Searching for Sugar Man

Have you ever heard about this story? It is actually a documentary about the American singer Sixto Diaz Rodriguez who was a real musical and cultural phenomenon in South Africa and two of his big fans from Cape Town who made so many efforts to find the truth about him. While you might find that very weird to talk about in my blog ’cause I never mentioned music before, I would just post a pic below which would give an answer to those of you who’ve already watched the movie.

Mabu Vinyl Cape Town by Polina Ilieva Photography

For the rest of you guys, this is Mabu Vinyl – The Cape Town Music Store, one of whose founders is one of those very keen and big Rodriguez fans.

From the moment we started planning our trip to Cape Town, the song Sugar Man was on shuffle play in my mind, preparing me for the freedom and the unmindfulness of travelling to this remote destination of my dreams. But when taking the taxi from CPT airport to reach our hostel, right during our very first cruise in the city, we saw the shop, the same one from the movie, I was all goose-flesh. You can imagine how long it took to get back to the store, once we left our luggage in the room – probably not even an hour. And there was this same guy from the movie sitting in and arranging some vinyls, and I was right on my way to ask him: “Hey man, where is Rodriguez?”. Sweet “sugar” story, isn’t it?

Sweet stories are everywhere while travelling. But some places make your time and experiences sweeter than others, and I can surely tell you Cape Town is one of those places. If you remember I started my blog with this city and it still gives me so much inspiration to further write about that seems to be neverending. Hope you stay tuned for my next trip sessions.

After having a while out of Mother city, one Friday we returned to our favorite hostel The B.I.G.

The B.I.G. by Polina Ilieva Photography

We were somehow truly aware of the fact, those holiday times are pretty long, even though never enough, to rush ourselves doing something in any case. That’s why we decided to give us the time to emerge into the local environment, making new friends, enjoying the life to the fullest. And that’s what we dedicated our next ten days in Cape Town to.

Right when the morning sun came out, we had the chance to think about the above – how we could experience the saltiness and sweetness of the city in its direct meaning. It was Saturday, i.e. the Old Biscuit Mill market day – a very good continuation of our Eat, Drink, Celebrate Life series. The vibe of this “little village in the heart of Woodstock” is just incredible from what we’d seen, so we didn’t lose any moment and caught an Uber drive. Once we arrived in the area which is actually one of the hippiest in town, we could almost feel the passion in the air. A mixture of street life, freedom, poverty, south, exotic and creative. A sign of what we could expect in the Old Biscuit Mill. Having one of the most charming architecture in the area it attracts a lot of visitors but mainly because of what’s happening inside – stalls with designers, craft artists, artisans, food magicians, musicians, life celebrators, locals.

Old Biscuit Mill cafes by Polina Ilieva PhotographyOld Biscuit Mill by Polina Ilieva PhotographyWoodstock local gang by Polina Ilieva Photography

Food market Old Biscuit Mill by Polina Ilieva PhotographyVibe of Old Biscuit Mill by Polina Ilieva PhotographyGirls chat Old Biscuit Mill by Polina Ilieva PhotographyBoys chat Old Biscuit Mill by Polina Ilieva Photography

As the day was full of tastes, sweet and salty, and emotions, and the sun was shining bright, we considered it deserves a bit longer out and headed to the V&A Waterfront. Being mostly a shopping area the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town is situated on the Table Bay harbour on the Atlantic shore and is one of the most touristic areas in town. Restaurants, cafes, market, souvenir shops are among all the most attractive 450 outlets but also the sea lions, yacht and fishboat quays as well as the exit point to the overlooking Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was a prisoner.

Cape Union Mart by Polina Ilieva PhotographyTable Mountain from V&A Waterfront by Polina Ilieva PhotographyV&A Waterfront by Polina Ilieva Photography

Shopping in surf shops, yes, there are surf shops even in the malls here, and drinking beer on the waterfront could be exhausting, so we slightly started looking at the sun going down and decided to head back to the honesty bar of our lovely hosts.

On the next day there was no need to search for the sun. It was entering the yard of the hostel blinking on the crystal blue water of the swimming pool and was so inviting that I was not able to resist laying on the lounge. The day was a well planned milestone of our “no rush” concept. For a moment before noon we switched the swimming pool with a nice beach recommended by the hostel staff called Bakoven which was situated right after Camps bay but we barely stayed there for an hour as we missed the honesty bar and the chats with our new friends in the hostel.

And fortunately, friends always make days promising. Spontainiously we decided to end up the day enjoying the sunset on Signal Hill with some of the hostel mates. The summit is located at the foot of Lion’s Head and Table Mountain and is famous for its spectacular views over the Cape Town city centre and surroundings, and the Atlantic shore, especially at dawn or sunset.

Signal Hill by Polina Ilieva PhotographyLion's Head from Signal Hill by Polina Ilieva PhotographySignal Hill Frame by Polina Ilieva Photography

Enchanted by the views, there was only one thing left for this great day – a decent dinner, and we had some place in mind. The Yard has three different names depending on the daytime you are getting into it or the food you order – Mucky Mary’s Hubcaps for allday breakfast, The Bitch’s Tits for world famous sandwiches and tacos or The Dog’s Bollocks for the famous burgers and chicken wings. Besides the naming there is also a tucked away Deluxe Coffee shop in the backyard which is a very good city secret. But coffee time was back in the day and now was the burger and chicken wings hour which definitely should be an hour as the burgers here were giant. I already know which was the name of the place at the time of the day we visited it but I hadn’t been so much interested in that, really.

And I don’t know where was the sugar man that evening but I am sure he sent us a lot of sweet dreams wishes after this great day.

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