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  • Writer's pictureEric

Cape Town, South Africa: Enigmas and Dichotomies

Our way to South America has a stopover in Cape Town. First up is the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, a truly lovely place on the hills overlooking the city. It dates from the 1600’s, with remnants of trees and the layout from that time. There were also many contemporary statues throughout that are arresting and beautiful. Our late afternoon visit was perfectly timed.

We had perfect timing to visit the weekly market at The Old Biscuit Mill. So much super delicious food!! We wandered around for a few hours and enjoyed the beautiful sunshine and environment. It was like Brooklyn Flea on steroids! Crazy good mushroom "funky fungi" kebabs...

The V&A Waterfront had an excellent museum, the Zeitz MOCAA, carved out of an old grain silo. Really eclectic and well done, with provocative art.

And we finished up with some good ol’ mini golf on the waterfront. Of course Gage won…

We took a shot at hiking up to the top of the Table Mountain National Park that looms over Cape Town. We made it about 2/3 the way but the clouds that encircled us would have made it a Pyrrhic victory, and the crazy winds closed the gondola down, making it a round long trip.

So we bailed and went wine drinking! There are amazing wineries quite close to Cape Town.

We took a tour of the south of the country, Cape Point, Camps Bay and the penguins at Boulders Beach. It was stunning scenery and but so so windy! And we learned that the Cape of Good Hope is not the southern most point on the continent, which is held by it’s neighbor Cape Agulhas.

We enjoyed our short stay in Cape Town; it is inexpensive, convenient and beautiful. I even joined a yoga studio for a four day stint of yoga (which I needed desperately). But we couldn’t shake the feeling that the society was still deeply, perhaps permanently, divided. We watched the Nelson Mandela movie "Long Walk to Freedom" while In Cape Town and wished more for this country, that had conquered so much but left much to be achieved.

Next morning we are off on a 35 hour odyssey to get to Buenos Aires. We decided to take the longer route on Emirates so we could rest part of the way through. It ended up being a wise choice - we used miles and upgraded on the long Dubai - Rio portion, and sitting in business class is a great experience on this airline. Gage is now a spoiled traveler!

Next up: Buenos Aires, and moving to the Western Hemisphere!

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