Sailing into Cape Town for the first time is an OMG moment. So beautiful with Table Mountain soaring out of the ocean. You can only imagine what those first explorers of old thought when they came upon this sight!!
We were lucky to have a clear sunny day and as we got closer to land you could see the buildings, homes, and beaches all along the sea and of course that flat topped mountain of granite. We were liucky because Table Mountain is often obscured by a “tablecloth” of clouds. Such a strong backdrop to a vibrant city. So, it was a clear day for my tour to Table Mountain in the cable car to the top and a magnificent vista below of the city, the sea and the beaches, and Robbins Island where Nelson Mandela spent two decades.
The drought and lack of water is definitely a problem here. Residents are allowed 50 litres a day and even on the ship we were asked to conserve water as they were not able to take on as much water here as usual. Grass is brown and dry and obviously you don’t wash your car. I saw a bumper sticker that said “I wish my wife was this dirty”. Ya gotta have a sense of humour eh?
Coincidentally, Geoff & Denese Belchetz were in Cape Town at the same time, and they picked me up at the ship and toured me around the beautiful beach areas with their older art deco apartments – reminiscent of South Beach in Florida –and then to a great little restaurant right on the beach where we sat with our toes in the sand and enjoyed South African wines and a lovely lunch. A very special day for me with very special friends from home.
A visit to the Stellenbosch wine area with its old Dutch colonial buildings and myriad of wineries had us tasting the delicious South African whites and reds and even gin which is made locally.
En route, right outside Cape Town, we saw the “townships’ where people live in pretty sad situations. The shacks of wood and corrugated tin are crowded together along with the rows of outdoor toilets. These people are on a waiting list for decent housing which has been promised to them, but I understand it is a long list and a slow process.
Close to three hundred passengers departed in Cape Town and another 300 boarded So there are lots of new faces. I’m not sure if someone got on who was ill, but the ship is being very cautious. I heard of one couple being quarantined in their cabin. They actually take your room key away! and we are all washing and disinfecting our hands like crazy. Menu covers have disappeared along with any type of literature that one might handle, and the elevator buttons have been covered with plastic – easier to disinfect – better to be safe than sorry. So far I am healthy – touch wood !!