Cape Town, South Africa

Home

Schedule/Flight Info: 

Flight From To Departs Arrives
Air Botswana 211 Maun Johannesburg Mo 10/30 4:00pm Mo 10/30 5:40pm
South African Airways 383 Johannesburg Cape Town Mo 10/30 10:05pm Mo 10/30 12:05am
South African Airways 308 Cape Town Johannesburg Mo 11/6 7:25am Mo 11/6 9:20am
South African Airways 276 Johannesburg Mumbai Mo 11/6 11:45am Mo 11/6 11:40pm
Air India 123 Mumbai Delhi Tu 11/7 2:40am Tu 11/7 4:30am

Our Plans:

Hang out.  No real firm plans in place.  We do expect to see Robben Island and drive along the Garden Route.

Links:

bullet Sloan's Guest House -- B&B we stayed at in Cape Town.  Highly recommended.
bullet Contact Julie Sloan at Sloan's Guest House

Our Photos (click here to see more):

robben_00.JPG (17705 bytes) penguin_02.JPG (22268 bytes) surfers.JPG (10807 bytes) seal.JPG (28341 bytes) whales_01.JPG (12669 bytes)
Gate to Robben Island as we walked in from the dock where the shuttle boat dropped us off. A penguin in the bushes.  The penguins were once known as Jackass Penguins because they sound like mules when they are yelling. Two surfers returning from a twilight session.  Looks a lot like the cover of the Endless Summer movie, if Don recalls it correctly. A seal enjoying the afternoon by jumping out of the water.  an entire seal colony lives on the rocks in the background. Back of a Southern Right Whale.  We saw a mother and her calf swimming along.  In peak birthing time, the harbor will have have upwards of 60 whales with their calves.

Our Diary:

10/30:Arrived in Cape Town and were almost blown off the tarmac! We understand that Cape Town is always windy during this time of year and this year is no exception. Took a taxi to our Bed & Breakfast and got settled in for the evening. Staying at Sloan's Guesthouse.

10/31:Julie Sloan, owner of the guesthouse, got us going with information about the town and even drove us to Avis to pick up a car (easiest way to get around the city). Driving a stick-shift on the left side of the road made for an interesting experience, but after turning on the windshield wipers a few times instead of the blinker we got the hang of it! Spent the early afternoon shopping for 'curios' in Greenmarket Square downtown. Was fun to haggle with the shop-keepers! Got plenty of goodies to send home as we're sending a box of clothes and sleeping bags from Cape Town. Visited the Victoria and Albert Waterfront in the evening and ate a huge steak dinner.

11/1:Started the day with a little e-mail to catch up on Simon's trick-or-treating adventures at Grandma's then set out for the day (evidently he didn't like children wearing masks!). We headed to DHL and UPS to check on shipping and wound up going plain old post. Sent home 24kg (about 50lbs) worth of stuff so our backpacks are much lighter now!! Yeah! Headed down the coast to Cape Point to see the tip of Africa. Technically the southern-most point of Africa is a few km away, but this is where the Indian and Atlantic Ocean's meet. Stopped at a penguin colony along the way and walked around the reserve...they call them 'jackass penguins' and with all the braying we soon knew why! They are very cute though. Took a tram to the lighthouse at the top of the Cape and took in the sights.

11/2:Toured Robben Island this morning...island prison where Nelson Mandela was held for approximately 18 years. Rode a ferry out to the island with a great view of Cape Town. The first stop on our tour was the limestone mine where Mandela and other political prisoners worked during the mornings. The quarry had a small cave where prisoners could be out-of-sight from the guards...this cave was used as the prisoner's 'university' where inmates could learn from each other and share information. The guide indicated that many of the current government actions were first discussed in this cave. We then toured the actual prison including the solitary confinement block where Mandela stayed. The cell was so small that we don't think Don could have laid down fully. The tour guide at the prison was actually an ex-political prisoner who had been incarcerated for 20 years! The stories of censorship and hardship that he told were amazing...and they only ended in 1990! The fact that this history is so recent really made a huge impact. After Robben Island we headed down the coast called the Garden Route with no real destination in mind. The landscape with mountains on one side and ocean on the other is very beautiful. We ended up in a town called George for the night and had a huge seafood dinner.

11/3:Left George and drove on to Plettenburg Bay about 400km from Cape Town. Finally hit the beach (Dawn is very happy about this!). Laid on the beach for an hour or so then took a 2.5 hr boat ride around the bay. Saw lots of seals and was great fun watching the dolphins as they did jumps out the back of crashing waves. Saw a few baby dolphins as well, but the real treat was watching two mother Southern Right Whales and their calves. The mother whales weigh in at about 60 tons(!!) and the babies are born weighing 1 ton. We learned that, as we're at the end of birthing season, most of the whales have already headed back to Antarctica by now so we were lucky to see them. Stayed at Anlin Place Bed & Breakfast and had another great seafood dinner in town (gaining back all the weight we lost on Mt. Kili).

11/4:Drove to Knysna (back toward Cape Town) and did a bit of hiking out onto the rocks by the ocean this morning. Went on to Buffalo Bay for lunch and spent some time on the beach (we're both getting pretty tan!). Braved the surf for a few waves, but the Indian Ocean is about 14C degrees so we didn't stay in too long! Decided to head back toward Cape Town a bit further and found a place to canoe and hike to a waterfall tomorrow morning. Also located a cute B&B on the waterfront in a town called Wilderness. Drove back to George (15km from Wilderness) so that we can post on the internet as we've missed a few days and need to catch up! We're going to canoe/hike tomorrow morning then drive back through the wine lands on the way back to Cape Town tomorrow night. As a side note, South Africa is extremely cheap right now as the dollar/rand conversion is greatly in our favor...we're generally staying/eating very well and are gearing up for the hustle and bustle of India next week. Had a pretty good bottle of South African Cabernet last night for only $6US and our hotels have only been about $25US per night!

11/5:Drove back to Cape Town.  It was a pretty long haul in our "wee car".  We spent one more night at the same B&B we started at.  This time we stayed in the nicest room.  We had seen in once before and loved it.  The room has a safari motif, with a print bedspread and artifacts throughout.  We could not find the bathroom at first however.  We finally walked through the closet and pushed on the far wall, which led into the bathroom with the jacuzzi tub.  Maybe we will incorporate this design into our bathroom at home!!  We leave in the morning for India.

 

 

Home
E-mail Us