Karen and I, had decided that we would use the same driver who took us around Cape Town last year. We intended to do some scenic driving before visiting a vineyard for lunch and then try for a trip up to the top of Table Mountain before returning to the ship.
With 2 guests accompanying us, off we set. A drive along the coast road to the west of Cape Town, taking in Sea Point, Camps Bay and then to Hout Bay. During the time of the first settlement by the Dutch, this bay, a lovely, sheltered natural harbour, was seriously considered as the place where they would be based. However, they were concerned that the pesky British and French could sneak in there without giving them much warning; Table Bay, on the other hand, had peaks from which a vigil could be kept and they would have enough time to prepare themselves.
The towns and villages that we passed now had their anglicised English names from the original Dutch, for example, Camps Bay was original De Kempe’s farm and so it goes on.
A small market was taking place in Hout Bay and while the women shopped L, coffee in hand, I wandered for some photos.
On the dock was a gentleman sitting on one of the fenders over the dock; curious I wondered what he was doing, it must be something to do with the 2 seals which were in the water next to him, surely? He put a strip of fish in his mouth (??) and leant over the water; the seal closed in and with an enormous leap plucked the fish out of his mouth; rather him than me and, of course, the inevitable bowl for a donation was passed around.
We passed Simonstown Naval base, on our way to a penguin colony nearby.
A nice walkway took one over the dunes and down towards the beach, where we found a colony of several hundred of these creatures.
Then, onto Steinberg vineyard, originating in 1642 as a farm, it was now a bustling enterprise. As is the norm with these vineyards, there was tasting, an excellent restaurant and the stainless-steel vats of wine clearly visible through glass. I know from way back from the 70’s that South African wine is superb and superb value for money. Europe is very familiar with it, the U.S. not quite as much, however if you’re lucky enough to find a source, try it and you won’t be disappointed.
So, after a superb lunch of fresh mussels in a cream and garlic sauce, we set off for Table Mountain.
Although I have been to the summit many times, Karen has not. Last year we were beaten by rain and cloud, this year it was wind, the cable-car was closed and so, after a great day, we returned to the Amsterdam.
The last of our VIPs departed at 3 a.m. this morning, the festivities complete and soon we lave for Walvis Bay, 720 miles to our north.