A Guide to Being Lazy in Cape Town – Part 1

You’ve made it to Cape Town. You’re filled with excitement as you gaze from the mountains to the sea and then back again. You can’t wait to explore. Unfortunately, if you ask any Capetonian about what exciting things there are for you to do in their lovely city, you’re definitely going to be met with responses containing words such as ‘hike’, ‘climb’, ‘nature trail’ or ‘run’. Now, if you’re anything like me, these words fill you with a creeping sense of dread as you dredge up deeply buried memories of the one time you were persuaded to hike up Lion’s Head. We don’t talk about that day. Ever.

In order to save you from any situation which may or may not result in you being the world’s first height-fearing tomato nearly dying upon a mountain, I have kindly compiled a list of things to do in Cape Town that won’t drain your precious energy reserves.

The Beach

So, you’re at the coast. It’s summer. You’re obliged to put your toes in the sea, to feel the sand beneath your feet. After all, you’re probably coming from Joburg or Pretoria and the closest thing we have to a beach is Sun City  in all its chlorinated glory. Luckily Cape Town has a seemingly unlimited number of beaches which can cater to your every beachy need (some even come equipped with actual penguins). The best part of going to the beach, being a lazy person and all, is the fact that you can lie around and do nothing for hours and no one blinks an eye. In fact, it’s actually encouraged. If you can overlook the fact that no matter what you do, you’re going to end up with at least 11KGS of sand in your costume bottoms and the possibility of getting hypothermia if you swim (unless you’re from Joburg and you’re completely dedicated to the swimming cause) then the beach really is the place for you.

Added Bonus:

Watching overzealous surfers do things in the waves from the comfort of your towel, under your rented umbrella, sipping an ice-cold coke which you bought from the nice man who came running with a cooler box at the slightest glance in his general direction.

Table Mountain

It’s a national treasure. It’s the first and last thing you see when you come to Cape Town (weather permitting). Most Capetonians worship it to some degree and it stands so majestically over the city that you can almost understand why. A part of you is desperate to stand on the top of this iconic landform, but alas, a hike to the top is certainly not an option. Luckily for you, my lazy friend, the cable car is here to make all your mountain summiting dreams come true. There are few things more exhilarating than an energy-saving trip up a mountain in a mechanised glass bubble which not only offers panoramic views of most of Cape Town and the Atlantic Ocean, but also gives you the rare opportunity to finally understand how the hamster you owned 15 years ago, felt when you picked him up in his little see-through exploration ball. Not to mention there’s a restaurant on top. I mean, what more could you possibly need?

Added Bonus:

Occasionally spotting ant-sized hikers as they haul themselves along the steep pathways to the top. This certainly adds to the satisfaction of your hassle-free journey.

Wine-tasting

Do you drink wine? Of course you do. Are you somewhere in the Western Cape? Apparently so. Do you want to avoid the 11th family hike up Paarl rock that your mom has organised under the guise of ‘bonding’ but probably has more to do with the fact that she knows the last time you exercised was 5 years ago, when your cat ran out the gate and you had to chase it up and down the road for an hour? I’m sure she thinks she has your best interests at heart, but rather than brave another family bonding session, why not go wine-tasting? I know what you’re thinking: best idea ever. Wine-tasting not only provides you with the opportunity to drink a variety of wines that are probably quite good, whilst pretending that you’re somewhat civilised and that you don’t only drink alcohol with the intention  of getting drunk; but it also gives you some interesting and necessary information about the birds and bees of wine making. This information is extremely useful for trying to impress your friends by telling them that the red wine you’re drinking is in fact Shiraz and that yes, you can tell this without looking at the label first.

Added Bonus:

Being able to observe the self-confessed wine “experts” in their natural habitat. There is a certain charm to watching a middle-aged man with his nose stuck halfway in a wine glass while he lists (very loudly) all the flavours he believes are infused in the wine including (but not limited to) freshly mowed Karoo grass, sea salt, Peruvian cacao and half-ripe strawberry seeds.