Flying to Cape Town..?
I remember sitting in my room on a cold January day in the Netherlands. 
Outside it was raining, the sky was grey and I could feel how I was getting tired of the constant routine that I was in. In front of me on the table stood my laptop wide open, the light reflecting on the window behind it. I kept re-reading all the information... 
... confirm your flight from Barcelona to Cape Town - South Africa with a layover in Istanbul... 
One month later.. I was standing right where this picture was taken. It was my first time in Camps Bay with a good friend of mine called Felix. We knew each other from university but never really talked. However, when I saw on one of his stories that he was also in South Africa we just had to meet up. 
We decided to go to here to watch the sunset after work. We managed to grab an Uber and drive down the mountain just in time for the golden hour. I stepped out the car and to my right I saw this view. I took out my camera and made a picture to keep the memory... ​​​​​​​
Sunset at Camp’s Bay Beach
I made sure to come back to Camp's Bay as often as I could. There was something magical about the place, which allowed for so many open conversation, to just sit in awe of the mountain range that stood before you. Sometimes, you could also just sit there without saying anything.. 
The following pictures were taken on the rocks next to the Camp’s Bay beach. On of them is of a couple staring at the ocean and watching the sunset. Before I took this picture, me and my good friend Josh just spend the day again planning out all the different plans and dreams that we would pursue once we were back home. There was a constant mention of “the bubble” that we would find ourselves in, when we were in our normal lives.

“The bubble” of where we go to work every day from 9 to 5 and then watch some television in the evening and call it a day. It felt somehow that we managed to escape it by coming here and watching this view. More importantly, we promised ourselves that when we came back home it wouldn’t be the same and that we would try to keep up the lessons that we learned here.

Lessons like being spontaneous and following our dreams most of all. Saying yes to more things and being open to strangers and their stories. All of us just met a week ago but it felt like a life time already. But maybe.. just maybe we were the ones in the bubble at that very moment. A life that was too surreal to be true and from which we some day would have to wake up from.

Maybe that is the case, but I can still remember how free and full of ideas we were when watching this sunset. And maybe the couple was feeling exactly the same way…
It's not what you look at that matters... It's what you see... 
- Midnight Library
African Penguins at Betty’s Bay
Along my travels across the coast, I noticed these little guys. They are part of the Stony Point Nature Reserve that is situated in Betty’s Bay in South Africa. This colony is actually a great alternative compared to Boulder’s beach, which is often packed with tourists due to it being situated on the route to Cape Point. Here you don’t have that many people and you can walk closely up to the penguins and see how they behave in their natural habitat without disturbing them.

Interestingly enough, the African Penguins or also called “Black footed” Penguins have been in South Africa for quite a while, but their overall survival is greatly at risk. While in 1910 there were an estimated 1.5 million African Penguins in Namibia and South Africa, in 2010 there were only 55,000 left. With the current rate of decline it is expected that the African Penguins will be extinct in the wild by 2026. The endangerment of the species originates mostly because of external threats such as a lack of prey due to overfishing or oil spills

On a positive note, there are organizations such as the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) or the Global Penguin Society which are dedicated to protecting this species in the wild. Their instagram is @sanccob if you want to check them out. 
Mountain Road - Leonor Carrillho 
If you think about it ,
Life is like a mountain road.
Change in scenarios, inevitable twists, maps and lists. Views, cues, radio playing the blues. You keep on driving towards the happiness peak. Sunset playing hide and seek.
This is where you are now. You’re in a mountain highway, driving slowly, picturing where you wanna go.
Close enough: a danger sign and a curve. A go-no-go. Status quo. No idea what’s on the other side but the same doubt brought you there, some miles back, years ago. You go. 
Holding the steering wheel steady. We never really feel ready. A gasp, you laugh all alone. Not lonely at all. All the senses passing through an open window. Danger zone.
Nothing comes without risk. You gotta go down to make it to the top, go left to be right. You turn right; thinking what life might - be, feel, taste - like. And right there, in the midst of the bumpy road, you’re you, you’re living. A life that tastes wide.
The peak, oh the peak! Never as beautiful as the ride.
- check out more @peomsbyleonor
But maybe.. just maybe we were the ones in the bubble at that very moment. A life that was too surreal to be true and from which we some day would have to wake up from.
Road Trip from Cape Town to Swellendam
At this point, it have already been 21 days since I arrived in Cape Town. 21 days ago I was standing at the Waterfront, because the lady at the front desk recommended me to go there. I didn’t know anyone in the entire city which gave me a feeling of excitement but also of loneliness. Who was I going to talk to about everything, was I going to do everything by myself?

21 days later, I was planning my second road trip with my three good friends that I made in the short time. We already had done a bunch of things from kayaking in the ocean, to climbing table mountain, to chilling at a Thai massage (A story for another day). Now a road trip to Swellendam was going to be the next thing on the list.

Due to the fact that we still had to work until 5pm before we were able to drive to Swellendam, it was quite late when we were in the car. Slowly but surely, the sun was going down and soon when we were far enough away from Cape Town, it felt like we could see the entire milky way.

When we got to the house we rented, one friend went to some neighbours and asked if they had a bottle of wine which they were willing to sell. Sooner than later, he was back at our little house, with a full bottle of red wine. We went to an outside table, poured some glasses and gazed up at the stars. We talked and laughed about the last month and the memories we made.

These pictures were taken in the morning at around 5 am when the sun was going up. It was the first time that we saw how the landscape looked like after only seeing darkness the entire night before. There even was a pool, so we decided to wake up a little by jumping in it and chilling in the water until we were ready to get back on the road….
Just 21 days ago I arrived at my dream destination alone... now I stepped back into the car with two friends that know me better than some other people I know... 
Life can be crazy sometimes. But I learned that you got to make scary decisions to see the beautiful side of it. 

Some more pictures of my time in Cape Town...

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