On arriving at Cape Town International the hostel’s car was there to meet us and to take us to Once In Cape Town hostel. It was a trendy place, with an old Cadillac pick-up parked outside and a funky café called Yours Truly. The room was clean and simple yet comfortable and we soon settled in. There was a Woolworths food shop in the small shopping centre across the road so we bought a few things from there and stored them in the fridge in the communal kitchen out back. Mark then popped to the launderette to do our washing, which was only about ten minutes walk.
Next day Mark used the breakfast vouchers at Yours Truly and got a nice bowl of museli and yoghurt, and I had my cereal with soya milk. The weather wasn’t good so we rested a while and got a taxi to a nearby mall called Gardens Shopping Center where I got her hair cut, and we bought a birthday card for Mark’s mum. We went back to Yours Truly for pizza, and I got them to make a special one without cheese.
The day after we waited to be collected by the minibus for our day trip to Cape Peninsula. Our first stop was Hout bay where we took some pictures of the hills and the harbour before catching the ferry to Seal Island. On the way Mark saw something flash past in the water which turned out to be a large shark. The tiny island was crammed full of seals sunbathing and swimming in the cool Atlantic waters.
Our guide, Monica, told us to look out for whales as we continued our drive but we didn’t see any. Next stop was the penguin colony at Boulders beach. They were cute little Jackass penguins and had only settled there from Antarctica 30 years ago. We saw fluffy babies, as well as adults, and it was funny watching them waddle into the water and swim so gracefully.
On the way to Cape Point we were lucky enough to see couple of humpback whales swimming near the coast, which was amazing. Next we stopped at a small museum and Monica unpacked the lunch, which was coronation pasta salad, nachos, salad etc. We then go on one of the bikes we had been towing and cycled for 25 mins or so along the road to the Cape of Good Hope. On the way we saw several ostriches by the rocks or by the coast. Surprisingly for me, the Cape of Good Hope is just where the ships pass the peninsula whereas Cape Point is the rocky outcrop itself. We then scrambled up the rocks to Cape Point, being careful
not to get too close to the edge for photos. Back in the van we headed back to Cape Town, and Monica tried to avoid the traffic and got lost, then hit someone’s wing mirror before we eventually made it back.
We rested for a couple of hours back at the hostel before my friend from Jerusalem, Berenice, and her husband Phil picked us up for dinner. He drove us along the coast to Green Point and then to Ocean Basket, Sea Point near their seafront flat. All four of us had the Cajun Hake and unbelievably it turned out that Phil had TN just like me. He was in Israel to have an operation to deaden the nerve, it was done by a Uruguayan specialist there. After dinner they showed us their spacious, modern Virgin Active gym and their sumptuously decorated flat. There they made us tea and played a song written by their nine year-old granddaughter, which was surprisingly good, before dropping us back at our place.
The following day we caught the ferry from Victoria and Alfred waterfront to Robben Island. The ship afforded us fabulous views back to Cape Town and Table Mountain. On the island we took a bus tour through the prison grounds, where we saw more penguins, and even a black mamba snake, before we did a walking tour through the prison itself led by a former political prisoner (who later drove Mandela to freedom). We had the chance to see Mandela’s garden and take pictures of the inside of his cell. We got the taxi back to Once In Cape Town but we decided not to meet our friends for dinner as we were too tired.
Our final day was supposed to have been the day we climbed Lion’s Head or took the cable car up Table Mountain, however the gondola was closed for repairs and we were tired so we rested instead. Going through security at the airport I realised that I had lost my IPhone somewhere, and as I write this it still hasn’t been found.
Cape Town is definitely worth visiting. We had a spectacular time there. The views of the mountains surrounding the city are breathtaking. What a place!