Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cape Town - post tour

First day without the truck and we headed off to Robben Island. We pre-booked tickets while stopped in Livingstone as we heard that it was very popular. In hindsight that was a very good decision as the tours for the next 2 days were cancelled due to boat maintenance and rough seas. When visiting the island you are pretty much herded onto waiting buses and then an onboard guide takes you on a tour. The bus component takes around 2hr to complete and it is definitely very informative. Perhaps information overload. At the conclusion of the drive component a former prisoner of the island took us on a tour through the cell blocks, and depicted what life was like in prison in Nelson Mandela's stay.
The quarry where the prisoners worked.
The view back towards the mainland.
Our guide
The 'recreation' area where the rocks were broken
After arriving back in Cape Town, we spent the remainder of the day walking around the 'Victoria and Albert waterfront' adjacent to the marina. It was really nice to be back in a familiar westernised shopping centre. The day finished with another group dinner. This time at a pizza restaurant up the road from the hostel. We hadn't realise it but it was trivia night and just for fun we separated into teams and joined in. Our team won the first round, and came second to the other group from our truck in round 2. It was then that we realised that the prize was tickets to a concert being held long after we were to leave Africa.

The next day we had booked onto a cycling trip with Daytrippers that visited The Cape of Good Hope. The group was small and on the way to the Cape we stopped at Boulders Beach to visit a penguin colony. These are African penguins and have small dots on their bellies and pink bits around the eyes. Nearly all of them were malting ready for summer. While wandering around we also saw a whale having some fun in the bay, which was an impressive sight, albeit a long way away.
The whale doing leaps out of the water
The rest of the drive down the coast was quite spectacular with scenery and included a few baboon stops. It seems these guys like to sit in the middle of the road. When we arrived at the gates to the National Park we all decided to save the cycling until after lunch as we would be riding straight into a fierce headwind.

At the lunch stop, we were surprised to see Pip & Craig who arrived as part of their Dragoman overland tour. We'd travelled with them the first 3 weeks of the trip until Livingstone where they had changed onto Dragoman, and we stayed with Acacia. It was a good opportunity to line up dinner and a wine tour for our last few days in Africa.
We drove to the Cape of Good Hope seeing some Ostrich along the way. There were around 100 other tourists all trying to get a photo with the sign, so we snuck around the back and then battled the wind as we walked along the cliff top to Cape Point. There were heaps of cute little furry things called Rock Dassies sunning themselves along the path. They didn't seem too phased to have us walking by. At Cape Point we noticed the park guards have these massive sticks and were walking along the roof of the buildings. It seems the Baboons like to launch themselves off the roofs or anything high and try and take food straight out of your handsYep, it was a little windy
Clifftop walk
The very cute Rock Dassie
This little baby was taking its first rather wonky steps. A spot of grooming beside the track
From Cape Point we then jumped on the bikes and cycled back to the gates. The first section was easy, all downhill and almost no pedalling required. Unfortunately the last few kilometres were quite different. All uphill and into a strong wind. A few of the gusts came close to blowing us straight off the road and it didn't help we also met some of our friends from the hostel who had hired a car and found us struggling up the hill and offered us some encouragement.That night we moved out of the hostel and into a hotel in the centre of town. To celebrate having our own reliable hot water, fridge and TV, we grabbed some takeaway from the Italian restaurant across the road and opened a bottle of Sparky's Merlot!

No comments: