Camera disaster!

Trip Start May 06, 2010
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Trip End Dec 17, 2010


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Where I stayed
Volunteer House, Kloofnek

Flag of South Africa  , Western Cape,
Sunday, May 23, 2010

We had a really good weekend.  We have had fantastic weather, it was 26 degrees and we had brilliant sunshine for our road trip on Friday. 

We headed down to Simons Town which is very small and very quaint and had a late breakfast in a cafe in the harbour.  Then we went to Boulders Bay to see the penguin colony.  Unfortunately on arrival I had an accident with my camera and it fell into wet sand and now doesn't work.  I was gutted, I managed to get a few pictures out of it but it now keeps saying system error and won't do anything.  I am taking it to a shop tomorrow to see if it can be fixed but I doubt it, sand + camera = disaster.  Sure I will have to get a new one so that's a chunk out of my S Africa budget!!

The penguin colony wasn't as well populated as it is in summer here but we did see a fair amount of penguins and they had babies with them which were really cute so it was lovely to see.

We had lunch at the Black Marlin before heading down to Cape Point National Park.  We are starting to experience the negative aspects of the World Cup in that all prices have been inflated in anticipation of mass visitors.  The taxi driver said the NP entrance fee was 45 rand a couple of months ago and it was 75 when we were there so it's gone up a fair bit.  It is however worth it.  The National Park is beautiful.  We walked up to the Cape Point lighthouse which is an easy walk.  It is all steps so no trekking required and it only takes about 10 minutes.  The views are spectacular, the coast line is stunning.  We then did the cliff path walk to the most easterly point of Capetown.  That walk is fairly easy too and takes about an hour.  Again lovely views and well worth the effort.

We saw 3 ostriches on the way who didn't seem to be bothered by our presence at all, they are obviously used to tourists.  It is quite surreal though to suddenly stumble across them.  They look like massive boulders at first and then they move.  They are really big which I know is a stupid comment to make but it is one thing seeing them on TV and quite another being 3 feet away from one!!  There were also lots of Dassies along the coastal paths.  They are small furry creatures which look a little bit like beavers.  Again they are clearly used to people and they were were quite happily sitting on the edge of the path posing for photos (not that I could do that!).  We kept seeing signs around the park warning that baboons were present and were dangerous but hadn't seen any which had been disappointing however when we got back to the car park we got quite a show!  There were 3 adult females there with babies and they were milling around the cars, jumping on top of them and one went inside our taxi!  They were looking for food so we got about 2 minutes worth of seeing them in action before a park ranger chased them away!

We went out for dinner on Friday night to a local Chinese- all you could eat for the equivalent of 7 pounds Stirling!  We then went out in town to Dubliners on Long Street, dancing and a couple of beers, all good fun.

We went to Robben Island yesterday.  We were lucky that it was another beautiful day so the ferry had no problems crossing over.  The island is much bigger that I thought it would be.  We saw loads of seals on the way over and the view of Capetown and Table Mountain from the boat is stunning.  (You can imagine how gutted I am about my camera as I have no photos!)

The visit to the island wasn't quite what I was expecting.  It felt very touristy and a bit tacky to be honest which seems really inappropriate considering the history of the island.  You get transferred onto a bus when you get off the ferry and taken around a view points of interest including the lime mines where the inmates (including Nelson Mandela) were forced into hard labour for 13 years.  We were then taken around the prison itself by a former prisoner but he didn't talk about his own situation at all apart from saying that he was in the group of the last prisoners to be freed.  His commentary was very interesting and you certainly get a feel for the brutality of the guards and the mental cruelty inflicted on the prisoners by them.  He said that many prisoners have had ongoing psychiatric problems subsequent to their release. 

I am glad I went but I expected to have a more emotional journey I suppose.  When I visited the Jewish quarter in Prague I felt quite haunted by it for a while afterwards in terms of what I had seen and heard and I expected to feel the same after Robben Island but it doesn't have an impact that way at all.

In the evening we went to see the local rugby team, "The Stormers", play in their semi final cup match. The stadium was huge- 58,000 capacity and the atmosphere was really good.  The Stormers won which was even better.  The match itself wasn't fantastic, the Stormers took the lead early in the first half and their opponents never seemed much of a threat so it wasn't nail biting stuff.  I'm pleased the local boys won, to say that the S Africans were pleased is a massive understatement!!!  It was nice to experience, took part in a few Mexican waves!! 

Having a chill day today, weather isn't quite so good and it's been quite an expensive weekend all in all so watching the budget! 

 


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Comments

Sarah on

The entrance to the NP has been 75 bucks for a while now... we went last October and that's what we paid so don't think its been inflated pre-world cup..

cazza_macca
cazza_macca on

Aha, well I only had the info from the taxi driver to go on, obviously not a reliable source!

Sally Coenen on

I love reading about your adventures especially as I have to most of the places myself! keep it up. Think of you often-lots of love xxxx

johnnymack
johnnymack on

Hey Carol,
sounds like you're having a blast, really enjoying reading all this and can't wait to see pics. Let's hope the insurance company not reading this (I'm fairly certain it wasn't your fault or stupidity to blame was it)?
Evan missing you, mentions auntie Carol every day.
Love
John
x

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