It was officially time for an adventure. We met with our tour manager from GRJ, Angie at terminal 5, and made our way through to departures.
Our evening flight with BA went smoothly and before we knew it we were landing in Cape Town Tuesday lunchtime. We had a chilled afternoon, round the pool of the hotel we were staying in and a few drinks, getting to know our fellow travel buddies.
There were 20 in our group, along with our tour manager who made it 21. We were travelling for our 8th time with Great Rail Journeys, and this time were following a fairly new itinerary that would take in Cape Town, The garden route, Pride of Africa train, Botswana and Victoria falls.
Our first evening was spent as a group at the waterfront where we enjoyed a delicious meal in the fish market. We both had the Cape Malay curry, a traditional dish for the area, and it was absolutely Devine. Washed down with some local white wine, the sun was shining, it was warm- we couldn’t have been happier to be away!
The next day, it was time to cross our fingers for clear weather. We were hoping to get up Table Mountain. Luckily the weather gods obliged and we were lucky enough to enjoy brilliant views across the water and also across the Cape Peninsula. It was magnificent. We had plenty of time to enjoy the wonderful views and I really can’t think of a better way introduction into South Africa.
From table mountain, we went to Signal hill and then into Greenmarket Square for lunch and a browse round the souvenir stalls.
Then we went for an orientation tour on the coach and a walk around the gardens behind the parliamentary buildings and Company’s gardens. We also spent some time in Cape Malay Bocamp- the most colourful street you could imagine- and once home to the Malaysian migrants.
We learnt from our local guide, Omar about his heritage which came from this area, and really enjoyed admiring the colourful buildings here.
The evening was spent having a fabulous African supper along with a talk by Angie’s friend Ken, a white South African who has lived here his whole life. He talked to us about his life here as white South African and the group found the talk extremely interesting indeed.
The next day and it was time to embark on a coach tour of the cape peninsula. Wow, the views were incredible. The coastal route really was spectacular- it’s no surprise to learn about the international cycle race that takes place on this 100km route.
We made a couple of photo stops, but our first official stop was at the Cape of Good Hope. The most south westerly point of the continent of Africa. It was windy, but the scenery was dramatic.
We took the funicular railway up to the lighthouse and enjoyed views over both the Indian and Atlantic Ocean.
From here we went to a terrific restaurant and enjoyed lunch with a great sea view. Fresh fish, crisp cold beer and white wine, it was just perfect.
After a leisurely lunch, we went to Boulders beach, where we got to see the penguins. Lots of them! They’re wonderful cheeky little chappies, and we really enjoyed the walkway which enabled us to get more good views. We even saw an African rock rabbit, which I’d never heard of but we enjoyed watching him for a while!
On our return to Cape Town some of us took a taxi back down to the waterfront where we enjoyed another corker of a meal, overlooking the harbour and with a beautiful sunset. We even saw a few dolphins and seals.
There was much more in Cape Town that we’d like to have seen – such as the District 6 museum, but sadly our time in Cape Town had come to an end- it was time to move on to a new area.
Stay tuned for more…
Until next time