Published: July 18th 2008July 18th 2008
I am having the time of my life! Constantly on the search for showers and clean toilets but loving Africa so far.
My first few days in Cape Town were a little daunting but I have adjusted well. It was really great to start here because it is somewhat similar life style to home. I stayed at the Raddison which was gorgeous and my room overlooked the Atlantic Ocean. This Hotel was la di da! and I had everything I wanted. I spent the first day visiting museums and I had this taxi driver take me around for most of the day for about $10. I had my only scary moment late in the afternoon when I visited my final museum and none of the public phones in the museum worked. I was unable to call the taxi and had to walk around the city to find a phone. Only I found myself at the bus and train depot which was the ONLY place I was advised Not to go on my own. This really lovely man could tell I was distressed (which is the worst thing I could have done) and he helped me to find a phone
and stayed with me till the taxi came.
On my second day I did a wine tour through the wine region of Paarl. I was joined by a retired german couple and a belgian university professor. The country side is gorgeous and the wine was great. A particular town called Stellenbosch caught my eye with a very big French influence. It is really tempting to wnat to buy things but I have so far resisted the temptation. I AM VERY PROUD OF MYSELF! We also went to Franshoek were Nelson Mandela was released from prison.When we returned to the hotel the Belgian professor asked me if I would join him for dinner at Baia, the best seafood restaurant in Cape. I was initially apprehensive but was not looking forward to dinner on my own so I thought, why not? Well it was an intersting night....... the food was great. Lobster, prawns, fish, logostines, the lot for $61 AUS. But the company was hard hard work!!!!! When the food arrived all difficult conversation stopped and the professor focused on eating. I was relieved to have time to think up some more questions and conversation. He asked me to join him
the next night but I politely refused.
On the third day I went to Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years. The size of his cell is unbelievable. Our tour guide was also a x prisoner of Robben Island and he had some fascinating stories. The political prisoners were kept isolated form the rest of the common prisoners for fear that they would persuade others to join their cause. But they still found ways to communicate with each other via a tennis ball. They would cut a slit in the ball, write a message on paper and put it in the ball then throw the ball over the 6m wall, like a game of tennis. It was a very moving experience going to Robben Island. The 'black' prisoners were treated so differently to white and coloured prisoners. They were only allowed half the food, water and time out of the cell to the other prisoners. Black prisoners were never given any bread either.
After I returned form the Island I jumped on a bus and went to Table Mountain. I call this 'the facing my first fear stage'. You get in a cable cat that
takes you to the top of the mountain and as the cable car moves the floor rotates. I was s##@% myself. But once I got to the top the view of Cape was breath taking.
I am now on my tour and have met some really cool people. There are 5 guys and 19 girls!!!!!!! We spent our first dfay on a township tour. WOW! these people appear so poor from the outside but are so so happy. They are areal community. The township we went to was called Langa. The guide told me that the government has begun building unit blocks for these people but they don't want to leave the community they love. Instead, when they are given a unit to rent they find tenants themselves, raise the rent and remain in the township while they make money form the rent. We visited and illegal water hole and I tasted their beer. Strong stuff! Then we went to a township restaurant and ate chicken and prok mixed with a large amount of flies!!!
We have spent the last week doing lots of driving and are now in Namibia. Two nights ago we camped in the middle
of the desert, the middle of nowhere. it was awesome. We told ghost vstories around the camp fire. We went to the sossuss desrt and an excellent guide who was a character in himself took us through the life of a bushman in the desert. Gosh, I learn't so much that there is too much to write. That's some stories for when I get back. It was BOILING!!!!
Yesterday my life changed. I skydived. Yep that's right I jumped out of a plane Wow! words can not explain the feeling. I still can't believe I did it. I don't think I have ever swore as much. Anyway hopefully I will get to show you the DVD. I have so much to tell you all and not much time. We only get to internet cafes every couple of weeks. So this is is a little snippet of what is going on in my life.
There are more photos below