Friday, April 17, Day 74 - Cape Town
After a very comfortable night’s sleep, Dick is up about 6:30AM and, as promised, works on getting the blog narratives written. By the time Carolyn rolls out at 8:30AM he has them caught up and has gone on-line to proof the ones recently posted. We both make mistakes and with both of us proofing, we can hold the published ones to a minimum.
We get down to breakfast at 9:30 and it proves to be a huge buffet with eggs cooked to order. Carolyn has Eggs Benedict and Dick has Eggs Royale (Eggs Benedict with salmon!). After breakfast we get a little better organized and then call for the car.
Our plan is to drive the Chapman’s Peak/Pass road. We did not get to do that when we were here in 2009 as it was closed due to construction. This time the day is crystal clear and we make our way, with the help of the GPS to the right road and then enjoy the drive along the coast and up over the pass. By now, we have decided to repeat our trip to The Cape of Good Hope and put that in as a destination in the GPS.
We don’t remember what it cost to enter that park area last time but this time is is R220 or $18.30US. A little steep! But, we pay up and head on in. At the actual Cape, there are a pair of cute little animals attracting as much attention as the sign. You have to line up for your opportunity to take a picture with the sign. We do so and move on up to the Cape Lighthouse parking lot which is packed and we have no desire to climb up to the lighthouse itself.
We turn around and head for Simon's Town. Here there is a colony of penguins we have never visited! “What, a penguin colony we have missed after visiting them on three continents? Surely you jest!”
Yes, it is true, but Carolyn is determined to remedy our error so we find parking, pay out R70 ($5.82US) entrance fee and walk out the boardwalk to see some small penguins that look much like all the other small penguins in the world. Well maybe not, as their markings are different. They are very active going in and out of the water. There are also several babies who haven’t grown their adult feathers yet. One starts pestering his mom for food as soon as she comes out of the water.
Leaving this wonderland, we decide to have a late lunch or early supper at a restaurant by the parking lot. We are all seated and ready to order fish and chips and beer when the waitress says they can’t do any fried foods since the dreaded “Load Shedding” power outage is on for them. We had not noticed the lack of lights as it is mid-afternoon. Well, we want fish and chips or we will skip it and so we move on now much aware that all the signal lights are out. Fortunately, the natives are used to this and go into “light out = stop sign” mode and for the next 45 minutes we see no accidents despite the heavy traffic and no signal lights. Dick stops for a final fill up on the gas tank and soon thereafter the signal lights are working again and lights are on all over town.
We try one last stop before calling it a day and that is in downtown Cape Town for a crafts market. On the way there we see buses with a Cunard sign in their front window and suspect the Queen Mary II is already in town. Sure enough, we see her down in the harbor as we head into town. We are all, especially Jack, eager to get on her and be pampered for two weeks.
The craft market is closing down as we arrive so we do not even stop. It is 5PM and we are just too late for it. We head on to the hotel, turn the car over to the attendant and head inside. A little later we decide to go to the bar for a drink and some bar food that may be supper. Service in the bar is a little shaky. We think we have a new waiter but we get it all sorted out and have some fried calamari and nachos. The chef could use some serious nacho lessons but the calamari is OK, just not crisp like we like it. After two rounds of drinks and the snacks, we may make it to breakfast. We will see if room service gets a 10PM call or not.
Back in the room, we suffer through the turn down service and the housekeeping supervisor checking up on us like she did last night. Perhaps her intentions are good but she is a little obnoxious and intrusive and we could do without her nightly visits. Dick writes this entry so we are up to date on the blog and Carolyn works on pictures. We have to turn the car back into Hertz tomorrow sometime after 8AM and before we head for the ship and we need to get all our stuff organized and manageable. We have arranged for a hotel car to take us to the ship at noon and as of this writing that is only fifteen hours and twenty four minutes from now; but who is counting?!!