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| march 6

We flew a South African Airways A340-600 for 15 hours and 8,467 miles on March 4 & 5 to get to Cape Town bright and early on Friday morning. Amazingly, our flight even landed a little bit early. There was so-so wine and food on the flight and some crying children, but we managed to collect a few hours of sleep here and there. Even though each seat had it's own TV screen, there were some problems with reception and our movies kept pausing and restarting. I watched 'In America' and Eric watched rugby highlights and 'Intolerable Cruelty'. I liked my movie, Eric, unfortunately, did not.

When we arrived in Cape Town, we made it through customs with no trouble at all. I wasn't sure what to claim as I was bringing in a few presents for everyone, but the guard assured me everything was just fine.

And even though I hadn't seen her in 18 years, I recognized my aunt right away. Veda wasted no time showing us around by driving north and taking us down along the west coast past Blouberg Beach and beautiful views of Table Mountain. That's me (above) posing with table mountain... the stretching felt great!

We stopped off at the Victoria and Alfred (V&A) Waterfront for some lunch at Café Sultana and a half pint of German beer at Paulaner Brauhaus. My bacon cheeseburger was wonderful and for the first time ever, I drank a green creme soda. At this point, we got to see some cape harbor seals and live music while soaking up the sun and trying to get our heads around the fact that we were now several thousand miles from home on the other side of the world. In Africa. At precisely noon while enjoying our beers, we heard a cannon go off. Veda informed us that each day at noon exactly, they fire a cannon on Signal Hill. While we were at the waterfront we also picked up some info about the Robben Island tours.

Our trek down the coast continued past Sea Point and Bantry Bay, Clifton Beach (one of the more famous beaches to be seen in Cape Town) and Koeebaai. The Hout Bay marina was our next pit stop to pick up some smoked snoek and laugh at the silly seagulls stalking the restaurant patrons. We learned that Chapman's Peak had just been reopened in December after several years of repair. The bad thing is that you now have to pay R20 ($3) each way to take the pass from Hout Bay to Noordhoek. That's one scenic and expensive toll road.

Next, we stopped off at a peaceful place in Noordhoek called Monkey Valley for a glass of red wine. Along the way, my sunglasses screw fell out, so we dropped by the Longbeach Mall to get them fixed. The store graciously offered to fix them for free and to celebrate, I bought a rainbow belt for R10 ($1.65).

After picking up some fresh vegetables at a roadside stand, we got home to Kommetjie, unpacked and I took a nice loooong shower. Eric downloaded our first round of photos, then we were off to pick up Cody at the Simon's Town yacht club. Veda and I had another glass of red wine each and Eric had his first Savannah dry cider with a wedge of lemon. (This would be habit by the end of our trip). We caught up on family stuff and generally got to know one another.

While we were out, Doug started preparing a braai (wood burning grill) of boerewors (sausage) and lemon chicken with garlic bread. Yum.

Cody loved the Georgia T-shirt we got for him and immediately started playing 'Call of Duty' after many thank yous. Since he had a friend sleeping over, I getthe feeling he didn't get to play as much as he would have liked. The adults watched a little MTV and then headed for bed around 11:30pm.

main index | march 6