Cape Town, January - February 2010
Now that Blue Sky is back in the water at Hout Bay it was time to get play tourist and relax. Granny and Grandpa B-Q booked a great two bedroom apartment in The Lagune resort that overlooked Table Bay with a view of Table Mountain and Cape Town.  The hotel had three swimming pools and was located right on the beach.  Having sundowners on the balcony a whale treated us to a show, watching him breech just off the beach, top right. When the wind blows in Cape Town, it blows, it was spectacular watching the water blow off the tops of the waves, thankful we were not out at sea.

Previously I wrote about rounding the Cape of Good Hope seaward of Bellows Rock.  Here is a picture (left) from land that shows the boil coming off the rock.  Driving around
Chapman's Peak Road, we experienced beautiful views of Hout Bay, below.  Ruth, Drake, Emma, Phoebe and Ed are pictured at Cape Point with a view of False Bay behind them.  The family poses in front of the Cape of Good Hope sign proclaiming the longitude and latitude.
To the left is a photo of Nelson Mandela's cell located on Robben Island, where he served 27 years in confinement, starting in 1964.  We took a ferry to this austere island, which was once connected to the mainland many years ago.  Since the Dutch settled at the Cape the island has primarily been used as a prison.  It was also used as a hospital and leprocy colony, where the graves are pictured above.   All the guides are ex-prisoners and ours, Sipho, above left, served five years. The photo behind him is the last boat leaving Robben island with the last of the freed prisoners.  The political and common law prisoners were put to hard labor in the rock quaries surrounding the island, with no protection from the elements.  Causing long term eye, lung and skin problems.  The gloomy surrounding of the island brought on a feeling of despair for the past inhabitants.  The present day residents, a nesting penguin, can live in peace and tranquility, with no knowledge of the cheerless past. 
Approximately ten kilometers down the road from our hotel, lives my cousin, Liz and her family.  The last time I saw her was in England when we were children.  She moved to South Africa with her family soon after, her father was my mom's brother.  Enjoying the sunset on the beach, the children play with their dog Lily.  Relaxing at their home, we were treated to potjiekes pot, a South African type of dutch oven, where you slow cook a stew like meal over the fire.  The photo below shows the finished meal.
Above Phoebe and Drake pose with Table Mountain behind them on a spectacular calm day.  Touring the old fort or Castle of Good Hope, which was built by the Dutch East India Company between 1666 and 1679 to defend the city and as a maritime replenishment station.  It is the oldest surviving colonial building in South Africa. The octagonal shaped building is home to museums explaining the history of Cape Town. 
To celebrate Ruth's birthday Paul and Liz suggested we experience dinner at Moyo. Located at the winery Spier, bedouin tents and gazebos are placed around the gardens to create an atomosphere of an African village. Waterfalls are created like art work and marshmellows are ready for the taking.   Treated to a vast amount of African food while being entertained by performers on stage playing cultural music.  Members of the staff paint your face with artistic simbles of local villages.  Liz had arranged a babysitter for the children so we could all enjoy the late evening with no distractions. 
Our friend Erik races on a yacht called Addis in Cape owned by his friend Alex.  Alexs' partner is the founder of Ethiopean restaurant, Addis in Cape, in the heart of Cape Town. Senait Mekonnen, pictured above with Phoebe and Tenille, prides herself with the authentic atmosphere and genuine Ethiopean furniture.  The meal was truely a culinary experience, with rich flavors using a variety of herbs and spices.  The food is served on a unique woven basket, which is shared communally.  All the different dishes are placed on top of a type of sour dough pancake.  Using your hands as utensils, the injera, or sour dough, is used to scoop up the flavorful stews.  Colleen, Erik's wife, Emma and Shelia, Colleen's mom, are pictured above.  This was truely a memorable evening in such a unique and peaceful location, with friends and family.
Ruth and Ed Byrne-Quinn above, Phoebe and Jess below
Liz, Jessica, Emma, Drake, Jim, Ruth, Phoebe and Ed
Jessica, Phoebe, Lily and Drake
Paul and Liz de Beer above, and their son Alex plays in the sand
Paul, Liz, Ed, Ruth and Emma
Mom and daughter
Marshmellows ready to roast
Face art on Ed
Emma's face painting
Every morning we would wake up and look at Table Mountain to see if there was a table cloth on it.  We were eager to go up the cable car, but if the clouds covered the mountain, the cable car would be closed.  Finally our day arrived.  The views from the top are stunning.  There are trails winding around the top, and as it is flat it is easy to navigate.  For the adventurous you can hike up the mountain, if you do this, a common practice is to hop over the turn-stile for a free ride down.  The parks floral biodiversity is only found in this region, consisting of fynbos, meaning fine bush.  Fynbos have four plant groups and on table mountain some may be endemic to an area of only a few kilometers.

Ruth and Edwards South Africa visit was nearing the end.  We packed in busy days of sight seeing and fantastic evening meals.  With the last few days of their visit we slowed our pace down and used our time together to relax and prepare for both their huge plane flight home and our impending departure from the Cape Town area.
The peak of Lion's Head and the Atlantic Ocean.
The new FIFA stadium
Phoebe, Ruth, Drake and Ed in a cloud
The city of Cape Town and the Port
The lagoon located next to our hotel
Hout Bay from Table Mountain, if you look close you may find Blue Sky.
The Mather family.

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