Cape Town






8/16  Cape Town is a beautiful, metropolitan city.  We're staying at a beautiful hotel nearby an area that I would describe as being similar to the South Street Seaport in New York City. 

We spent the better part of a day touring Robben Island, Cape Town's own Alcatraz.  Robben's Island was originally the prison home to lepers and later became the notorious prison for political anti-apartheid insurgents who wanted to bring democracy to South Africa.  It's most famous inmate was Nelson Mandela.  All of the guides were political prisoners.



Writing this entry from home in San Francisco, too long after we arrived home from Cape Town....just wanted to add a few final thoughts since at least a few things are still clear in my mind. 

Robbens Island was a personal highlight for me, as Nelson Mandela is one of my personal heroes.  He was imprisoned on Robbens Island for 17 long years (btw, Robben is the Dutch name for penguin, of which there are lots on this beautiful island - aother bizarre and cruel twist).  We saw the cell that he spent most of his time in and the famous courtyard where he carefully hid the pages of his memoir, "The Long Road to Freedom."  Standing on that now hallowed ground, and hearing the personal stories of former political prisoners was one of the most moving experiences of my life. 

To sum up, the rest of our trip in Cape Town and the surrounding areas was wonderful.  We rented a car and drove out towards wine country along the fabulous coast line.  It looked like a scene that you might see in Ireland - steep cliffs, blue blue ocean, and rolling green hills.  We stopped in a really cute whaling town, the name of which escapes me now, to board a boat and see the whales that were abundant in the bay, as it was their birthing season.  As with many things in Africa, our boat had just broken down and stopped working for the day. No other boats were going out that day.  So, we watched some whales right from the cliffside. 

Went to some beautiful wineries -though they really have nothin' on California wine country!   Visited an interesting Cheetah reserve at one of the wineries and got to pet a Cheetah.

We had a nice dinner at a jazz club on the wharf our last night. We thought the food was fine until Michael started to get purge his dinner a couple of hours later.  By the middle of the night, I followed suit, depositing my dinner in the toilet and acquiring a nice fever.  We spent the entire night and next day in bed, really sick little puppies.  Our flight was scheduled for later that evening so we called a doctor to see if we could get some relief.  He told us we had food poisoning and gave us some pain killers and other good stuff.  We spent a few harrowing hours on the phone with a lovely travel agent who was finally able to change ALL the legs of our flight until the next day.  We weren't entirely well by the time we boarded our flight home, but the extra day in bed really made a difference, and we ended our African Adventure with a BANG.


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