Cape Town, South Africa


Saturday, continued:

After leaving Hermanus, we head along the Coast towards Cape Town. We stopped off at Stony Point Nature Reserve to check out the penguin colony, where we saw lots of penguins and dassies, aka rock hyrax. These are all over the seafront in Hermanus, and we had thought there were coypu. Question answered!

We arrived in Cape Town in the afternoon and checked in at The Cellars Hohenort, which is in a leafy neighbourhood called Constantia, which is also home to Cape Town’s Botanical Garden.

For dinner, we went into the city for a meal at Savoy Cabbage, a recommendation from two friends. It was just off the charts. The Olive Tart, a special appetiser, is one of the greatest things I have ever eaten. Everything we had was amazing.

Throughout this trip, we took pictures of ourselves looking comically miserable on holiday, and this really kicked off when we got to Cape Town, so much so that I only have the sorts of picture of us from dinner.

Sunday:

Everyone says that Table Mountain is a must see, so we went to Table Mountain and it was a complete failure. Here is how we got it so very wrong:

  1. We arrived at 11am or so on a Sunday morning AND
  2. We wasted time looking or parking at the top, rather than just parking in the lower lots and taking the free (free!) bus ride up to the ticketing area AND
  3. We did not buy our tickets ahead of time. There is a big queue to go up to the top of Table Mountain (Mountain Queue), and there is another big queue to buy tickets (Ticket Queue) so you can join Mountain Queue. You can buy tickets online and skip the Ticket Queue, either  at home or using Table Mountains free wifi. We didn’t have our phones to hand.

Admitting defeat, we decided to head south along the Cape in our magical rental car (petrol still seemingly full), though Hout Bat, through Chapman’s Peak, and down to Simon’s Town, an old Naval harbour, which is close to the Boulders Bay Penguin Colony. We didn’t visit Boulders Bay though, as they’re basically the same penguins we saw over at Stony Point. We had a nice seafood lunch at Bertha’s, wandered around Simon’s Town, had an ice cream, and then drove to Muizenberg.

Muizenberg was recommended by an acquaintance from Cape Town because the water is pretty warm there. Unfortunately, it was a bit cold out for us, so we happily made do with a nice walk along the beach and a round of mini-golf.

For dinner, we went into town to check out Nelson’s Eye, which was recommended by the same acquaintance, who said that it was the one place he ate every time he was in Cape Town.

Nelson’s Eye was excellent. It feels more like a pub than a restaurant, and it has an unremarkable exterior. The food is delicious, the staff is welcoming, and this was yet another excellent meal where the only disappointment was that I’d not be having this meal again the next day. We powered up on steak, a specialty.  I had mine with Griardi sauce (mushroom, mustard, and capers) and Adrian went for Russian (bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes, and cheese).  For dessert, there was peppermint crisp and a marula pudding.

Monday:

Mission #1: Obtain a set of binoculars. I managed to forget to my set at home, and decided it was necessary to obtain another set ahead of our safari. This was a good decision, but I’d definitely recommend buying that sort of thing before you travel if you can. Some things are great value in South Africa, like food, and other things are better value when purchased in the US or UK, such as binoculars.

Mission #2: A second go at Table Mountain, and this one was a success. The view from the top is lovely, and there are lots of nice trails that one can walk along.

We dropped off our magical rental car on the way back so we wouldn’t have to fuss with it in the morning. its fuel meter still reading as Full.

For dinner, we ate at the hotel. Unadventurous, maybe, but we had an early start the next morning and there was a nice hotel restaurant to try out.

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