A benefit of spending so much time in Asia was the affordable accommodations. Single rooms with baths were the norm, and even if there were scorpions crawling around some of them (McLeod Ganj, India), the privacy was wonderful.
Dorms are the norm at the hostels in South Africa, and they’re not cheap. In fact, the prices are comparable to New Zealand, so I hit up Couchsurfing.com to try and find a place to stay for a few nights.
I received two positive responses. One from a DJ/music producer, and the other from Hannes, a doctor working for a health insurance company. I went with Hannes and it turned out to be a great experience. My first night, he cooked a traditional South African curry with chicken which we enjoyed with some local white wine.
Another night, we went down to the V&A waterfront for dinner. I picked a restaurant which had opened in the past two weeks, and while the food was great, the service needed a little fine tuning. A German group next to us got upset about the improper size of a steak, and I overheard the floor manager telling my waitress to provide a steak knife for my ostrich fillet.
One afternoon, we took a quick trip to Noordhoek beach, which is very wide at low tide and a great spot for the locals to take their dogs out for a run. Horseback riding is also popular. The water was freezing and the currents strong, so it is not ideal for swimming. One surfer was catching waves despite the chill.