Category Archives: South Africa

Sunday, 26/01/14

Before moving on to my Cape Town experience, I just wanted to say something about the people I shared my overland trip with
There were 19 of us altogether. Perhaps it was because we didn’t have a “common aim” or even a common destination, as some were leaving at Victoria Falls, like me, others were going on together, but I have never met a group of strangers get on so well. There were long rides in an uncomfortable truck, disgusting toilets, disappointing food sometimes, different budgets – the list goes on. Yet from the beginning and through it all, people remained helpful, cheerful and supportive. Even though there were strong characters and clear emotions expressed, we never fell out. I had a great time, got to know some special people and hope to stay in touch/see some again. So I raise a glass to you all.

At Fish Hoek I met another remarkable person. Irene is Dutch and is my first Servas host. Servas is an organisation that helps travellers to stay with people who live in the area they are visiting, and so get to understand the place a little better. Irene shared her home with me, fed me and even drove me around. She is generous, honest and artistic – there are pieces of her abstract paintings all over her house.
So if I was able to appreciate the Cape Peninsula it was largely due to her.

On Boulder Beach I saw African Penguins

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I went to Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. It would probably have been even better in spring, because of the annual flowers, but the “fynbos”, the local vegetation, has many unique indigenous plants –

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The silver tree – a kind of Protea

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More Proteas

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Rare Ericas or heathers

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Cycads of ancient origin
And all within the beautiful fynbos mountain setting

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Of course I went to the top of Table Mountain

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The walk around the top took me about two hours and I encountered the rock hyrax again.

Irene took me to Cape Point and I walked with Norman, a friend of hers, to The Cape of Good Hope.

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And Irene drove us down to the shore

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Spectacular!

Well, there are almost too many things I’ve seen to talk about, but I do want to mention the food markets. So far I’ve been to three but will take any opportunity to go. They have stalls of food from all countries, sweet and spicy, fresh, grilled or baked, to eat seated, as you wander about or to take away. They’re full of delicious things and though it’s hard to decide what you want, it does mean that you don’t have to have that conversation about “where shall we go for dinner?/what do you fancy? because you can all have whatever you like. Brilliant! Bring to the U.K. Immediately.