Finding paradise in Cape Town
Kirstenbosch and the Sea Point promenade soothe author Casper Greeff’s soul
rest of us would only dare to read about. Now that he’s back in his Sea Point flat for a while, here are some of his favourite local places. In his own words.
Kirstenbosch: “Walking in the gardens of Kirstenbosch I sometimes get the feeling that I have died and gone to paradise. Kirstenbosch is a piece of paradise in Cape Town, and I love strolling in the shady, magical dell; looking at the dappled sunlight in Colonel Bird’s Bath, admiring the amazing stone sculptures, and gorging my eyes on the fynbos garden, the reptilian cycads and the magnificent yellowwoods. It’s a place of peace and beauty.”
Muizenberg: “It’s where I learned to longboard, and where I spent most of this year practising walking on water. When the light north-westerlies blow and the big southern swells roll in, there’s no place I’d rather be than riding waves at Muizenberg, rainbows and purple clouds in the sky, the sea the colour of quicksilver, and mountains all around.”
The Promenade: “It’s where I walk every morning, from the swimming pool to Mouille Point beach where the poet Ingrid Jonker drowned herself. Sometimes the sea is wild and crashes over the prom- enade wall in gigantic explosions of white spray. Other times it’s placid and unrippled like a mirror. There’s always an interesting bunch of people and their dogs on the promenade, some real characters, walking, jogging or lolling on benches.”
La Perla: “A Sea Point institution, it still retains an aura of 1970s glamour, and attracts beautiful people and dodgy characters. Huge windows look out on to the Atlantic Ocean, the dining room is filled with tasteful art, the bar is one of the finest in Cape Town, and on a warm summer’s after noon or evening you can dine outside.”
Long Street: “Clubs and bars and restaurants and fashion boutiques and bookshops and tattoo parlours and gorgeous girls to gaze at while savouring a cool mojito. Long Street rocks, day and night.”
The Brass Bell: “Grizzly Kalk Bay characters in the upstairs bar, the whole world in the downstairs bars and restaurants and you’re next to the sea, watching some of Cape Town’s best boardriders surf Kalk Bay Reef, a world-class break.”
The Ayahuasca Diaries is available from The Book Lounge, corner of Roeland and Buitenkant streets, Cape Town, and other discerning bookshops.