had to return one day; I didn’t know when that would be. Then recently I woke up and there I was.

Well, maybe after a few plane rides across the world, then a small plane ride across the Country of Tanzania and a good sleep from all the travel, I woke up and there I was. Back in the place that left an unwavering imprint on my mind.

 

 

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It is always surreal to return to a place after so long. So many things change, and so much new infrastructure goes up. With infrastructure also comes more people, and life seems so much busier than I once knew there. It took me a day to absorb it all.

One thing that has not changed is the beauty. It is still there like the most amazing buffet you have ever feasted your eyes on.

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Zanzibar is known for its diving, and for its spices. Its nickname is spice island. Diving and spice tours are popular activities when visiting the island. I did none of this, this time around.

This time was for relaxing, being present in the moment, and taking in every second.

One thing I should add is there are no ATM’s in Nungwi, so you must bring enough cash to fund your whole trip. There are a few places that accept credit card, not many, so I would not rely on that. The closest place to withdraw money is in Stonetown.

That being said, here are my top 5 activities that were simple and brought me a great deal of pleasure, while I enjoyed life in and around Nungwi, Zanzibar. Simple yet strong enough reason’s for me to recommend that you take a getaway to this incredible destination right now.

  1. Enjoy the beaches, grounding with the earth, and swimming

I think this goes without saying; I am saying it anyway. Zanzibar has some of the most beautiful beaches you will ever set your eyes on and dip your toes in.

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The water is such a crystal clear blue, so warm and refreshing, it will not only cleanse your body but also your soul. Some of the best grounding/earthing is done when you are barefoot on the wet beach. You get the ultimate recharge from the earth. Mother nature has it on offer and she is so generous with her giving, that it is hard not to embrace it to the fullest. It was my daily rejuvenation.

2. Walk to Kendwa

Four Kilometres from Nungwi is my favourite beach on the North coast – Kendwa beach.

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When the tide is out, the walk from Nungwi to Kendwa is absolutely amazing. It takes about 30 – 35 minutes to walk, yet it is pure bliss every step of the way. Not only is the view incredible at every angle it is a great way to get a bit of extra exercise. Especially when you are relaxing and enjoying the chill life. I did this walk almost daily. The beach in Kendwa is so vast and with a lot fewer people than Nungwi beach. The swimming is pristine, and extra inviting. It is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy an afternoon.

3. Enjoy all the amazing food

From the seafood to the street food your tastebuds are in for a treat. This is the time to enjoy every morsel. Take the word ‘diet’ out of your vocabulary and just indulge. If you eat seafood you are about to be in seafood heaven. Every day the fresh catches are prepared for your delight. My favourite in Zanzibar is the Octopus. It is the most tender you will ever have in your life.

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Mama Mia – one of my favourite restaurants in Nungwi, they boast an incredible view, and they accept credit card.

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The street food and local restaurants are equally delicious and a fraction of the price you will pay in the touristy restaurants. Be prepared to eat though, the local restaurants are not shy with their portions.

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Let’s not forget about the fresh fruit. You can go anywhere in the village and buy fresh, beautiful, sweet tropical fruit in abundance. I could not get enough fresh passionfruit juice. It was a splurge on the daily.

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4. Swim with turtles

I never knew that swimming with turtles was on my bucket list until I did it. At the Nungwi Natural Aquarium, you can swim with rescued turtles. These turtles were caught in fishermen’s nets and injured. The aquarium will actually give money to the fishermen for the turtles, they will rehabilitate them and then release them back into the wild.

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They live the good life in the aquarium, getting loads of love and food all day long. They are such gentle creatures.

Although, move out of the way when seaweed gets tossed in as they will push their way past you to get a mouthful. I even got a turtle bite on my arm. It did not break the skin, just nipped me with a hard pinch. Not his fault, there was a piece of seaweed right next to my arm. I was actually proud of my turtle bite. Hands down one of the coolest things I have ever done.

