Farewell Cape Town

St. James, South Africa

Our last few days in Cape Town included a morning hike on the spine of mountains that runs down the middle of the cape peninsula for some amazing views. Breathtaking scenery!

A dinner party for 19 at our villa almost filled the dining room table. Friends of friends gathered on Friday night to reconnect and meet “the Canadians”. It was interesting to hear the locals talk about the new South Africa. While they try to be hopeful and supportive of the ANC government as it learns to govern, there are grave concerns about the future. Racial tension and inequality, corruption and inefficiency, poverty and lack of opportunity, to name a few, are some of the challenges.

Joyce, the domestic help at the villa, lives with her grand-daughter Lashela in a cottage at the back of the main house. She cheerfully washes our many dishes every morning, cleans the mess we have made in the kitchen, tidies the house, and cares for 5 yr old Lashela. We find ourselves wondering what Joyce thinks about these challenges and how life is for her post-apartheid.

Saturday was a day for shopping in the nearby village of Kalk Bay, reading by the pool and then out for a final dinner at the Harbour House restaurant, complete with sea lions lounging on the rocks just outside the window by our table.

The walk home was a lesson in how fortunate we are to live where we do. I had gone a bit ahead of the group in order to get out of the wind as we left the restaurant, causing the locals in our group to chase me down and ream me out for being out alone on the street after dark. Our plan to stop at a bank machine was thwarted by warnings that we risked being held up at gun or knife point. It was not a relaxing after-diner stroll as we hurriedly made tracks for our gate.

Sunday morning as we had our last breakfast on our sunny verandah and began saying our goodbyes, a baptism was taking place in the tidal pool across the road. An optimistic and grounding final picture of Cape Town.

Sunday afternoon we flew to Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, where I write this from now. We’ve settled into our B & B, had dinner at Joe’s Beer House and are preparing to hit the road tomorrow in a 4-wheel drive truck. Two weeks with a map to guide us through mostly desert country.

In addition to the photos here, there are more in the slide show below. Craig is amazed I’ve been able to pare down from the hundreds in my iPhoto library. Enjoy!

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