through the 94th
days in Cape Town, South Africa and having been here before we decided to do most things on our own. Our first destination was to reach the top of Table Mountain, since we could not go there previously because of high winds. The early morning drive through Cape Town demonstrated many new buildings and roads that were all built for the World Cup in 2010 many were in progress at our last visit like the spectacular stadium along the waterfront. On reaching the cable car stop we boarded the car in a drizzle of light rain making it difficult to take good photos through the rain spotted windows. The table cloth came just over the top of the mountain and we could see the many hikers and climbers going up the trails leading to the top. On top the weather was about 10 degrees cooler with a strong southeast wind making life there a little uncomfortable. So we quickly made our way to the various lookouts, but the table cloth of clouds over the mountain made it difficult to get shots of the city and ocean below
. We did see a dassie a small hyrax related to the elephant, believe it or not. Many high altitude plants were seen and we met a few families who had hiked up the mountain and were having breakfast at the top before going back down, one little boy told us they camped out in a cabin and then continued in the morning saying it took them 7 hours. On the way down we noticed that the clouds were lifting and we got occasional glimpses of the sun to make one feel a little better. We had hoped to go to Robben Island next but again conditions were not right for us and the soonest we could make it was Thursday long after we leave. This Island is where they kept Mandela for over 20 years and now is a national shrine with past inmates used as guides once you get there.
We went to the waterfront mall to try and get the blog out and for me to get a hair cut. The hair cut went well but the blog will have to wait for another day because I could not upload fast enough. We headed back to the ship to rest a bit and get ready for dinner and a movie, about Osama bin Laden and the navy seals who got him.
Up early the next morning we walked to the Blue mini peninsular tour bus which leaves every 20 minutes. The bus was on time and we bought a 2 day pass which allows us to go on the red or blue tours, a wine tour bus, and the night tour to watch the sunset on Signal Hill
. There were a few stops in the city before heading out into the countryside to see Kristenbosch a garden than extends from the ocean up several thousand feet with all the flora that will grow in those areas. The wine bus was the next stop and then the world of birds. Next came the Imizamo Yethu a scanty town that is still functioning only they have tours through the many streets with a explanation of how the people survive. Since we had a two day pass we figured that the first trip we would ride all the way so the next time we'd get off where we wanted. Mariner’s Wharf was a restaurant with a pretty beach and many boat rental facilities, next came the beach areas where people lived, and the first and probably most expensive was Camps Bay with beautiful homes that had beach access or great views of the sea. All of these areas were very modern some homes having an elevator leading from the street to their homes, since the homes were high up on the mountain. Back at the bus stop we had lunch and toured the areas we had decided on our first trip and ended up on the top of Signal Hill to see the sunset.
We had to be back on board by 3 PM so an early start was need to visit the Botanical Gardens at Kristenbosch, here we had to climb to see the Protea collection that were near the top of the mountain. The trails were not well marked so we probably got lost once or twice, but we saw the beautiful flowers, before turning around and finus ding our way back to the bus stop
. We had to wait about 10 minutes for the next bus and then it took almost two hours to get back to the city bus stop, We knew it was going to be close and it was but the bus driver, who I asked to let us off at the closest stop for the ship, actually took us right to the entrance to the port. From there we walked through the port to the entrance to our ship and were there just before 3PM.
Our next stop is Walvis Bay, Namibia where Joe Oakes who I spoke about before has a charity for the children who come from parents with aids or they have aids. The children will perform for us and they will receive the many donations that were given for them.