5. Take in all the sunsets

The sunsets are stunning. It is the refreshing cool down from a hot day. The finishing of another beautiful day of being alive and the welcoming of the evening ambiance.

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I love a stroll on the beach in the evening. The stars light up the sky, and when the moon is fuller, it lights up the earth in such a magical way. As you watch the sun disappear over the horizon, you can not help but reflect and bask in the beauty of life.

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I will be back!

This trip to Zanzibar was about filling my soul, being present and overflowing with high vibe energy. The more you have, the more you have to share. Not every activity has to be extravagant when you travel. It is the simple things that when appreciated will bring the most pleasure.

Volunteering, Community and Connection in Tanzania

Giving back and supporting others – that’s what makes the world go round. In fact, I forgot just how much immersing myself in a different culture, giving back and working alongside the people sets my soul on fire. The sharing of energies in these situations amazing.

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While in Tanzania I took part in a volunteer project with UGO Travel For Change and we partnered with The Dare Women’s Foundation. It has been so many years since I partook in a group trip. Yet the values of UGO Travel For Change spoke to my core, so it was a no brainer to go on this adventure with them. Plus the group of women(and one guy) on this trip fit together like a perfect puzzle. It was amazing how much we all complimented each other as a group. I would for sure join UGO again.

The Dare Women’s Foundation does incredible work in Tanzania. It is an NGO working to empower Tanzanian women and girls, with a focus on rural areas, through poverty alleviation, social justice, economic empowerment, and gender equality.

The foundation had a piece of land donated to them, and with it, they plan on building a home where women who need shelter can live, heal and work on building a sustainable future. We came to help build them a fence to enclose their property.

I love hands-on work. There is something so satisfying about getting dirty and doing physical labour. Especially when you are doing it alongside an amazing community of locals. It was very hot, and that took to get used to, but the sweatiness just added to the whole experience. This is literally where the term ‘sweat hot mess’ is very fitting.

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Every day the mama’s would come and out of nowhere they would build fires on the ground and whip up the most incredible meals. I mean unbelievable meals. Makes me think I need to step up my game next time I am camping.

Song and dance accompanied all the tasks and even the bus rides. There was always singing going on. It always amazes me how the people in Africa truly know how to enjoy life. Making the most of every day and every moment.

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I would have to say the cement was the hardest part of the work. First, we had to mix it on the ground and then we had to carry it in buckets to the fence where we then poured into the ground to create the cement base. Most of the buckets didn’t have proper handles so that would be why I would say it was the hardest. It was more so just painful for the hands.

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The baby goats made my day – every day! The neighbours were kind enough to let us use their outhouse for the duration of the project and on their little property; they had cows, goats and chickens. I had no idea that playing with baby goats is one of my absolute favourite things to do in life. Now I know.

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Before we finished the project, we each planted a tree on the property. The significance being we leave a piece of us that will grow and be something beautiful when we return.

On our final day, we had a farewell party. All the mamas came as well as the construction guys for lunch and a little ceremony so we could thank them for all of their amazing hospitality. We all pitched in to prepare the food with as much love as they used to prepare all of our food.

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We sang we ate, we danced, and we said our heartfelt ‘see you again’ to each other.

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It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. It encompassed so many of my passions all in one and it ignited this massive desire to incorporate more of this into my life once again. It is a good reminder we should always take the time to do something we love, whatever lights us up, even if it is just something brief, as that light we gain from it will overflow to all areas of our life.

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The more you give the more you get, and I am starting 2019 off full of gratitude. It is about more than just giving back. On the deeper side, it is about community and connection on a global scale.

Summiting Mount Kilimanjaro -The Trek That Changed My Life

A physical, mental, emotional and spiritual journey that will change your life.

Walking up a mountain. No big deal right?
At least one would think it was no big deal until you find yourself immersed in it all and in a very different reality.

