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Graham Williams & Louise Jones Travel Blog This is our journal logging our trip through Central and Latin America from July 2005 to the present date. We update it and add new pictures every two to three weeks. At the moment Will is travelling in South Africa, while Lou is living in Buenos Aires.For more background reading on our travels go to - http://journals.worldnomads.com/will/

Cape Town

SOUTH AFRICA | Saturday, 28 October 2006 | Views [1784]

Cape Town as seen from Robben Island.

Cape Town as seen from Robben Island.

“The fairest cape in all the world” said Sir Francis Drake.

With the backdrop of Table Mountain Cape Town must have one of the most distinctive profiles in the world. I have spent most of the last two weeks here, partly because there is so much to see and do and because it will be my last taste of civilization for some time. I am staying in the district of Gardens, which has Table Mountain backing onto it. It’s like a South African version of Islington, lots of nice places to eat, bookshops and Art house cinemas but with sunshine, less traffic and young men with big sticks sitting on every corner guarding the flashy cars. It joins onto Long Street, the rather sleazier backpacker area.

Some of the places I’ve visited,

Table Mountain. I climbed the mountain rather than taking the cable car up, it’s surprising how although you are very close to a large city it’s quite wild at the top, with sunbirds and lizards darting about and the wonderful and distinctive Cape Flora (click here to see examples). The views are also outstanding as you can look down on each side of the city.

Robben Island. One of South Africa’s newer attractions which is managed very well. You take a boat out to the island and are then driven around the island to see the nature reserve, the limestone quarry where the prisoners worked and the township where the guards lived. The prison itself was much smaller than I imagined; a former prisoner describes life inside and the tour includes seeing Nelson Mandela’s cell, which is left as it was. One of the surprises is just by the jetty is a colony of Penguins! What is also interesting is that most of the visitors were my age or older. I suppose that Apartheid for most young people is ancient history and Nelson Mandela even more so.

Kirsenbosch Botanical Gardens. One of the finest gardens in the world which conserves the unique flora of the Cape region, much of which is endangered. Some of the plants there are extinct in the wild and only live on in the gardens. Hugging the sides of Table mountain the setting is very dramatic, a very beautiful place.

I have also been down to False Bay and the villages of Simonstown and Muizenburg, lots of birds to be seen but no whales. I also went to Cecil Rhodes seaside cottage which is now a museum and is where he died.

Overall, Cape Town has been a wonderful place to enjoy ‘normal life’, a place to spend time in bookshops and cafes before I head north into Africa proper.

This week I will start my overland trip up through Namibia and Botswana to Victoria Falls. As internet connections will be rare and expensive, these updates will be shorter and less frequent in the months ahead.

Click here to see Cape Town pictures.

Written by Will

Tags: On the Road

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