Cape Town With A Limp

We are nearing the half way mark in our trip to the South African Cape. We have been based in a well-appointed, spacious house in a pretty and central part of Cape Town (Bo Kaap). It has incredible views of the iconic Table Mountain and an enchanting wake up call from the local muezzin. The house is owned by a friend I have known since university and who was my Best Man. He loves South Africa and I’m not surprised; from what we have seen already, its amazing.

View From Our Breakfast And Evening Drinks Terrace At The House

View From The Breakfast And Evening Drinks Terrace At The House

We have been blessed with wonderful weather; few clouds in the mornings and sunny and very breezy in the afternoons. That has been great for us but less good for the local population who are experiencing an unprecedented drought. Water rationing is in place – so our morning showers have been short and bracing – but rationing could get a lot more stringent by April if there is no rain. The rationing has certainly got Long Suffering Wife (LSW) and I thinking about resource waste in general. It has been a surprise that recycling here is negligible after the strictures of our local Council in the U.K.

With the weather no impediment, we have got a lot ‘done’. This despite a problem with one of my knees ‘blowing up’ (cartilage tear? gout?). It’s improving and LSW has been very patient with my slow limp and the need to do the driving (I confess, as usual). It’s another reminder of why I retired when I did; before these sorts of issues become routine.

Early on we walked around the smartened-up dock area and later went to an old grain store imaginatively converted into a modern art gallery by Thomas Heatherwick. For me, the building was more interesting than 95% of the art but it is an impressive achievement, showcasing African artists.

The Zeitz Mocaa Modern Art Gallery: A Startling Building Interior

Cape Town is not as walkable as Brisbane or Melbourne where we went last year. Downtown is dominated by the car and we do feel more nervous about personal security – though in practice everyone has been very friendly. So, since that first day, we have mainly been out and around Cape Town by car, taxi and Uber, experiencing the panoramas and excellent food and wine on offer.

Long Street, Company Gardens And Typical Bo Kaap Houses; All Close To Where We Are Staying

The food is right up our street; tasty, locally sourced, healthy and light. The prawn dish I had in a hip restaurant in an old biscuit factory in Woodstock was the best prawn dish I can remember.

The wineries just outside the city are wonderful estates showing off their wares and their scenery and some provide tremendous culinary experiences. Babylonstoren was super and we are returning to Constantia Glen for a meal overlooking the vineyards, and the usual awesome mountain backdrop, for our last day in Cape Town.

Babylonstoren: A More Natural And Integrated Version Of Our Cotswolds Daylesford With Great Wines Produced On-site. Fabulous

The views from Table Mountain and, further afield, Cape Point were jaw dropping. More unexpected was the incredible drive down the coast past Chapmans Peak. The beaches were amazing as usual but the engineering to create the road itself was spectacular.

One Of Many Wonderful Views From Table Mountain

Cape Point: Across False Bay, Dias Beach And The Local Baboons

The ’12 Apostles’ From Chapmans Peak Drive. Worthy Competitors Versus The ’12 Apostles’ (Sea Stacks) We Saw In Australia Last Year

The Aptly Named Long Beach (From Chapmans Peak Drive)

Oh my, I have written enough but still haven’t mentioned the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, the wild life and a number of other observations (for example, the welcome scarcity of dogs and insects other than butterflies and a few bees). I’m glad we went to the superbly laid out and informative Kirstenbosch gardens early in our trip. That equipped us with a bit of knowledge that was useful in our subsequent outings.

Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. Note The Schoolkids Loving Their Day There; A Joy To Watch

And we have seen lots of wild penguins, an eagle owl, a tortoise and dassies (guinea pig relations) close up. The penguins are such a sweet laugh when on land!

African Penguin, Indifferent Dassie and Untroubled Tortoise

Hopefully more wildlife, dramatic coast and mountains next week as I perfect my limp.

Evening View Of Table Mountain From Our House

4 thoughts on “Cape Town With A Limp

  1. You almost make me want to travel but I don’t. I’m kind of the revolving door between my husband who never wants to leave home and my daughter who aches to travel.
    Anyway. I first became interested in South Africa when I watched the Sarah Graham food show – she has one season where she cooks outdoors and the family eats together – it’s so lovely. I just want to be transported there for the meal and back home to my bed.
    Your pictures are so full of love – for the scenes you are shooting. Thank you very much.
    When my knees goes awry – it feel like all the bones are loose – kind of like that rock monster in Galaxy Quest. It’s unpredictable.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Debbie, thanks. If there is a way of engineering a trip with your daughter then I recommend taking that opportunity. For many years while I was working, I was reluctant to take holidays. Part of the reluctance was the peak of work before and after each holiday, part was the fact that I was working away from the family home so holiday, for me, was just being there, and part just my reticence about the risk of not getting value for money at villas and hotels that might not be as good as they looked in the brochures. Since retirement the first two obstacles to travel have gone. The fear of the unknown associated with the third has been overcome by experience in recent years and the patience and organisation of my wife.

      Our trip to South Africa was the latest positive overseas holiday experience and you would love the landscape and the food. There is, as you indicate, a lot of outdoor eating – South Africa has the weather for that – and the restaurants we went to were good value (thanks to the Rand being even weaker than the UK Pound) and promoted healthy options.

      I hope you get the chance to try it soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Paul, Thanks so much for the latest update and pics, how fortunate that you have missed the ghastly weather we have been experiencing, all clear now tho..Sorry about the knee,hope it does not hold you up too much Love to both Maureen.

    Sent from my iPad


    Liked by 1 person

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