Accommodation: Commodore, Capetown
Today was the day to explore the city on the longer blue line…but not before another very tasty buffet breakfast at the hotel. We had decided not to do the shark diving which would have taken up all of the day. We had spoken to numerous people whilst travelling and they had indicated that they had done it but wished they hadn’t. They said it was a long way from Cape Town, you had to get up very early, there were few if any sharks, which are only small, in bad visibility and not likely to be Great Whites! I’d never been that fussed about doing it but it was on Philip’s list as there were supposedly large Great Whites. Upon hearing this feedback though, we felt it was a lot of money for what could turn out to be a fizzer of a day (and we had already done something like it in Hawaii). There was also the high risk of sea sickness which was the final clincher.
The blue line is a longer route than the red line doing a complete loop around Table Mountain. Our first stop was the Kirkenbosch Gardens. We’re not huge garden freaks but this garden receives rave reviews, is rated as the number 2 thing to do on TripAdvisor and is listed as one of the best gardens in the world. Therefore it was something we thought we should do.
The backdrop for the gardens is impressive. It’s on a sloped site with the gardens merging into the foothills of Table Mountain. There are pockets of indigenous forest and then open areas with a small lake and stage for summer concerts. There’s also a small tree canopy walkway. In terms of gardens it’s nice but we have seen nicer …I guess the lack of colour also had something to do with it. The backdrop though and setting is stunning!
The bus route then took us into the wine growing area and past some really flashy houses. Disturbingly adjoining these flashy areas were townships; tin shanty towns that apparently house the people who work in these flashy houses. Given the temperature these people must be cooking. Another moment of inequality staring you in the face.
Around the coastline we travelled, a little like a cross between the Great Ocean Road and the Bayside suburbs. Hout Bay, Camps Bay and back to the Waterfront. Being so warm the beaches were packed although we did laugh a little at the bus commentary which stated that ‘you could see people tanning themselves on the beaches’. I’m not sure given the colour of most of the people that we really could tell!
Once back at the waterfront it was the last chance to shop before leaving Cape Town. We hadn’t really done much shopping except for having to buy an expensive pair of sunglasses when mine broke. In the end we also decided to buy a small carry on suitcase and fill it with the photo gear rather than lugging it around in our back packs.
For dinner we decided to go back to the City Grill. Yesterday we’d eaten pasta which was also good (actually the food in Cape Town is fabulous) but Philip had been salivating almost at the thought of the giant steak and so a decision didn’t really need to be made. The steak didn’t let him down – 500g Rib Eye without the bone, no marinade just cooked to perfection complete with chips. Some things don’t change. He said it was one of the best steaks he’d ever eaten (yep he’ll be talking about this one for a while).
Last stop was the Ferris wheel right in the middle of the waterfront. We waited until it was sunset and then hopped on, again using our City Pass. The wheel must have gone around eight or nine times, which was a bugger for those who also had the same idea but missed the sunset due to the time everyone had rotating.
Having had a great time in Cape Town it was now time to head back to the hotel and pack for the next stage of the journey…Zanzibar tomorrow morning. A long day of travelling ahead.