Friday, March 12, 2010

Cape Town Capers

Cape Town is a great city, although it felt more like a big European city than an African one. It's a beautiful city built in a bowl surrounded by Table Mountain. The waterfront area reminded me of being at San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf. There is a lot of activity in preparation for the World Cup which starts in less than 100 days. It's like in those Flip This House episodes where the open house is in 5 hours and you think there's no way the house will be ready - same for the stadium, streets, parking and transportation. I cannot see how it possible that it's all ready come June, but hopefully it will be ready.

I was very ignorant of Apartheid prior to going to CT, and what I learned was just appalling. I went to Robbin Island where Nelson Mandela was held in prison and his life there was shocking. I also went to some of the large Townships and I was very impressed with what the government is doing to move people from very sub-standard living to permanent homes. By 2014, there should be no shacks or shanties left in Cape Town. But even then, the scars from Apartheid won't be healed. 

I spent a day visiting the South African winelands which were absolutely beautiful! The wine was smooth and incredibly inexpensive. A NICE bottle of wine could easily be bought for $3. It's too bad I couldn't mail any home. 

I had some worries about my safety being in CT alone, although it turns out I was worried about the wrong kind of carjacker. I was driving down to Cape of Good Hope when the car in front of me paused to snap a pic of a baboon walking along a cliff. Seeing a good photo opp I put my foot on the brake too, only to have the baboon open my back passenger car door and let himself in. He promptly climbed into my front seat and began ransacking my backpack. I was terrified; in trying to get out of the car i forgot I still had my seatbelt on and car in drive and nearly rear-ended the SUV in front of me. There were signs everywhere indicating how dangerous the baboons are, and now here I was outside my car surrounded by baboons, and had a giant one inside my car destroying my things and eating my powerbars. I finally got him outside my car, only he took my backpack with him. It took about 20 minutes to recover my backpack and most of my things, and hours before my frayed nerves were calmed. It was a horrible experience and the signs should be changed to warn that baboons open car doors. 

Here's the baboon contemplating a joyride in my rental car!

I definitely plan to return to Cape Town on a future trip to Africa! 

Cape of Good Hope

I visited one of two natural mainland penguin colonies in the world and the penguins were so much fun to watch!

1 comment:

  1. I hope you're keeping your car doors locked now! The Lord was certainly watching over you. Guess the baboon like the power bars too!