Posted by: megandnath | February 5, 2011

Cape Town

Cape Town is the mother city of South Africa and takes pride of place as the biggest jewel in its crown. The worlds first company, The Dutch East India Company, first established a base here hundreds of years ago to resupply its ships as they sailed from Europe to India carrying spices and other such treasures. The city itself sits under the watchful eye of Table Mountain, looming overhead and visible from everywhere it provides a backdrop that would make every city in the world jealous. Spreading out from the city bowl and towards the interior mountains grape vines cover the landscape making some of the worlds best wines. Jutting out southwards the cape peninsula sticks out into the Atlantic Ocean just west of where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet providing a playground for penguins, dolphins, whales and of course huge great white sharks. Not too far offshore sits the notorious Robbin Island where Nelson Mandela spent 27years in a maximum security prison.

After saying our goodbyes to the overland team, some we were happy to be rid of and others we will sorely miss, we headed to our accommodation. After 55 days on the road and living inside 4 canvas walls it was a sweet feeling walking in on an amazing place to stay that was practically all to ourselves, it wasn’t long before our gear was plastered all over the room and we were taking advantage of the endless hot water, comfy mattress, free internet and TOAST for breakfast!

We had a number of things planned and after an afternoon off recharging the batteries we were off the next morning exploring. We purchased our tickets for the hop on/off bus and first stop on the list was Table Mountain – the views from the top were stunning! Over the next 2 days we bussed, walked, shopped and ate all over the city. We also meet up with Ali and Chris, who were on the tour with us from Vic falls to Cape Town, and together we rented a car and drove around the cape peninsula for a day.

It was fantastic to do our own thing; get up when we wanted, eat what we want etc but we couldn’t help talking about the tour, where we had been, our favorite things, what we want to do again and funnily enough over the couple of days we ended up bumping into most of the others several times.

I had spent a bit of time in Cape Town 6 years ago and was interested to see how things had changed, thankfully everything seems to be moving in a positive direction, the streets are safe and clean and there is a real feeling of a vibrant happy city. Not a lot has changed but there is a noticeable difference in the number of #scruffy# people hanging about probably because they were all shipped off when the football world cup rolled in. Like any society with hugely different social classes you can almost feel the difference between rich and poor, often it is visible right in front of your face as a flash BMW drives past while some guy is begging for food and there are certain areas you would never want to go day or night but Cape Town seems to be leading South Africa’s march towards being a more democratic, equal city.

We have certainly loved every minute of it!






  1. Nathan and Megan,
    I have enjoyed reading your blog so much. Lise is in Granda Nicaragua for the month. I will join her March 5 fir thee weeks. I am keeping the home fires burniing. Rainy in Vancouver now. I refuse to put winter shoes. Continue to wear my sandals. Spring will be here before I know it. I Skype Lise every day. She is studying Spanish every day. Two days ago she met some American Doctors at a restaurant. They asked her to come to the clinic they we volunteering at and translate for them. Spent a day with them. They wanted her stay the week. She declined as she has Yoga and Spanish classes organized already. Send me an email to and I will write more.
    Sounds like 55 days was getting long. What a trip. Where are you going now? Looking forward to a short email from you. I will send you a description of a day in the life of Wayne Helfrich. Chow for now.

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