Are we still on the Lizard?

While the agenda for today was to be city tour and then the cable car to the top of Table Mountain, the rain and the clouds persisted making both of these planned events less than ideal.

And so, there we were at 7:30 in the morning, all 20 of us and our guide, trying to come up with a Plan B. Our guide (who we are struggling with a bit) thought perhaps he had the perfect alternative by suggesting he simply dump us all off at Cape Town’s largest shopping centre. Over 400 stores! I am happy (and relieved) to say this went over like a lead balloon. Eventually we settled on visiting a couple of museums during the morning, saving Table mountain for the afternoon, hoping the skies would clear.

The first museum was the District 6 museum. District 6 is an area of Cape Town where, as a result of SA’s apartheid policies, coloureds were evicted to make way for a whites only area. This persisted until the 1980’s displacing over 60,000 people. The second museum, The Slave Lodge, used to house slaves owned by the Dutch East India Company. I’m not going to go into either of these difficult topics. While not as gruesome as Cambodia’s genocide museum and the killing fields tour, they were every bit as effective in reminding us just how inhumane we can be.

All morning the rain had been gradually diminishing until there were tantalizing breaks in the clouds. Our guide, Fred Botha, suggested we take the tram up Table Mountain even though the clouds still lingered. It is such a popular destination it was his opinion that many would rush to the station thereby creating a long queue. Apparently it is shrouded in cloud most of the time so a clear afternoon draws people quickly. And thus, just at noon we found ourselves in a pretty much deserted parking lot peering up into the clouds (as per the opening photo on this post). Our group, not lacking in optimism, happily jumped on board to glide up into the cloud. There must have been several tummies growling by then. I know mine was. En route up the tram there was some discussion about how long we would stay up there and whether anyone would like to have lunch in the Table Mountain restaurant. Despite the growling tummies, not one person was interested in this option. No doubt we have all found ourselves eating overpriced, mediocre food at some tourist attraction. No. We preferred to stay hungry a little longer, trusting that lunch, when it came, would be worth the wait. (And it was as I shall relate shortly).

And so up, up and away we went into a fog shrouded world of considerable beauty.

There were several different walks of varied lengths one could take but given the foggy conditions we all stayed fairly close, not wanting to become lost. While wildlife sitings were few, we did see a Rock Dassie, a small critter said to be related to elephants somehow.

By the time we were deposited back at the hotel I think it was after 3. Remember Arnold’s and all their wonderful wild game meats? Well, when the six of us dined there, Brian, skilled negotiator that he is, snagged several ‘have one on us’ coupons for a free bottle of wine. And so, within minutes of disembarking from the bus all twenty of us descended on Arnold’s for a late, late lunch. This was a real bonding experience for the group, given that the free flowing coupon wine seemed endless. Well sated (and well buzzed) we ambled back to the hotel picking up yet more wine and some snacks, cheese etc. given that no one was interested in going out for dinner. (After all, lunch didn’t end until close to five). At about 7:30 we reconvened at an outdoor patio area at the hotel to attempt to consume all the wine, cheese, fruit, chips etc. we had purchased on the way back from lunch. While we failed miserably, our Bon Ami continued for a couple of hours until we all staggered off to bed. This was a really great day.

Location: Cape Town

This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 5th, 2014 at 11:12 am and is filed under South Africa 2014. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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