Posted by: tim ellis | September 16, 2006

Shongololo Dune Express – Tuesday 29th August

Rain this morning – but Petra says that things could be very different on the other side of the mountain and a last minute phone call reveals that the cable car is running so we set off to table mountain (Olivier driving our bus). There are just 3 of us going up (and I am the only one not from California!) it is quite chilly so Mark buys a warm jumper (when we get to the bottom he discovers they are cheaper down there). We also have a shower of hail so we just do a short walk before returning back down. Mark takes off his new jumper – he should just have hired it!

From table mountain we head for cape fort – the oldest building in the cape. We have a guided tour from Sasa (which includes being shut in the dungeon with the lights off) then a quick look at one of the three museums (I opt for the military museum but am competing with a school party) before the daily ceremony of the key and firing of the signal gun (which is somewhat smaller than we were expecting).

The next stop is the Diamond works (a diamond “always” works!) where we get free champagne but surprisingly no real hard sell – from there to the waterfront for lunch – it is raining when we arrive so Jackie, Karin & I opt for the nearest restaurant – a Bavarian place that advertises its own beer… The rain has stopped when we leave so (once the swing bridge is back in place) we have a quick look at the mall (it’s a mall!) before returning to the bus to visit the Bo-Kaap museum & brightly coloured houses of the Bo-Kaap district followed by the company gardens. At first I think the highlight here will be the exotic ‘English Oak’ from North Africa but then looking for the source of bird song I spot a cape white eye which is constantly hiding behind branches . I lose it when it flies off but hunting for it I spot something much larger – An African goshawk which is much better placed for a picture.

We drive back through ‘district six’ (cleared during apartheid) and traffic arriving back at 6 p.m.

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