We chose to spend our second Christmas away from home in the cosmopolitan city of Cape Town. Overlooked by Table Mountain, there’s plenty to do to keep us busy.
We took a trip to Robben Island, the archaic prison island where Nelson Mandela and the other anti-apartheid political prisoners were held under incredibly harsh conditions. Today the prison is a National Heritage site where former political prisoners conduct the tours.
Our guide was held for eight years after being betrayed by a traitor to the ANC cause. Like Nelson Mandela himself, there is no bitterness in the stories we hear – just facts. It is a fascinating story.
You get to the Island from the Victoria & Albert Waterfront – a fabulous array of shops and restaurants. Here we found Nobel Square – where there are statues of South Africa’s four Nobel Peace Prize winners – Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, FW De Klerk and the lesser known Nikosi Albert Luthuli.
Christmas Eve and we visited Stellenbosch, the renowned wine region. We tasted some excellent reds and whites and purchased a couple of good bottles – one for tomorrow and one for another night.
Christmas Day we met up with Dave the biker, a Brisbane bloke we met at BMW Hillcrest near Durban, for a ride to the Cape of Good Hope. It seemed like a good thing to do. On Christmas Day last year we were at the very bottom of South America. And Christmas Day this year we are at the very bottom of South Africa.
Boxing Day and we catch up with Dave again and ride to Hout Bay. It’s bloody hot and the beaches so crowded you could probably get a piece of water the size of a postage stamp to yourself. We enjoyed a lobster lunch instead of a swim!
December 27 and it’s time to hit the road. There are a few ‘must dos’ on our Southern African list and one is Victoria Falls – a bloody long way away in Zambia. We have several big days ahead of us to get to Botswana, our main stop on the way, where we want to go on safari.
We spent a night at Fraserburg at the Kliphaus Colonial Inn. It was an interesting night talking to the owner, Ronel, about the ‘new’ Africa and some who still yearn for the old times.
The road out of Fraserburg was dirt – sometimes good…
And it is the wet season so we had to expect patches like this…
Our last stop in South Africa is Mafikeng where the bike is yet again centre stage.