Cape Town

Trip Start May 29, 2008
Trip End Dec 19, 2008

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Where I stayed

Flag of South Africa  , Western Cape,
Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Going into Capetown we didn't get in until late evening. We had trouble getting to our hotel but enjoyed the drive on the waterfront with all of its corporate offices, lofts, and the V&A Waterfront.
The next day we decided to take a drive down to the Peninsula Cape. We had a chance to go through the cities lining the coastline down to the reserve at the Peninsula Cape. On the way, we stopped on a pretty beach which was a haven for African penguins. They were funny just poking around and waddling. Rachel loved them. Interestingly, dogs are one of the predators of the South African penguin since they can't fly and are relegated to either waddling on land or swimming in water which is there only safe harbor against dogs that can't swim as fast. After this we went to the Peninsula and up to the top of the lighthouse tower. This was the Southwestern most point of South Africa. We're way cooler being at the Southernmost point before. The landscape was absolutely fantastic but we were spoiled because of our trips to obscure areas along the Eastern coast that were much better. If we would have come to Cape Town first we would have been absolutely amazed but we saw the unparalleled beauty of other non-touristy areas of the coast.   We drove through Camps Bay and had cocktails and dinner at a posh restaurant right across the water to enjoy the sunset. Camps Bay was a really sexy spot north of Capetown over the mountain.
The next day we went to the V&A Waterfront to do some shopping. Since we're not big shoppers the highlight of this shopping area was the movie theater for us. This was our first opportunity to watch an English movie in a movie theater in a long time. We saw the new Batman and thought it was the best Batman yet.
At the V&A Waterfront they have a fantastic aquarium. They actually allow the public to scuba dive in the tanks and swim with the sharks. Although we didn't have this planned, we had to do it. We love those spontaneous activities they always turn out to be some of the most best. This one was no exception. We had a chance to swim with the sharks this time without a cage! The divemaster was very specific about what we could and could not do in the tank with these guys. They were literally inches away from us at times and would pop out of nowhere. It was such a cool experience. Also, we had many spectators in the aquarium waving at us and giving us thumbs up or maybe they were pointing at the sharks warning us that they were coming with mouths wide open. We made it out alive and it was such a cool adventure.
After we swam with the sharks, up the mountain we drove to Table Mountain for the world's highest abseil/rappel down the mountain. Just in a day's work! Table Mountain was a fantastic sight with its scenic views of the waterfront from high, high up in the mountains. We had to check with the divemaster to make sure we could even do it because normally when you scuba dive at deep depths you can't take flights or even go to high altitudes in mountains - that's why we weren't able to scuba dive in the Red Sea of Jordan. We checked out and enjoyed a great drop on the top of Table Mountain - fully suspended with nothing to hang onto at the end of the drop.
We wanted to go to Long Street to do some shopping but got so caught up in our activities that we didn't have time to enjoy the street. We did however have a chance to go to Greenmarket Square and buy elephant hair bracelets. Rachel's great uncle told us about these bracelets that are supposed to mean "world traveler" so we naturally had to get one for each of us including him as he's an avid traveler. Interestingly, he had once been to the Ostrich farm in Outdshoorn that we visited.
We were really sad to leave this remarkable country as it's really off the radar screen for most American travelers, but the most exciting country we've visited. Not surprisingly, we didn't come across too many American travelers to this country - what a shame!
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