They complian about alcahol fuelled ...

Trip Start Jun 03, 2001
Trip End ??? ??, 2002

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Flag of South Africa  ,
Friday, June 8, 2001

They complian about alcahol fuelled Air-rage but still give you as much Gin+Tonic as you can drink on an early evening flight to Cape Town. That said, Gordons finest is a great way to start a 12hr flight, as is finding you have a spare seat in a block of three between you and a German girl!! This quickly becomes two seats as she spots an empty row to sprawl on! (Germans, empty seats, sun-loungers, towles????) Anyway, the 12hr flight was largely uneventful, save from a drunk scotsman having a nightmare at 2am in the seat behind mine which involved him punching the back of my seat, Air rage? there very nearly was!!
Cape town came into view at about 8am after passing over Robben Island, location of the famous Maximum security prison which housed, among othes, Robert Sobukwe, and ex-president Mandela.
I made the most of the free pick-up from the Airport offered by the Ashanti lodge where i have booked a week stay! 30 mins later i was asleep, safe in the knowledge that my pillow would not be punched by a drunk scotsman every five minuites! Later I got into travel mode and started a walk to the town centre, I found a chilly (It is winter here after all) friendly and welcoming city, smaller than i had imagined! I say welcoming only because all of the twenty or so street vendors who tried to sell me fruit, sweets, lighters, or tried to buy my watch, at least did so with a smile :-) One large blister later i was back at the lodge with a cold beer and a very friendly group of backpackers telling me where to stay all through the next three weeks in SA. I took an offer from Matt from Oz to hike up Table Mountain the next day. little did I know the size of the task ahead, 1000m straight up and the climb was just that, straight up!! We made it to the top to find a spectacular view of the Town and surrounding coast and also a broken cable car!! The hike back down was on!
We continued the tourist vibe the next day and booked a tour of Robben Island for R100 (9.80 gbp) we had three guides for a three hour tour, and what a place! each of the guides were ex-prisioners and each gave a no holes barred account of his treatment on the island. The last guide spoke of how he survived five years here and how if the "New south Africa" was not born he was due for release in 2003. He had total forgiveness for the way he was treated under Apartheid rule and for the government of the Old South Africa. Quite a man and quite a place, well worth its recent World Heritage site listing.

As for the rest of my trip I have had a great day visting a few museums and the Cape Of Good Hope Castle, which is home to the oldest wine shop in South Africa...hic ;-)

So overall impressions of Cape Town are that it is a small city rather than a large Town with great people, who love their corner of Africa and want as many people to see it as possible. Let's hope they get the right type of tourist and we don't see a "Costa del Cape Town" in the next few years.
I will try to find a good scanner in NZ so you can get some views of Cape Town

Hope everyone is well and keep the e-mails coming (remember the new address)
cheers Axx
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