We woke up this morning at the Saasveld (unfortunately to our very crappy shower-but, hey, the people are really nice, right?) Lodge and were ready to start our second day in Capetown, South Africa. We went downstairs to a really lovely breakfast which was sadly cut short as our driver and tour manager for the day (Rodney) arrived early for our tour to Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope. Well, breakfast was super and we still have tomorrow for more guava juice so that’s great!
We hopped in a small van and found that there were going to be only two other people on tour with us for the day. We picked them up at another hotel, a twenty-something year old boy and his mom; both Canadian who lived in Saudi Arabia for over fifteen years as her husband is a chemistry professor and worked at a University there. Our tour took us around the coast just south of Capetown through Chapman’s Road (a very scenic route) and Chapman’s Peak for an awesome view past many beaches and little towns like you see along the Pacific Coast Highway in California or the Great Ocean Road in Australia. We stopped for many photo stops along the way and wound our way down to the Cape of Good Hope; the most south westerly point in South Africa. We jumped out for a photo stop and were almost blown away by the wind gusts. Could you believe it, seriously…standing on the Cape of Good Hope…that’s just nuts! Along the way we saw ostrich and antelopes, protea (the native flower to South Africa) and signs telling visitors to beware of baboons!
We continued onto Cape Point and the lighthouse for some more photos. Get this, we had to leave our bags in the coach and lock the doors as baboons could take them or open the doors to the cars. We rode the funicular up to the top to see the lighthouse amidst the gale-force winds that were quite cold and almost blew us over, never mind the little three year old that stepped off of the funicular and we thought would blow right over the side of the Point. We continued north to Simons Town to see African penquins-seriously African penquins! There were full colonies of them and they were unbelievable. They are much bigger than the Australian fairy penguins and looked like they came straight out of Happy Feet and let me tell you, they were quite happy to pose for photos! It was awesome, really an incredible experience.
We wound our way back to Capetown and asked Rodney to drop us off at Table Mountain as many people have told us as we said that if the mountain is open you do whatever you have to to go up the mountain so we thought we’d do just that! We got our tickets for the cable car and made our way up to the top enjoying all of the spectacular views of the magical city below. We got out and thought that since there just happened to be a café on the top of the mountain we should make good use of it. We filled our plates with salad and ate our food on the top of Table Mountain, how amazing! And then we took on the mountain! It was beautiful! The views from the top were gorgeous and the air pretty easy to breathe. We spent our time climbing on rocks and hiking for what seemed like miles all around the mountain and then finally decided to make our way back down via the Cable Car and avoid the three hour plus hike down the mountain as we had a big day behind us and another in front of us. When we hopped into a waiting taxi on the bottom of the mountain that seemed to take forever to load, we decided we had no patience to wait any longer and jumped out with another couple (from Italy-he worked for Swiss air and said he was a flying cabin person-which seemed to translate quite cutely to flight attendant) and shared a cab that wound up dropping us at the ever fabulous waterfront. We wandered around, bought some stuff, listened to some African music and shared a vegetarian pizza for dinner and a waffle with gelato and hot fudge for dessert. Now, if you’re wondering…the gelato was chocolate and mint chip, the waffle was thinner than a Belgian and the hot fudge was just sweet enough…quite a great way to end a very fun day!
We finally made our way back to the hotel, checked our email and passed out cold after a very fun-filled, busy Contiki-styled day! Tomorrow…Robben Island and the start of a new GAP Adventures tour!