Mount Kilimanjaro has been on my bucket list since I first laid eyes on it when I was doing my solo trip across Africa with my portable massage table. I knew I would one day be back to conquer it, I just didn’t know when. Then the opportunity arose recently in my life, years after my solo trip across the continent and it was suddenly time.

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We chose the 7-day trek up the Machame route. Not the most difficult route, but absolutely one of the most challenging.

From day 1 we were amongst some of the most incredible scenery.

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We began at the lush rain forest, and as we progressively got higher in altitude the vegetation continually changed. The landscape and beauty were spectacular every day.

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I was totally blown away by the porters running up and down the mountain with very heavy loads. We would leave camp they would pack up and run ahead of us to make sure everything was ready for our arrival.

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Blown away, and incredibly grateful. That is not an easy job.
We had some long days in the beginning with a duration of 6 – 7 hours hikes, as we got higher the hikes got shorter yet more intense particularly due to the altitude.

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We always had snacks and warm drinks waiting for us when we reached our next camp.

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It is about around day 3 that most people start to feel the effects of the altitude. I made sure to have all of my natural supplements and remedies with me in order to prevent altitude sickness as much as possible. As we get higher our blood begins to thicken which in turns starts to make us ill. So I had plenty of natural things in my little health kit that helps to thin the blood. It all worked so well, I had my moments, but really nothing too bad at all.

Altitude sickness comes in waves. At one point you can feel totally fine, then suddenly you feel awful, and then shortly after that you feel fine again. It is like a roller coaster ride all in itself.

The most important things are – rest and water.

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We chose the absolute best company to guide us. They are called Safari to Summit, and they continually went above and beyond for us on the daily. Our safety and health were number one, and the food blew us away every day.

Literally, the chef also known as ‘the stomach engineer’ prepared our meals in a tent on a propane stove, and the things he would produce were what dreams were made of on a cold, strenuous journey up Kilimanjaro. No matter the elevation, the food was always on point.

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Summit night was tough. My lips were cracked, my body feeling the pressure, and my mind having to keep strong. We started our last leg of the journey at 11pm. It was dark, cold, and where the real challenge was about to begin.

About an hour in is when I started to feel the altitude. There were some that were vomiting, others with severe headaches and body aches. For myself when it would pummel me like a crashing wave, it would come on as tight pressure in my chest and body making it very difficult to breathe along with vertigo that would make it hard to focus as well as giving me the feeling I was about to fall down the mountain. It was extremely tough, to say the least. I had to stop a couple times to even out and give myself a pep talk. I shed a few tears and asked my body if it could go on. It said yes. So onward I marched.

As we got higher the weather became more brutal. It was blizzarding and so cold that even with two pairs of gloves and two pairs of socks plus hand and feet warmers, I was still so cold my fingers and toes were burning with the icy bite of frost. Pushing through the last few hours was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my whole life.

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Having an incredible team of support absolutely helped make the success of this possible. At times I was the support and at other times I was receiving the support. This time I joined a group trip with UGO Travel for Change, and it was one of the best experiences of my life.

This accomplishment put so many things into perspective for me. I found a drive in myself that is so much bigger than I ever thought before. I can clearly see I am capable of so much more.

The journey down the mountain was split between two days, and I will say aside from the summit the trek down was the hardest. It was rough and my knees almost couldn’t take it. I was ready to throw in the towel and say I couldn’t go on. It was so painful. Although clearly, that wasn’t an option. How in the heck else was I going to get down?
On the last morning of the trek, we were treated to a farewell song and dance by the guides and crew. They were so amazing and what a high vibe way to say goodbye.

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My knees were swollen for days after and I could barely walk. Going down is no joke. This adventure turned out to be more than just a physical challenge. It was physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.

I had so much support to help me achieve this incredible feat. I had the intention to fly this flag at the summit to show my gratitude to all those who supported me in so many ways. However, I never expected this to be as difficult as it was, nor with such extreme weather conditions. My time at the summit was so short as it was unbearable and my flag was in my bag that one of the porters took to carry when the altitude was nearly doing me in. I still flew my flag with nothing less than overflowing gratitude when I returned to base camp, and it was with us all at the top.

