5 July 2019
It was a beautiful day when we arrived in the Mother City of Cape Town, so we went up Table Mountain in the cable car. The stunning views and vistas never cease to thrill me. Afterwards, I took the long road winding along the Atlantic seaboard, enjoying the salty, fresh sea air before heading through town to book into our B&B, Southern Comfort, in Oranjezicht.
Tip: when traveling in South Africa, have plenty of small change ready to give to all sorts of entertainers and parking attendants.
The day ended at the V&A Waterfront where a lively choral group from Khayelitsha had the audience join in the song and dance in the outdoors. We had a lovely meal at Quay Four restaurant where I ordered the fish platter – we shook our heads every time the bill came – the exchange rate was just so in our favor (between R14 andR15 to a dollar).
We spent three nights in Cape Town, meeting friends (Sue in Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, and Mariota at her retirement village) and sightseeing. Of course, we had a rollicking, entertaining evening at the Gold Restaurant – must be my most favorite restaurant since the menu offers small dishes from all over South Africa.
The weather turned nasty on the second day, so we took in the latest modern African Art Gallery at the splendidly architecturally reconstructed Silo at the Waterfront.
To take the transparent elevator up six flights in a silo is quite a feeling! We were not quite sure what to make of the eclectic collection: bizarre stuff, political stuff, and interspersed, beautiful works of art. I loved the African Adam and Eve.
The next day, we headed to Betty’s Bay to admire the prolific African penguin colony. We enjoyed browsing at the farm stalls and on the way really enjoyed ‘roosterkoek,’ a bread baked in an open fire oven. We stopped at George for lunch with old friends, Pieter and Leone Spies. We overnighted at Hermanus, known for its ‘Right whales’ and a longstanding friend of mine, Margit, treated us to a local kabeljou fish dinner.
Our journey then took us inland to the ‘Klein Karoo’ where Karen experienced the spectacular Cango Caves. They have cardboard cut-outs at the entrance so that potential guests can see if they could fit through the narrow openings on the adventure tour. I think it is the result of a pregnant lady who tried to squeeze through and got stuck, keeping the preceeding guests trapped for 12 hours before they managed to dislodge her.
We both had close encounters feeding the ostriches at the Cango Ostrich Farm. We stayed in Oudtshoorn at the refurbished Queen’s Hotel, the third oldest hotel in South Africa. I tasted a delicious ostrich steak (uhuh!)
Then, it was back to the coast to sleep with the elephants at the Knysna Elephant Lodge. The Elephant Sanctuary looks after rescued elephants, and relocate some of them to other reserves. They even had a baby born there who turned out to be spoilt by everyone and quite cheeky. She actually tried to block the other elephants from using the enclosure when it rained! What a thrill to be under the same roof as these giants, and to get to walk with them in the open fields while they graze.