We arrived into Cape Town mid afternoon on June 15th after about a 365 km, 5 hour drive from Karoo National Park and discovered that entering EXACT information into our “Maps App” is essential as we arrived at our “supposed” address right in the middle of a very sketchy area of a Cape Town suburb. It turned out there are more than one “2 Milner Road” road addresses! After gathering our wits we programmed Siri to get us to The Cape Milner Hotel located near the base of the famous Table Mountain. We have a beautiful corner suite with a direct view of the mountain and Signal Hill ( Signal Hill not shown in the picture),
We have really lucked out so far with the weather in South Africa and Cape Town was no exception. Friday morning, the 16th and Joyce’s birthday was sunny and warm. The area has been experiencing a severe drought and the typical weather for this time of year is rain and cold, very similar to a Vancouver winter. We drove up to the base of the mountain and gondola station and proceeded to the top which has an elevation of 1089 metres above sea level. Amazing views and flora greeted us.
After returning from the mountain it was lunch time and then a leisurely 2.7 km walk to the V & A Waterfront, a very large version of Granville Island on the Cape Town waterfront. The sun was shining, the air was warm the birds were chirping but alas, there was danger lurking…
Not more than 10 minutes into our walk we encountered a well dressed man of local African lineage and being the nice Canadians we said hello and asked how he was doing. The day, Friday, was a national holiday so the streets were bare of pedestrians although there was vehicle traffic near the intersection where we met him. He was doing well thank you very much and “are you heading to the waterfront”? Well yes, we are. Oh well then, being a National holiday the bridge you need to cross requires a pass. You do have a pass don’t you? Well, no we don’t but that seems odd. No no, not odd, you must get a pass and you can get it over there. He points, we don’t see anything so we proceed to cross the street and he proceeds to pretend he is showing us the way to the place to buy the pass. He’s walking a little ahead of us now and he pulls out his cell phone and makes a call. We are very skeptical at this point and I walk past a couple of guards in front of a bank and I peer around the corner of the street where we apparently can buy a pass and I don’t see anything except an empty street. At this point a car pulls up on the side street and several men of disrepute jump out and start heading towards us. I turn around and go back to the bank guards and the bad guys turn around, jump in their car and then pick up Mr. nice guy as he continued to walk away. A robbery was thwarted. If the bank guards weren’t there we would have been robbed of our cameras and wallet, no doubt about it. I didn’t see everything that was going on so Joyce added in her perception of events. If it was just her or me in this situation things could have worked out much differently. Lesson learned. We hopped a taxi pissed off and a little shaken and proceeded to the waterfront for a warm afternoon of birthday cheers and several cool beverages.
The next day, Saturday the 17th we headed south to Cape of Good Hope with a stop in Boulders Beach, the only place in the world where you can get up close to the African Penguin, an endangered species which were put on the Endangerd Species list in 2010. Of 17 species of penguins, they are the only ones that breed in Africa.
Next stop was Cape of Good Hope which is the most South Western point of the African continent. Huge crashing waves and windswept landscapes highlight the area where Ostrich and Elands roam along the rugged coast.