Metaphorically speaking, here is what I learned about life from this amazing experience – having been crashed on by waves of altitude/challenges along the way, having to stop and shed some tears a few times, check in with myself and have strong self talk to keep going onward and upward to finally reach the top. The summit. Where I shed more tears, this time of joy. It showed me that in life when we are climbing our mountains, building our success and working to achieve greatness, it will not always be easy, the hardships will come in waves, and we may cry a few times along the way. Yet if we can keep our eye on our goal, our mindset strong while being gentle on ourselves through the hardships, we can do anything and everything that we set our mind to. Ending up at the exact destination we were reaching for or somewhere even better.

How to Abseil Like A Solo Rockstar Down Table Mountain

Sometimes that little nagging feeling for a good adrenaline rush get’s the better of you. Especially so when you wake up in Cape Town, South Africa. In reality, being there was pretty surreal, so I wanted to do something that made me feel damn well alive and ready to absorb my new surroundings to the max. No matter how long or how far I travel, the surreal feeling never fades. Life is just so darn precious, so I am always grateful for all new experiences. South Africa is known for it’s adrenaline activities, so it kind of is a no brainier.

I had just flown across the world to begin my solo trip to cross Africa, and before jet leg could even kick in, I was ready for action. Alright, flying business class the whole way did make for a pretty comfortable travel experience. I woke up and knew I wanted to do something that would provide a good adrenaline kick, I just wasn’t sure just what yet. So I decided to begin the day with a little mission to Table Mountain.

The majestic beauty of Cape Town and the whole surroundings – was rocking my freaken world.

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It was more beautiful then I could have imagined. It didn’t take much for me to instantly fall in love with South Africa. In the midst of running around the top of the mountain and checking things out, I came across some abseiling. I stood and watched the events taking place for a bit to see if it was the something I was looking for to provide that adrenaline rush for the day. Watching people step off the side of the cliff at 1000 meters above sea level, and having never experienced it before, definitely was looking like it was what I was on the hunt for.

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I watched as people went down in pairs, and if they rocked up alone, they would then get paired up with someone. So I figured what the heck, I am going to go sign up! When I got down to the ledge where you get roped up and sent on your abseiling way, there was only myself, and a couple behind me. ‘Ok, ok, I am sure one of the guys that work it will probably come with me’ I thought.

‘Who’s going to go first the guy asked?’ I turned around and looked at the couple, whom shook their heads no. So then I looked back at the guy and said, ‘I suppose I will’.

He then responded, ‘Well you know your going alone right?!’ Not being the type of person to act scared, I confidently responded, ‘yup’, even though I was really freaken out on the inside. ‘Alone?! Are you friggen kidding me?!’

Oh man Petrena, what the heck did you get yourself into?! I was questioning. You got this though! You can rock it. After traveling the globe like a solo rock star, I have mastered the art of self talk. Once I was roped up and ready for action, the first step was for me to lean back over the edge, stand literally on it, and put my arms out.

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Clearly I could still hold it together to make it look like I wasn’t nervous at all. That, and let’s not forget the fact that I was doing this damn thing alone. All I know how to do in life though, is be awesome, no matter what situation I am in. At least that is what I keep telling myself.

Off I went, one step at a time, shaking like a mofo, staring straight at the wall in front of me. Give a little rope, take another step. I had my rhythm down.  As I was making my way, one of the guys at the top shouted down to me, ‘Enjoy the surprise halfway down!’.

Dang, if I wasn’t so focused I may have responded. I was definitely thinking, ‘Oh shit, a surprise like that is not always a good thing.’ I kept on going though, I mean there really wasn’t any backing out at that point. After going a ways down, I knew it was time to stop, take a moment to look around, and take my eyes off the darn wall. I didn’t come this far to not take in the whole experience. Turning my head to take a glance, I suddenly went from feeling so big, to the size of an ant.

