To Cape Town

 Posted by Elizabeth at 1:16 am
Apr 162011

After leaving Cape Agulhas we followed the coast road for a couple of days on our way to Cape Town. At places it is very scenic, especially along the “whale coast” and immediately before Cape Town around Hout Bay. We unfortunately didn’t see any whales though as it is not quite whale season yet.

We stopped off at Boulder Beach where there is a significant colony of African Penguins. You can get extremely close to them via a boardwalk around the area as they sit on the beach and do what they do. There were fluffy baby penguins around that I have never seen before which look a bit odd, as well as penguins sitting on their eggs.

Cape of Good Hope was our next stop which is the most south westerly point in Africa, and again another obligatory photo stop. We took the funicular up to the top of Cape Point where there was some lovely views, when you could see them through the mist rolling in!

We then hit Cape Town, staying at the Imhoff Park 1 night and Hardekraaltjie Park another night, both of which were again clean and civilised. I am not sure how much longer this civilisation is going to last and when our first cold shower is going to appear! I’m not looking forward to the cold showers, but I am looking forward to being in the wild and experiencing the Africa we came back to see.

In Cape Town we took the cable car to the top of Table Mountain. It is an awesome view from the top over Cape Town and the bays on the other side of the point. We had a beautiful morning with clear skies and no wind, but from all accounts it seems it can be quite misty and windy up there at times. It is definitely worth the cost, but I would suggest getting there early as by the time we came back down around 11 the queue for tickets was long and you had to park and walk quite some way to the cable car terminal.

We took a walk around the V & A Waterfront, it is pretty with lots of restaurants and shops, but nothing much to interest us considering we’re not into shopping. It is very much like our Darling Harbour in concept. We dropped in to the Castle of Good Hope for a quick look around. It is worth a look but is probably better with the guided tour which unfortunately we were too late for,

Today we visited Robben Island which is where political prisoners, including Nelson Mandela, were imprisoned during the apartheid period up until 1991. I have to say we were both disappointed in the way tourism to the island is handled. Firstly the workers today were having a  “go slow” so the ferry left 45 minutes  late and then travelled at a slower speed than normal. Now I know that is just today, but it wasn’t a good start. When you arrive you are then herded like cattle onto buses and driven around some of the island with various buildings pointed out to you and information about them explained. Problem is, if you weren’t on the right side of the bus you really didn’t see anything. You were allowed off the bus at only a couple of places, one being of course a shop, and then when there was information to read there were so many people crammed into the small rooms you couldn’t get near the information anyway, and then you were hurried back onto the bus before there was  enough time to read anything! The last stop was the actual prison buildings where the political prisoners were held and you were guided by someone who was actually a political prisoner on the island. This was quite interesting although more time, less people in the group and more information would have been good. Overall the island was a disappointment although it has the potential to be an extremely interesting and informative place.

We have now left Cape Town on our way towards Namibia, which we are both looking forward to.

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