Monday, January 31, 2022

We love Cape Town! But should we?


This is not a great 'ussie' (plural of selfie), but we always forget to take pictures of ourselves so we publish the picture we have, not the one we want. Hout Bay.

We haven't met one cruiser who doesn't like Cape Town. This is a rarity because we're all different and not everyone likes the same things. The folks that love the remote islands with villagers that come to trade don't always like bars and restaurants that mark the more populated areas and vice versa.

Climbing Lion's Head. Table Mountain in the background.

Cape Town has it all. The ocean and mountains provide a stunning backdrop to the well-planned city and surrounds. The restaurants are affordable and top-notch. It's easy to drink too much of the locally produced wines, with easily accessible vineyards and reasonably priced bottles. Our cruising friends back home can't needle Matt about being stuck with bad beer (you know who you are). The people are warm and friendly.

Seaforth Beach penguin colony

It's not perfect, of course. The V&A is sheltered from the many homeless and poor, but they are just outside--in make-shift shelters and holding up signs in traffic and they're in the 'Townships'. The area is not crime-free, though it's hard to gauge how it compares to, say, Chicago. Even just outside the V&A there are many business who will only accept electronic payments to avoid having cash on hand and most residences and business complexes are surrounded by secure fences with barbed and/or electrified wire.


And as much as I have enjoyed our time here, it doesn't really feel like we are cruising. Cape Town has provided us a cocoon of ease and luxury after years of being out of our comfort zone in some way. We have had Perry parked in a marina in single place, don't have to put our dinghy up and down, can speak English (the lingua Franca here), are able to walk to grocery stores that stock any food we want, and have a plethora of entertainment options (restaurants, parks, shopping, hiking, vineyards). Conrad has been able to make good use of the shore power and Internet here.

The colorful houses of Bo Kaap (previously The Malay Quarter)

Dungeons in Hout Bay can be a world-class surf break when the conditions are right (usually during the Winter months).

We have met several boats who are just starting their cruising adventures. The Robertson and Caine factory and several other boat builders are here and the docks near our boat are lined with shiny new cats whose owners or crew are busy preparing to leave. Their excitement and energy is a bit infectious. Living in this world-class, yet affordable-to-us city is in some ways a dream come true, but the urge to push on and to be closer to our families is bubbling to the surface. Weather permitting, we will leave for Namibia in about a week. After Namibia, we plan sail to St. Helena, Ascension Island, and Trinidad (to fix the paint marred by the concrete wall in Galle Harbour). There's a lot of ocean to cover between here and there.

Workers leaving the vineyards at Groot Constantia

The old Ford in question (see the bottle of Port pictured below)

Eikehof Wynes (Eike is Dutch for oak)

An Eikehof Wynes ostrich

Part of the Chef's tasting menu at Protégé Restaurant

Grand Provence Heritage Wine Estate

'Sabrage' demonstration at Haute Cabriere. Another use for our machete.

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