It was amazing to see the massive beauty that was surrounding me, and insane that I was hanging in the midst of it all. You are surrounded by some pretty spectacular sights from the 12 Apostles, to Camps Bay, the Atlantic Seaboard, and the beautiful blue ocean.

As I looked over at the rope beside me, I realized just how totally alone I was, on a cliff, 1000 meters in the air, and with no one to say ‘Holy shit this is crazy’ too. But you better believe I said it to myself! Numerous times. Pretty much over and over again.

Long behold, half way down, the surprise happened- the wall disappeared. My initial reaction was to pump the rope as fast as I possibly could and get it over with. Then on second thought, I decided to stop myself with that good ol’ pep talk, ‘Slow down Petrena, your safe and you need to take in this moment to the fullest’. Works every time, a little ‘me time’ talk.

Once I got to the bottom of the portion that you abseil down there was a guy waiting for me – my legs touched the ground, and I could barely stand on them from all the adrenaline pumping through. It was a surge of pure incredible endorphin’s. It was like nothing I had experienced. I was loving life! As per usual.

At the end you have to hike back up to the top where you catch the gondola back down to the base of the mountain. I was on fire the whole way up, and the whole darn day after it all. The whole experience was awesome, and I totally recommend it if you find yourself in Cape Town and on Table Mountain looking for a little adrenaline fix.

So to sum it up, if you want to abseil like a solo rockstar down table mountain, all you gotta do is: Suck it up, remind yourself to just be awesome, and go for it! Doing it alone absolutely upped the surge of it all. Why the heck not?!

It’s amazing how every adrenaline sport I have done, always provides its own unique adrenaline rush. This was by far one of my faves. I can honestly say that I rocked that one in the most awesome fashion I knew how.  Come to think of it, adventure and being awesome abroad is calling my name! I can’t help that I just love it so darn much.

Don’t tell your mom when your hitch hiking in Africa

Sometimes in life there are those moments, where you happen to be in South Africa and you find yourself in a little jam, somewhat of a minor setback…… You know…. No big deal, a bump in the road.  Well funny enough, I have been known to sometimes find myself in these moments a little to often in life – and this just happened to be one of those instances….

My wonderful travel companion Meghan and myself, were on route from Jeffrey’s Bay to Cape Town to take a course, and naturally as ladies do, we were running just a tad bit late. Not gonna lie, I did have the sneaking suspicion we were on route to missing the bus.

Long behold, when we arrived at the bus station with our whole lives in tow(of course we needed all this stuff for a one week trip, there was just no other way we would survive), we found out we missed the bus by 5 minutes.

Really?! Darn it. I knew it.

Alright, no need to cry over spilled milk, so Plan B it is! We called the bus station to see if there was another bus. No sir-ee, there sure wasn’t. So we called a taxi company to see if they could take us to the bus and we could flag it over on the highway, or possibly to the next town to meet the bus.  But to no avail.

Hmmm, ok then. Plan C it is! We came to the unanimous decision to hitchhike.  I mean we had to get there, and this wasn’t my first time hitchhiking in Africa. It was actually my 3rd at that point. So after our team chat and agreement, it was time to get this show on the road! And when I say show, I mean ‘Show’! And when I said we had a lot of stuff, I meant ‘we had alot of stuff!

Meghan had 2 large, very bright floral print suitcases, and I had my 70L backpack, and my  massage table…. Yup that’s right. The first thought that popped into our heads was, ‘Who the heck is gonna pick us up with all this stuff?!’ Oops… Maybe we could have left a couple things behind. Or maybe the bus could have waited.

