A Travellerspoint blog

Cape Town

Days 33 to 35


[Sorry, this internet is rubbish, will upload photos at a later date]

Day 33, 1st March 2011

My turn to write, Wendy is in extreme discomfort courtesy of the bartenders strongly encouraging her to drink with them. The following phrase kept being repeated.

Here’s to being single,
Seeing double,
Drinking triples,
And multiple orgasms.

No need to say anymore there!

The early morning rise did not help her head. Pain killers were immediately sourced and bags packed into the car. I kept driving, W stayed alive and didn’t spew in the car. Apparently the tequila was the stronger version.

The drive to airport was easy. We got there, found out we could have driven the car into the city and had it picked up. Instead we caught a shuttle bus to the hotel with a crazy driver who we think was auditioning for F1. The bloke was crazy after struggling to find an address of a passenger before us.

Wendy was feeling tired (ie she was in a terrible mood), so I left her at the hotel and went exploring. The reception had told me it was 15 min walk to a place called the waterfront. Try 50mins! And it was hot today!

I got the waterfront, bought an extra duffle bag for the stuff we have picked up (a parcel may be being sent home very soon!) and then went to the pub for liquid rehydration. I struck up some conversation with some locals. Apparently they rate Julia Gillard highly. Although after hearing about their president and the anecdotes, I almost think our government is doing alright. Remember, hot day 50 mins walk, cold beer then think of the possible conversations.

I caught the taxi back to the hotel.

Wendy was Skyping to Jack and Marion when I got back. It was still hot that afternoon, so we had cold showers and chilled whilst the heat of the day passed. We went down Long Street and saw all the markets and shops. It is a lot like a Sydney shopping strip in Paddington etc. with lots of funky clothes shops mixed with antique shops and open air markets. We had Gelato ice creams and then we went back to the hotel.

Tonight is ‘writing night’. Post cards and blog entries are being updated and finally written! It is still quite warm here, but tomorrow we plan to hike up ‘Table Mountain’. Everyone says be careful, but we are still comparing to previous climbs, a piece of cake eh? Don’t worry plenty of water will be on hand.

Day 34, 2nd March 2011

Today we got an early start to try and beat the heat and climb ‘Table Mountain’. It would have been great, except that it took 1 ½ hrs to get to the beginning of the path. We originally thought there was a path behind the lower cable car station. Somehow we managed to miss the initial entrance but managed to find the next entrance and climbed up just over 1000m up a gorge. The path consisted of steps and big rocks. The view at the top was really beautiful and clear and you could see the ocean. (W – I may have struggled a bit to keep my breath – what happened to all that Kili fitness).



We had a look around the top and had a cup of coffee and then elected to catch the cable car down – it was a lot faster!

After another trek back to the hotel we had a shower and headed back out to the beach. We’d been told the best places to go and we found a nice spot amongst the other people that were swimming (not many). We soon found out why there weren’t many people in the water. It was so cold our feet started cramping. We each took a dive under a small wave and got out – about 1 min in the water in total. We opted for our small travel towels over a nice sun bed and umbrella and dried off pretty quickly. After a while we left and jumped into a local mini van (a lot less scary than the one in Zanzibar) and got into town for 12rand (about $0.50). We found some outdoor shops and wandered around the waterfront to find tickets for Robben Island for the next day. We hiked back to the hotel – via a pub called the turtle. After walking in we soon found that we were in a ‘local’ pub (as in we were the whitest thing in there….). We saddled up at the bar and got two beers – but were soon approached by a locally bar fly, claiming that he was a traveler too and that we should start a fund for every traveler to drink…. As in we should buy him a drink. I nursed my drink and C quickly bought two cheaper drinks and drank his. We escaped asap and wandered off into the closest shop (to make sure we weren’t followed) and got our first real Barwick baby gift (you’ll have to wait and see - C is concerned how much I’ll actually spend once they’re here!) and a few other trinkets.

After getting back to the hotel, via the supermarket we noticed that the light in our room still wasn’t working. The previous night we’d had someone come and have a look and said that it was ok for one night but it had to be fixed by the next. I cracked it and sent poor C down to deal with it… well he played the ‘don’t shoot the messenger’ card, claiming that he had a tyrant waiting in the room and that they’d better fix it or they’d have to find us another hotel – or he’d set me onto them …. (I was impressed!). A few minutes later a poor girl came up and said that she’d found us a double room on a lower floor so we packed up all our stuff and moved down. Although it was smaller, the light worked, it had a tv and also didn’t have the wafting marijuana smells… we settled in for the night, eating our chicken keivs on the floor.

Day 35, 3 March 2011

Today we got ready and headed off toward the District six museum. From my understanding, district six was an area of Cape town that had a mix of people in the early 1900s as it was close to town. When apartheid started coming they removed all the black people and made them move to other out skirting towns and bull dozed the area to allow white people to move in. The museum is about the issues caused by the move – the loss of community, the fact that homing pigeons kept coming back to the district and the unfair nature of it all. They’re now in the process of moving people back into district six in government buildings. It was interesting, but we didn’t really understand a lot of it – I think it was a bit of a memorial.


We raced down to the city to change some $$ - found that it was going to be harder than we first thought so we raced off to the waterfront to get the boat at 11am. Unfortunately I’d packed c’s big pocket knife to help with lunch, but there was a security gate so C had to race off to leave it with the security people and then race back to the boat. We made it on in time and spotted a number of dolphins and seals on the way over. Robben island is where political prisoners were sent in the past. They were sent for anything including being a recruiter for the ANC to being Nelson Mandella. We had a very boisterous guide who managed to draw the nationality of each person on the bus (Aussies were blamed for bringing back eucalyptus – which drink too much water and rabbits – both of which the greenies now prevent them from removing) but also told us all about the island. We were also taken through the prison by an ex political prisoner. It is very hard for us to fathom how/why the things that happened did happen. There was an international press tour at one point – and although the black prisoners were usually dressed in short sleeves and shorts with no shoes, for the press they were made to wear jackets and long pants and shoes. They were also given beds – whereas they usually had three blankest to sleep on/with. C and I managed to sneak off into block A where there were stories of those that were kept in solitary confinement – except that my usual fear of being locked in kicked in and I made us leave after 5 mins. We raced back to the boat and got back to town at about 2:30.

We then had a nightmare of a time trying to find a way to convert $$ for the local payment. We’d gotten the travelex cards because we thought that we could use them at a travelex booth and withdraw US$, no. (C- we actually visited 6 different institutions all over the city and water front, racing on foot and trying to beat the apparent 430pm closing time of banks! Just slightly stressful) So we tried using our visa debit cards, no. Eventually we tried my credit card which worked (C- hoorah!)- I even got a nice call from the bank about an hour later confirming that I was in Africa.

We raced back to pick up my boot (we’d had to put it into a shoe shop to get two of the lace holder thingys (C-eyelets!) fixed), and got some provisions from the supermarket. (C- after the stress of the banks, we figured out we had eaten one apple, one bit of toast with vegemite and one decent ( first decent one and cheapest too in Africa) coffee all day, it was 5pm when we got to supermarket!)

We met the people for the next tour at the hotel (they seem a bit older than we’d anticipated from who we’d talked to previously) and we went for dinner with the group and enjoyed our very nice bottle of Stellenbosch wine while C uploaded the blog. (C- on revision of the blog the next day, it has been decided that blogs should not be posted when having consumed alcohol on empty stomachs, save as draft , then review!)

Some last minute packing and reorganizing and then to bed finally.

Posted by ourlife 05:14 Archived in South Africa Tagged mountain

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