Thursday, November 30, 2023

South Africa Part II

Today was all about touring the Cape of Good Hope. We set off in the morning and first stop after a great drive on the coast road was at Chapman’s Peak overlooking Hout Bay. We bought some overpriced souvenirs and then headed for the Cape.

Chapman’s Peak.

The Cape of Good Hope is the most south western point in Africa. Apparently it got its name from sailors who when they reached this point we’re hopeful that they had left the Atlantic behind and were headed into the Indian Ocean.  There’s not really that much to see here, but is is cool to be at one of the great landmarks in the world. There were a lot of tourists like ourselves queuing to get the photo opportunity at the sign. We also had a treat to see some baboons on the road from the safety of our car!

We’re here!

Not too far away is Cape Point where the lighthouse is. This again is a major tourist spot and has a lovely path with great views up to the lighthouse. We are approximately 10,000 kilometres from Dublin at this point which is possibly the furthest ever I have been from home.

Cape Point.

At the top of Cape Point.

After the breath-taking scenery of the Cape, we headed to visit the African Penguin colony at Boulder’s Beach. They pretty much do a lot of standing about, and are probably wondering what all the weird creatures called humans were doing. It was time for late lunch at Bertha’s Restaurant in nearby Simon’s Town. It’s thirsty and hungry work being a tourist! A really enjoyable day seeing the sights of this part of South

Boulder’s Beach.

Cheers from Simon’s Point.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

South Africa Part I

This week is my first time ever in South Africa for a visit to Cape Town and its surrounding areas. After an 11 hour flight from London I met Roma in her hotel after she had spent a week volunteering with the Mellon Educate crew. We went down to Camp’s Bay for a light lunch where we had wonderful tasty sushi at the Paranga waterfront restaurant. Not a bad start for my first day in Africa! We went for a wander on the beach and dipped our toes into the very cold water. It was strange to see a packed beach with almost no one in the water - it is a feature here that the water is colder in the summer compared to winter as the stiff wind blows the warm surface water away.

On Camp’s Bay Beach.

For the evening we went to the Cape Town Waterfront area which was a hive of activity. A first for me was to eat springbok served on a skewer at the Karina restaurant. Despite having to send it back to be heated up a bit, it was delicious. We caught the end of the Leinster-Munster rugby game in Mitchell’s pub at the end of the evening.

On Sunday, my first full day, we took the Hop-on Hop-off bus to see the city. First stop was Table Mountain. The cable car up to the top is fantastic - it revolves so that you can see all views. We had a clear day and could see some fantastic views from the top of the mountain. This is a must-not-miss experience and I loved every minute of it. Another first for me was having a beer at the top of a mountain!

Looking like I’ve climbed to the top of Table Mountain!

With Roma on top of Table Mountain.


We continued the bus tour and stopped off in Sea Point for lunch. At first we were a bit concerned because nobody else got off the bus at this stop, and we wondered did they know something we didn’t know! Nevertheless, we made our way to Regent Road where we found the Three Wise Monkeys restaurant, and again some delicious sushi.

Lunch at the the Three Wise Monkeys.

Our last stop on our tour was back the the Waterfront area where we did a little bit of souvenir shopping. A late evening steak at the Spur restaurant near our hotel was a great day to wrap up my first day in South Africa.

With some notable South African people.