South Africa - Round The World Tour 2003 Day 33

Cape Town

Monday 14th April

Much to tell about today but very little time to tell it in since the laptop power adapter has packed up and the current battery has less than twenty minutes of power left in it. By all accounts, this is a major catastrophe, as without the power adapter, we will soon have no laptop. With no laptop, we cannot unload our digital cameras and I cannot write my journal entries each night. Luckily, there is an Apple computer retail centre here in town but as to whether they have a spare power adapter in the store or not is still up for grabs. We will find out tomorrow, as this will be the first order of business for the day.

Still feeling some ill effects of her minor ailment, I took Sandy to see another doctor today. All is well and she was prescribed a few more drugs. The whole visit, including examination, prescription drugs and lab work, cost around R400. Not to worry as the insurance will cover it all (I hope).

We finally tackle Table Mountain today. It looms majestically over everything here and it was only a matter of time before we forked over the R95 per person charge to take a ride to the top of it on the cable car. The views from atop are outstanding and we stayed up there until sundown, along with a hundred or so other tourists. We picked a spot close to the edge and where nobody could obstruct our view and we silently watched as the huge ball of fire slowly dipped below the horizon. It was a fantastic show and everyone clapped after the last ray of bright orange light finally disappeared from view. It was truly one of those magical, romantic moments. The mad rush of everyone clambering for a place in the queue to board the cable car back down the mountain swiftly interrupted this, however. So much for romance!

We accomplished a lot today. We went back to the travel specialist to pay the remaining R5000 or so for the first leg of the organised tour from Cape Town to Victoria Falls. After reading through the printout of the trip itinerary that they gave us, we came to the realisation that we would need to take sleeping bags with us. I hate last minute, unexpected surprises and this was a bit of a blow. As it happens, we have the option of renting the sleeping bags (and sleeping mats) for R8 per day per person. Although this isn’t much, it adds up over the course of five weeks for the two of us so we decided to buy our own anyway. We found a couple of nice sleeping bags at a nearby department store and this will add to the weight and bulk of everything else we are taking with us.

Just down the road from the travel specialist is the office for Nomad, the company through which the second leg of our tour is arranged. We spoke at length with the woman behind the desk about the tour itself and she was very informative. As a result of speaking with her, we are now also considering lengthening our trip by including another eleven days or so of continual travel through Tanzania and up into Kenya – probably with the same company and probably with the same truck even. The reason for doing this is to include the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro crater into our Africa schedule. As was the case with all the other places we want to visit, trying to arrange these destinations on our own was going to be a logistical nightmare and we probably would have ended up spending a lot more doing so. At the end of it all, we will definitely be able to say that we ‘did’ Africa well and truly.

Another highlight of the day was a stroll through the market stalls in the middle of the city. We added to our collection of curio purchases with a carved walking stick, a small canvas painting, some wooden bowls and a collection of carved ‘big five’ animals. Tomorrow we ‘have’ to send them home.

Other things that we ‘have’ to do tomorrow include checking out of our backpackers place and checking into a new place that is close to the departure point for our tour that commences the following morning. We also have to surrender the car and cell phone tomorrow so the fun will then really begin. And, of course, I ‘must’ do everything physically possible to secure a new power supply for the laptop. I shudder to think of the consequences of not achieving that particular goal.