Short But Sweet Re-Visit.

Trip Start Feb 01, 2005
Trip End Dec 31, 2018

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Flag of South Africa  ,
Saturday, December 1, 2007

Arriving at borders, shell shocked from a night's bus travel, has a surreal feel. We arrived at the border of Namibia and South Africa just as daylight was dawning, after being on the bus for some 10 hours. Get off the bus, out with the passports - fill out the declaration forms - go through the leaving procedures. Then it is back on the bus, over the bridge of the Orange River and off again,  and go through the passport, declarations, etc all over again.

We were rather hungry by the time this was all over, but the bus didn't stop again for another five hours for a meal break! The scenery was quite spectacular after we had crossed into South Africa, with irrigated terraced slopes growing all manner of crops.

At last we spotted Table mountain in the distance and were looking forward to the end of our last long bus journey

Our time in Cape Town was to be less than 24 hours but we had two things we had wanted to do which we had not done on our last visit 10 years ago - take the cable car to the top of Table mountain and go to Robben Island. We had tried to obtain tickets before we left to go to Robben Island (where Nelson Mandella had been incarcerated) but had had no luck and now our bus was so late it didn't look like we could achieve it. We walked to our accommodation, Long street Backpackers then took a cab down to the wharf in the off chance we could get on but drew a blank. Best advice if wanting to do this, we found out later, was to book a full day city tour that includes Robben Island as the tour companies hold the majority of the tickets.

Disappointed at not being able to do Robben Island, we called into a tourist office at the wharf and the helpful lady suggested we go up to Table Mountain now, as because of the beautiful weather (no wind) the cable car will be running until 8.30pm and best of all, it would be half price from 6.00pm onwards! Sounded good to us so we caught a cab and found ourselves at the ticket office, just as it went to half price.

The cable car was an amazing experience. The cars are quite large and revolve on the way up and down so you see all the views from every angle. It was the most perfect evening and the view over Cape Town amazingly clear. We decided to eat at the restaurant, as we hadn't eaten since our late breakfast on the bus. For a world class place, with a world class view, the price was very reasonable (about $30A including a bottle of wine). We lingered until the last cable car down, feeling that this had been a very special Cape Town experience.

A crazy taxi ride back to our backpackers, a stroll up and down Long Street, then we were ready for bed - our last night in Africa.

Next morning we had a very civilized cooked breakfast in a street cafe and leisurely readied for our airport pickup, for the flight to Mauritius.
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