Archive for Cape Town 2009

Cape Town day 3

We were supposed to be sailing out to Robben Island today but it was too windy and the boats were confined to the harbour. By a happy coincidence, Cape Town is the home to the largest mass-participation bike event in the world when 35,000 riders take on the Argus cycle challenge around the Cape Peninsula. The finish was right by our hotel and the roads were closed all day. The main route is about 110km and attracts all-comers much like the London Marathon. Even more excitingly, there is a professional bike race during the week (Giro del Capo) which ended today using the same route as everyone else. The professionals set off at around 6.30am and finish before most of the amateurs are even underway. This year was dangerously windy on the route with gusts of up to 130kmh which slowed most people down and allowed the fastest amateurs and racing tandems to almost catch the pros. For the record, Barloworld dominated the race and should be riding the Tour de France again this summer.

Robbie Hunter gets pipped on the line:

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Cape Town day 2

Guess what – it was really hot again today! Since it is now the weekend, we headed for the beach. After a quick drive over the hill behind the hotel, we set out to explore Camps Bay and Clifton.

Even the beach huts are pretty spectacular:

and further down towards Cape Point, they even have penguins!

Sunburnt? Moi?  That’s a healthy glow!

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Cape Town views

The Robin Hood Primary School/Creative Partnerships ultimate field trip got off to a poor start when we were stuck on the plane at Amsterdam airport for two hours before take-off. By the time we arrived in Cape Town it was 2 in the morning and we had spent 13 hours on the one plane. Fortunately the car hire place was still open and we had a simple drive in to the city on deserted roads. The hotel is the lap of luxury – well done to Anne-Marie and Bright Space for finding this little gem in amongst the huge corporate hotels. We are very central and close to the Waterfront and Green Point visitor areas. From my windows I can see the new Green Point football stadium being constructed for the World Cup next year. Looks like it should be finished on time!

The weather is scorching, about 38 degrees the first day. We wandered down to the Waterfront area which is transformed from the working docks in to a huge tourist trap of shops, cafes, bars and hotels. The highlight down here is the aquarium. It’s similar to all the sea zoos we have at home except there is the ‘two oceans’ phenomena here of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meeting. As a resulting they have everything from tropical reef fish to nasty things that live deep down in cold, dark water…

Look out behind you Elle!

Here is the very atmospheric kelp forest – perhaps this is where our mermaid lives…

Smile for the camera!

The amazing shrinking woman in frog land…

Clowning around with the clown fish:

After I had dried off and been thrown out of the aquarium, we set off for Table Mountain hoping to get up there for sunset. The sky was still clear and the weather hot as we took the car out of the city in the rush hour. It costs about £10 for a return ride in the cable car which has to be one of the best of it’s kind – the view is spectacular and the floor of the car spins as you go so that you get the full panorama. At the top it’s as flat as you hope it will be and the plantlife is very unusual and prolific.

Looking down the coast

Bas in her sensible walking shoes

We even found a tree up on the top…

… or has Elle become a giant?

and then there was the sunset:

Goodnight!

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