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Published: July 17th 2019
As the morning began, we expected to make a short tour into the Stellenbosch wine country and then visit Robben Island. Upon arrival in Stellenbosch, we took in the sight of goats frollicking at the Fairview Winery. There was a tower with a goat walk that escalated around it. We had never seen a goat playland before. This one even included a bridge over the road that led to a goat condo. The goat commune consisted of several 1-2 year olds and a goat father who was at least 15 years old. It was really something.
Before actually entering Fairview we got some very unfortunate news. Due to expected high winds that would effect wave swell, our scheduled trip to Robben Island had been cancelled. This was a huge letdown as following Mandela's experience was the litchpin of this trip, including the readings many of us completed. Booh. Our guide offered, as an alternative, that we could visit the prison from which Mandela was released in 1992, Drakenstein Correctional Facility, located in Franschoek (French Corner).
So, the rest of the day was spent driving around the country outside of Cape Town, visiting wineries, tasting our new South African favorite,
Pinotage, a hybrid of Pinot and Heritage wines.
We arrived at Drakenstein only to find that Mr. Jacobs, the only authorized tour guide, had taken his wife to the doctor and was unavailable. So, the best we could do was take in the statue of Mandela and some informational placards outside the prison gate. We were allowed to stand at the gate for a photo.
Next came lunch in Franschhoek at a nice cafe. We stopped back in Stellenbosch on the way home to look at the University and some historic buildings.
Thus, our last day in the Western Cape drew to a close, honestly, leaving us wanting for more. But, as good pilgrims, there is always a new destination and our determination to continue to explore the world and learn more about others and ourselves prevails.
Tomorrow it is off to Johannesburg and on to the Mmupalanga Highlands. More to come!
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