Monday, November 05, 2018

South Africa Day 3 Pt 2

Right so we are back at our hotel and in spite of the weather not being great, we pressed ahead with a visit to Table Mountain. Access is by foot or by cableway. While it was warm where we were, I knew it was a good bit colder up there, so out came the jackets. But how to get to the lower station to catch the cableway? I had seem some taxis but they did not seem too popular and I imagine you could very easily be cheated by them. We had been warned. What everyone was talking about in Cape Town was Uber. I had a bad first and only experience with Uber in Melbourne, so I was a little reluctant. I had uninstalled the app and I knew my credit card number had expired. I installed the app and discovered that in Cape Town, you can use cash to pay. Suited us. I summonsed one and immediately had a photo of the driver, the car and the car registration number.  It arrived in three minutes and up we went to the lower station for the cost of $5 for a fifteen minute trip.

I don't know where I snapped these photos. The meat is fresh and there are a lot of packages of  the meat, so it must be popular and get turned over. Get your ostrich here today.




Our quite pleasant hotel foyer. Not over the top.





Table Mountain first thing in the morning from our hotel window. Not boding well.


Lions Head.


We pressed on in spite of the sign and bought our tickets.


It was fantastic. The mists roared up the mountain, swirling this way and that. At times I think the mist formed and travelled at over 100 km/h. 



These couple of photos are from earlier in the day at Signal Hill. Love locks are not so popular in South Africa? Not a bad thing.



Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned.


Views would appear for seconds, and then be covered by mist.




Mad bastards who were walking up to Table Mountain. I have just discovered one of the Filipino men in our group walked up to the top of the mountain, with his large tripod and very long lens camera and took some really good photos.




Rocks, rocks and lots of rocks, just like in western Canada.





While I am not a religious or spiritual person, I can well imagine that local people in centuries past might have prayed to the mountain. It was mystical and omnipresent and I certainly had some illogical and non scientific thoughts about Table Mountain. I was so glad we did not see it the day before when views were clear, instead seeing it with swirling mist.


Dunno what this building is.


We had a late lunch at the cafe here within. There were excellent paved walking paths around the mountain top. No shortage of paving material.



While at times it is referred to as a rodent, it is not and genetically its closest relative is the African elephant. It is a Rock Hyrax, but better known as a Dassie. They are wide spread over the continent and quite cute, but can inflict a nasty bite to anyone who tries to hand feed them. Do not feed the dassie, said the signs, but three Indian lads ignored the signs and we were the photographic beneficiaries.


This is a red winged starling, plentiful. I later asked a bird expert who I was chatting to about the pretty black bird with reddish coppery underwings and he could not identify what the bird was by my description. I think bird people might overthink such descriptions and not go for the common and obvious.



Descending.



One of the original cars to get to the top of the mountain. We Ubered back to our hotel. 


Has Cape Town realised the futility of building freeways to relieve traffic congestion? Not once anywhere in South Africa did we come across traffic congestion. From what I saw public transport can be quite good in some places and non existant in others. 


This Ubering is really cool. We Ubered down to the V&A Waterfront for dinner for just $3.50. How did I manage to take a photo of a area buzzing even on a normal week night with barely any people in the photo? It is a skill I have. With 80 restaurants to choose from, we went for the easy option at Mitchell's Scottish Ale House. I had tapas and R had fish. It was my birthday and I told our waiter, hoping for a freebie, but she just wished me happy birthday. The weather was balmy and it was a lovely evening, on our own. No one knew it was my birthday and I thought I had gotten away with any public fuss, but Australian bureaucracy ensured that nearly a week later, I did not. R had promised me in advance that he would buy me dinner as a birthday present and he did, but out of joint money! Not fair. He owes me a dinner. 



While we had seen a bit of Cape Town, where do the rich and middle class live? We had seen a few reasonable houses, but not many really, and this is a mega city of five million people. I was to find out the next day.

32 comments:

  1. Thank you for taking us along. The mist on the mountain looks amazing.
    I really like the respect 'monument'? too.
    And a belated happy birthday to you.

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    1. EC, the mist was amazing. Thanks for the birthday wishes. One year past a significant birthday was pretty well ignored by all, which suited me just fine.

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  2. I hate a fuss on my birthday too!

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    1. Jackie, I have done my sixtieth and there will be no more.

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  3. What a wonderful experience! Sounds like the Uber rides worked out purr-fectly.
    Belated Happy Bday:)

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    1. Sandra, yes Uber there was quite purfect. Not like at home.

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  4. Oh now I am totally in love with the Dassie. I wouldn't have tried to feed it, but like you I would have been taking pictures.
    I have a handful of free things I have gotten in the last week for my birthday.Mostly free desserts or cupcakes.
    I do hope Jack will take me out someplace nice on my big day. After all, it is not every day a girl turns sixty!

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    1. Maribeth, I would like to say something positive to you about turning 60, but I cannot.

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  5. The mountain looks like a mountain, and what an experience to be able to see it misty.
    Photos are nice.
    Yes, R owes you a dinner I reckon.
    Happy Birthday for when it was.

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    1. Margaret, I've never seen anything like the mountain in the world. It was pure magic.

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  6. No mention of Biltong yet; I presume you're saving it for a full length report (it's a favourite of mine).

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    1. Cro, I know we ate it, but I forget now.

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  7. Enjoying the tour! The mists on the mountain remind me of San Francisco fog.

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    1. Walt, except I think the fogs in San Fran settle. This was fast moving mist.

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  8. Happy Birthday. You're 21 now, right? (*~*)
    I think the swirling mists add an extra dimension of interest to the mountain and your photos.

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    1. River, all I would have had to show you was fine views of Cape Town. The mist was just wonderful.

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  9. Wow! It so high up there. What fabulous views enhanced by the mist.

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    1. Diane, I did hear a height figure, but I forget. Yes, much mist enhancement of views.

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  10. The photos looking down from Table Mountain were a wee bit tummy lurching.. or is that just me 😀 Much more atmospheric images with the mist. The dassies are cute, reminded me a bit of quokkers.

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    1. Grace, yes they are a bit quokka like, and quokkas are better.

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  11. How thrilling to go on this trip with you, and I have to admit that I'm truly stunned at how cheap your trips were with Uber!!! I know he's from the elephant family, but he still looks very close to a rat(lol) dear Andrew! I'll be coming back often to check out these fabulous pictures! Hugs...RO

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    1. RO, we found everything a good bit cheaper in South Africa. Thanks.

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  12. As Grace said I also thought the Dassies looked like the Rottnest quokkas. You got great views from the mountain.
    Happy belated birthday Andrew.

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    1. The views were stunning, Sami. Thanks.

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  13. A memorable trip up the mountain. Love the misty photos and the wildlife you saw.

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    1. Marie, it was a highlight of the trip for me.

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  14. I absolutely love the photos of the mists from table mountain. And the one of the city below and the ocean with a bit of mist near Lions' Head if that is what it is, down there. What a photo, can almost feel the mists swirling.

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  15. Beautiful pictures, looks really misterious in the mist ! We had the same experience with Uber (which has a very bad reputation in Belgium) in other countries during our Northern tour. Happy birthday whenever it was ! Unfortunately it happens each year !

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    1. Yep Gattina, it is rather unfortunate that we have a birthday each year. I had a good cold look at myself in a mirror for my birthday.....and quelle horreur, I think I saw a wrinkle.

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  16. Replies
    1. Ad Rad, we thought so. They are not really afraid of humans either.

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