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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Cape Town - Table Mountain (Oct 31st)

We got up bright and early today, around 8am, although I could have easily slept until noon! At breakfast we met Antony who is one of the owners of Blackheath Lodge and he was very helpful, giving us loads of suggestions for things to do during our stay. After breakfast we took a walk from the guesthouse to the Victoria & Albert Waterfront, via the coastal path, which took around half an hour. It was lovely to finally be somewhere warm, with blue skies and sunshine after all the rain we had in Edinburgh this summer.

The V&A Waterfront was very pleasant - lots of shops, cafes and restuarants and great views of Table Mountain.



View of Table Mountain from V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
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We had a wander round the shops, a drink in a cafe overlooking the water followed by a seafood lunch in one of the restaurants. Since it was a beautiful clear day we decided to take advantage of the fine weather and took a trip to Table Mountain.
We took a taxi, which was quite amusing as throughout the whole journey the taxi driver spoke only to Stuart, never to me, always calling him "Sir". He asked if we were married and when Stuart told him we were, he told him that Wife was an acronym standing for "Washing", "Ironing", "Feeding" and "Etc". Nice! We decided to take a detour and went for a quick drive up the mountain next to Table Mountain (I forget the name). We had some great views, took a few photos and then headed for the Cable Car at Table Mountain.

View of Table Mountain, Cape Town
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It was around 3pm and there wasn't a big queue for the cable car. We got tickets (R130 return per adult) and were up at the top of Table Mountain within the following 10 minutes. The ride up to the top was very enjoyable (although not for Stuart as he hates Cable Cars!) and the floor rotated round so that everyone had a 360 degree view while going up to the summit of Table Mountain, over 1000 metres high.
Scary view from the Cable Car:

View from Cable Car going up Table Mountain, Cape Town
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The views from the top were absolutely amazing. It was a clear day so we could see for miles in all directions, over Cape Town and down towards Cape Point from various view points.



View from Table Mountain, Cape Town
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View from Table Mountain, Cape Town
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There were also lots of unusual birds and lizards roaming about at the top of Table Mountain. We spent an hour or so just wandering round, mainly on the wooden walkways, savouring the views from different directions.

Here's a photo of Stuart at the top:



View from Table Mountain, Cape Town
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And a view of Camp's Bay:



View of Camp's Bay from Table Mountain, Cape Town
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After our walk we enjoyed a cold beer from the self service cafe and then took the Cable Car back down.

Not for those afraid of heights:



View from Table Mountain, Cape Town
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We took a taxi back to Blackheath Lodge and luckily Stuart had a map and knew roughly wheree we were going as the taxi driver got lost - quite a common thing in Cape Town it seems, so it makes sense to be armed with a map and an understanding of where you are staying (if you're not in one of the big central hotels).
In the evening we went back to the V&A Waterfront for dinner. Unfortunately it was really busy (8pm on a Wednesday night) and we didn't have a reservation so we spent quite a while wandering round trying to find a place we liked the look of that wasn't fully booked. We ended up in a Portuguese restuarant, which wouldn't have been my normal choice but it turned out to be lovely. I had some bread and chorizo, followed by a very tasty king prawn Goan curry. Stuart ordered Chorizo in red wine sauce for a starter, which was absolutely massive followed by tuna skewers with enough tuna to feed a family of four!

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