Friday, 8 May 2015

May 4: Wilderness to Cape Town

We puttered over to the Garden Route via the interesting Route 62, but we came back the “normal” way, via the N2. We left Wilderness at 9:30 AM and were in downtown Cape Town at 3 PM including stops for gas and lunch.

We left Wilderness after some overnight rain overnight, which enshrouded the area in morning fog that lasted until between George and Mossel Bay. Once west of Mossel Bay, it was very reminiscent of driving in southern Alberta, with vast expanses of prairie and blue sky…

Just like home
…and grain fields…

Just like home
…and mountains on the horizons, though without snow caps…

Almost like home
…and sweeping panoramas.

Almost like home 
Just like home
We stopped only for gas and for lunch. Our lunch spot…

Look carefully on the right
…featured ostriches…

Not domestic
…plus other birds.

A heron in the prairie 
Very cute, but no idea what kind of bird it is
As we got close to the coast, the merging of the moist costal air and the dry warmer plains air created a fog bank we descended into.

Blankets of moisture pushing inland 
Blankets of cloud flowing through the passes
We passed some baboons in the mountains. According to locals “they’re everywhere”.

Two on a hillside
As we got closer to Cape Town, we passed next to the shantytowns/townships – endless tin shacks that are home to thousands upon thousands of people.

There are thousands of these
Once into Cape Town, we checked into our apartment at an office in the Sea Point suburb of Cape Town, gassed and returned the car in the downtown core, then walked over to the apartment. This was the first time we actually had to carry our stuff on our backs for any distance (all of 700 m), and, for the record, it’s heavy. I’d say we have too much stuff, but so far, I’ve used everything I brought other than my bathing suit and down jacket.

Our apartment is simple, like the ones we rent in Maui. A nice living room, a kitchen, a bathroom and a bedroom. What more does a guy need?

Micro-kitchen, but otherwise, good
The view from the balcony is pretty stunning.

Hello, Table Mountain
Tomorrow, the weather isn’t supposed to be great, so we’re planning on spending the day in the town’s City Bowl area, getting acclimatized and finding stuff we need like laundry.


Today’s Africa Travel Tip: Roadside rest areas

If you’re driving in South Africa, there are roadside rest areas all over the place. They consist of a couple of picnic tables, a couple of garbage cans and 3-4 big trees to provide shade. About half of the picnic tables have thatched roofs, too, giving more shade. They don’t have washrooms.

And while you will find them every 10-30 minutes along all the major routes, they NEVER seem to be in places with views. They are always in a valley, or behind a cliff, or somehow placed as if the road engineers didn’t want you to see anything. They are ALL one-sided: there are rest areas for your lane, but you’re not allowed to enter the rest areas for the opposite lane.

On the bright side, you’re never any more than 20 minutes from one, so if you want a lunch spot, just be patient.

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