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Cape Town, South Africa

May 6, 2009

Day 3

We flew from Joburg to Cape Town. We stayed in the Inn on Long Street so we were in a great location. It was about lunch time by the time we got settled in, so we walked down to the Victoria & Albert Waterfront to get some fish and chips and see what the big deal is about the waterfront. It’s huge. And touristy. And doesn’t seem like Africa. We strolled around the area and made our plans for the next few days. We saw some cape seals playing in the water which were cute. Before dark, we walked back to the hostel. We had read online that the hostel was great but that it was really loud at night since it’s right in the middle of lots of bars. That was an understatement. Our room faced a very popular bar that blasted techno until about 3 am.  However, considering the chump change we paid for the place, I can’t complain.

Day 4

We decided to get up early and climb Table Mountain, the beautiful mountain in the middle of Cape Town. We talked to the guy at the front desk about how to get there and he told us that it was almost the same price to buy a day ticket on the City Sightseeing bus as it was to take a taxi to the mountain and back. So, we got on the first sightseeing bus of the day and were on our way.

We decided to do the “easy” path up through Platteklip Gorge. I think it is only labeled as easy because it is one of the most direct paths up, which means that it’s very steep. The path is easy to follow, so we didn’t have to worry about that, but sheesh, it was a lot of work! It took us a little over 2 hours to reach the top and that was after I had to stop and catch my breath a million times. There wasn’t hardly any shade during the ascent which made it a little unpleasant towards the top, but we made it! And the views were gorgeous.

We took the cable car down as there was no way that my legs could handle going back down the gorge. We hopped back on the sightseeing bus and rode it all the way around the whole tourist loop in order to get our money’s worth for the bus ticket.

We didn’t have the loud techno music this night, so we were able to sleep much better!

Day 5

We walked back down to the waterfront to go to Robben Island. The island was used as a maximum security prison during the apartheid era. Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in prison on Robben Island.  You can only get to the island by organized tour. The tour of the prison is given by an ex-prisoner. Our guide wasn’t released until 1991 which was the last year it was used as a prison.

In the evening, we met our tour group for our camping safari through southern Africa. The group was very small, only 7 including us – Eui & Jae, Rahul & Preeti, and Mark.

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