A full day of free time was an unexpected but very welcome start to our days in Cape Town, and rest assured that we made the most of it! We defied jet lag on September 9 with an 8:00 am self-established departure time, anxious to get going but with no clear destination in mind. Through a rather comical combination of Ardy’s guidebook (only one out of six people actually brought a guide book…I’d judge, except I wasn’t the prepared one), Ardy’s cell phone (okay so we would have been totally lost without the California guy) and the knowledge (and extreme patience!) of our driver Gladman, we saw Cape Town one step at a time.
Fortunately for everyone, those steps unfolded in a rather logical, mapped-out way that didn’t require too much criss-crossing around town. If I could do it again, I would have started with the half-day township tour…but we didn’t learn about that until the end of our Cape Town stay (shame on guidebooks, by the way, for not advising visitors to start with a reality check on how thousands of Cape Town residents live their lives outside of the glitzy shops and waterfront restaurants).
First stop: Hout Bay. We arrived earlier than the tourists so avoided the mass commercialism of the place – craft booths and t-shirt sales didn’t start until we were leaving. It was cold and drizzly but since the seals didn’t mind I decided I didn’t either. They’re just as entertaining as they are at Sea World, without any commands or even incentive, since none of us had packed raw fish in our bags for the day.
Seal, not shark!