Either way, off we went. We took a local run down old van, that has now been turned into a bus, just past the next town to a gas station, where we got off, with all our luggage in tow.  Not 5 minutes after we got there, we scoped out a guy gassing up, with a nice demeanor about him, and clearly traveling alone.  PERFECT we thought.  Except he has a very small car.  Crap…. Oh well let’s give it a go anyway.

So pulling out the best smiles we brought with us, and leaving our luggage to the side so we could maybe, potentially, sneak that load past. We gracefully approached him, and asked for a ride.

Boom! He said yes! But he was only going as far as Knysna, it wasn’t Cape Town, but it was for sure a start.  Both of us being stoked at our awesome hitchhiking success, we went to grab the U-haul containing our luggage. I mean, he already said yes, and didn’t ask what we had with us. Sooo.. you know. We saved that info for last, minor details really. hitch12

 

 

Yes, he was surprised when he seen our hitch trailer full of luggage to attach to the back of his little car, especially since we were hitchhiking….. But he happily jammed all of our stuff in.

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Upon arriving in Knysna he was awesome enough to take us on some sightseeing, before dropping us off outside a gas station.

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We parked ourselves across the road from the gas station and put our stuff not totally hidden to the side, but pretty much as hidden as possible, so not to ruin our chances of getting picked up. hitch7 Strategic planning really! We then preceded to do what any good hitchhiker would do, and put our thumbs and arms way out.  Now let’s remember, we are two light skinned girls in Africa, and I really am not one to differentiate people by skin color, but in Africa you never see Caucasian people especially being females hitchhiking like its no big deal.

Not to mention there were locals hitchhiking the next street up, and we also didn’t want them to think we were stomping on their turf and trying to take their rides.

2 hours later, we had quite a few people stop, but only to question if we were kidding, or seriously hitchhiking.

‘Oh no, no, we aren’t actually hitch hiking, we just decided to pack up all our things and stand on the road with our thumbs out for some shits and giggles’, best way to spend an afternoon.

After having not very good luck, the gas attendants from the station ran across the and presented us with a sign that they had made, saying we are going to Cape Town. They could see we were in need of some assistance. We were clearly going nowhere fast!

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Now that we looked and felt more professional, we were ready to nail our long awaited ride. At least we thought so….. A few more hours later, a few more people seeing if we are joking, and having also turned away a few rides due to bad vibes, a semi-truck pulls over with 3 gentlemen inside.

Turns out they were also en-route to Cape Town. Feeling a bit hesitant, we weren’t sure if we should take the ride. The guys from the gas station came running over to say that this is the ride we should take, it’s safe.  Alright, if you say so, all aboard!  Meghan and I hopped in the back, the 3 guys in the front, putting the pedal to the metal and chatting up a storm. Okay, okay, we thought, this isn’t bad at all. hitch5

That is until a little while into the ride when we realized the driver was drinking, and not just sipping, chugging like we are at a college frat party.

Freaken heck, here we were stoked we found trustworthy and nice people, forgot to add in it would be nice if they were sober drivers. Middle man’s job was to be the bartender for the captain. ‘Now what?!’ we thought. Can’t really get out in the middle of nowhere when your in Africa. Have to keep some sense.

He was fine though. At first that is. Meghan dozed off and was laying down beside me like sleeping beauty, when the driver suddenly went from fine and dandy to smashed, and was swerving all the over the place as though we were in an obstacle course, hitting pylons, and purposely trying to hit other Semi’s that wanted to overtake.

You could say my nerves were on angst, and my fingers were gripping onto the back of the seat for dear life, almost puncturing through the material. The other guys kept trying to console me, and tell me he was totally fine to drive. What the?! That is not what I call fine!? I thought.

Finally 2 nerve wracking hours later(are we going to die, or are we not going to die) I couldn’t take it anymore, I started shaking Meghan. ‘Meghan! Meghan! You have got to wake up! We are going to die! You have to wake up now!’.  Ever so calm and slowly she sat up and looked at me, ‘Really, we are going to die, and you wake me up for it?!.

