Sunday, April 5, 2009


SATURDAY, APRIL 4, 2009 – 86/58 – CAPE TOWN

Today, our goal is to tour the east side of False Bay and then drive up into the wine growing region, northeast of the city. We head out N2 about 40km past the airport where we turn south on R44 to Simon’s Town. On our drive, we get our first good look at one of the “Townships” where much of the black population lives. The conditions appear to be appalling with shelter limited to scraps of wood and tin nailed together. There is some evidence of electricity but we do not see how there can be water and sewer service in those areas. (More later on this.)

Once south of Gordon's Bay, the population decreases and it is a very pretty drive down to Pringle Bay. The coast is quite rugged
And the road, very well built and maintained, is cut into the cliff face in many places. Pringle Bay and other small settlements appear to be summer/beach home communities as opposed to places with more than a few full time residents.

The we then turn northward and cross N2 at Botrivier. There always seems to be foot traffic. We think we will drive over the Pass to the wine country here, but the road turns to a dirt track and we think better of the plan and back track on N2 to Grabouw.We drive through some fairly high and rugged country and then over Sir Lowry's Pass and down into the pretty village of Franschhoek (this mean The French Corner).While having lunch in a local pub,we hear Afrikaans, French and English spoken; all together, out of the same mouth in the same sentence! French Huguenot families originally settled the town in 1694. Carolyn stops to take photos of a Dutch Reform Church built in 1847.After Franschhoek, we stop at the Boschendal Manor House (P70252), built in 1812, and take the brief tour (R10 each). The house contains many original pieces dating to the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. After Boschendal, After Boschendal we make our way to Stellenbosch, the center of the wine growing region and a university town with avenues lined with trees planted in 1685. This is the historical cradle of Afrikaans culture. The town was founded in 1679. It is after 2:00PM and many of the shops close at 1:00PM on Saturday. However, we do find Traumerei Art and Gift Shop open and, here; a small, cast bronze of a Massai woman cradling her child calls to Carolyn. The piece is named: “Mlazi”, which means “In loving arms.” We purchase the piece and arrange to have it shipped home. Since we are shipping the piece out of the country, we get a rebate of the VAT and this pays for the shipping. We promise to send Ursula, the lady who waited on us, a photo of the piece in our home and a photo of the cloth sculpture of an Indian woman on horseback craddling a baby we obtained in New Mexico many years ago.
After Stellenbosch, we drop down to the N2 and head into Cape Town, taking some photos of the “township” housing mentioned above.
Tonight, we have dinner at Il Leone, an Italian Restaurant that comes highly recommended and which promises to have the AC on. We arrive at 7:00PM and the AC is not on but they turn it on for us, their first guests of the evening. Dinner is quite good. Carolyn had pasta carabonara and Dick has veal picatta. This, along with a bottle of Chianti Reserva makes for a pleasant end to the day.

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