Less than nine hundred miles away from Johannesburg, Cape Town is a whole other world. It reminded me a little of leaving home to go to uni, leaving behind my cosy little life in the troubled, yet familiar, Johannesburg to enter the vibrant, cosmopolitan Cape Town. All of a sudden I was somewhere with an entirely different climate (I was met by thick cloud and heavy showers, two things I hadn't seen since leaving the UK), different languages and races (I was in the land of English and Afrikaans now, and there were white people left right and centre), and just a completely different feel. Hello tourist town!
The natural beauty of Cape Town and the surrounding area is breathtaking. I whiled away the days soaking in the atmosphere and enjoying my new freedoms - wandering around on my own in the day, meeting other young travellers out on their own adventures, and heading out for drinks after dark. I visited Simon's Town to see the cute little penguins, went wine tasting in the Cape Winelands, and visited Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope.
I couldn't visit Cape Town without a trip to Muizenberg, surf capital of South Africa and home to the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), which offers funded Master's degrees and PhD positions for students from all over Africa who wouldn't otherwise be able to afford it. Muizenberg is also home to AIMSSEC, AIMS's Schools Enrichment Centre. It was such an inspiration to see everything that's going on at AIMS and AIMSSEC to try to improve maths education in South Africa.
On my last morning I agreed to go for a run with a friendly Swiss guy I met at the hostel. Not just any run, but a run up Table Mountain. I can honestly say that I have never experienced exercise-related pain like it, although the views were stunning. A quick jog back, brunch and then a mad rush to get showered, packed and off to the airport before heading back home to the UK. Unsurprisingly, landing in Dubai twelve hours later, it was an epic struggle to get my legs to move to transfer onto my plane to London.