Good point. However! I tried my best to hold off, to spare you, but it was taking too long, now I couldn’t do it alone anymore. Meghan loves a good roller coaster ride, so she had no problems with the crazy driving. I think she almost enjoyed it. I was still not okay with it. Not gonna lie though, just having her awake and beside me made me feel so much better.

We finally reach this truck stop that I had been to before, an hour outside of Cape Town, and no sooner as the driver pulled over and turned off the ignition, was he face planted and out cold right into the steering wheel. Literally.

The other two guys were apologizing profusely, saying they wanted to help us, but company policy was that they couldn’t drive after eleven. ‘No problem, I am soooo fine with that!’ I replied, as I thought ‘Really?? and your just fine with the driver being inebriated and face planted in the steering wheel??’ while at the same time pinching myself to see if I had actually survived that.

They then said we could sleep in one of the trailers, and they will drop us in Cape Town in the morning.  Done.  Just after that decision was made, and us girls were still in the back of the of the Semi cab, with the driver still out cold on the steering wheel in front of us. My phone rings.  It’s my beautiful mother.  ‘How’s Cape Town?’. She asked.

To which I responded, ‘Ummm, well we aren’t actually in Cape Town yet…. Funny enough mom we actually missed the bus’.

‘Oh really? So how are you getting to Cape Town then?’ she asked.

‘Well, also funny story’ I said.’We decided to hitchhike’.

‘You’re what?!’, she almost choked out, while gasping for air.

‘Yah, we are in the back of a Semi-truck’.  Well obviously that didn’t go over well, I could hear the death in her voice.  I tried to make it sound totally cool though – I said the guys were awesome, and I made jokes about the trip. She was laughing(kind of) till we hung up, so I thought, ‘Oh Good, she is cool with it’. I also thought I did a good job of not mentioning the drunk and comatose driver that I was staring at.

So off we went to our 5 star semi trailer hotel, to turn in for the evening. One of the guys was to stay in there with us, to make sure we were safe. That was cool, and then we all got pad locked in to our trailer full of rolled up carpets.hitch3  I mean this is Africa, you don’t go leaving things unlocked. Yes a bit daunting, but it was for our own safety.

We actually had the best evening ever, joking with our new friend, and listening to his stories of his wife and kids till we all eventually went to sleep.

8 am, I am peacefully sleeping wedged between two rolls of carpet, and the truck turns on and starts moving.  All is good in the hood, not in Meghan’s hood though.  Suddenly I am the one being shaken awake.

‘Petrena!, Petrena! You have got to wake up right now! Something is happening, and the truck is moving!’  Calm and relaxed I roll over rubbing my eyes, ‘Oh don’t you worry, we are just going to Cape Town’. I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself that the tables had turned, and I grabbed another 10 min of shut eye.

When I finally opened my eyes and looked at my phone, I seen I missed 9 calls. I had a feeling it was my mom. An hour later and we arrived in Cape Town. The now sober(and actually very pleasant driver) took us right down town in that big semi truck and dropped us on Long Street where our hostel was, and wished us the best.

Still haven’t yet spoken to my mom again, I received a frantic call from my brother, ‘What the heck is going on?!’.  Yes he obviously had to do damage control for my poor mother.  I forgot that the last she heard from me was that I was in the back of a Semi truck in Africa, hitchhiking. Then her not being able to get through to me on my phone perhaps was a bit worrying…. Yes, you could say that might stress a mother out.  You could also say ‘Might’ is a bit of an understatement(love you mom).

Of course once I explained it to my bro, he was totally cool, and reminded me, ‘Petrena, next time your hitchhiking or doing something crazy like that, DON’T TELL MOM’.  Lesson learned.

In the end, Meghan(who is one of my best travel buddies) and I went on to rock our course, and rock Cape Town too! Us with our hitch hiking story did make ourselves pretty popular.  Oh, and in case your wondering, to date, after that crazy experience, that is the last time I hitch hiked.