Cape Town by Emily Dolan ’15

After a wonderful stay in Durban, it was finally time to head to Cape Town. It was now time for Mr. Hartwell to get a chance at driving, on the “other”  side of the road,  and for Sammy to step up and become our navigator for the trip. Their first task in Cape Town was to find Acorn House, the inn where we stayed  while there. They did a great job with finding it immediately, and throughout the trip, their driving and navigating made getting places a lot easier. Our first day consisted of driving around the Cape of Good Hope, and finding some penguins along the way. Our first stop was a little coffee shop in Simons Town, and to our surprise, as soon as we stepped out of the van it started to rain. Marcus had warned us that the weather changed all the time in Cape Town! Most of that morning it rained while we were driving around, except for a few occasional moments of sunshine. While driving around later on we found a beach where you could walk around and see the many penguins that lived on the beaches there. We spent some time walking along the paths enjoying the sight of the many penguins waddling around right next to us. After our visit with the penguins, we drove around the cape, and saw the farthest point in Africa, where the two oceans, Indian and Atlantic, meet. If not for the weather,  we would have loved to spend more time there; however, it was pouring rain and freezing so it was easy to get everyone back in the van and out of there.

After our trip around the cape, we went back to Simons Town and had lunch at a small restaurant in town. After lunch the weather started to clear up, and it became warm and sunny, which gave us a great view of the ocean on our drive back to Acorn House. That night for dinner we had our first visit to the V & A Waterfront, where we ate at a traditional South African restaurant. That night at dinner some of us experienced our first time eating crocodile, which had a taste we had a hard time comprehending. After a long day we made our way back to our guest house. .

Our second day in Cape Town brought us back to the V & A Waterfront early that morning to catch a ferry to Robben Island. Robben Island is where a jail is that Nelson Mandela was kept in for many years, and the island is now used as a museum. The experience of being able to walk around a prison that was a huge part of South African history was unbelievable and gave a great insight to history. Once the tour was over,  we took the ferry back to the V & A Waterfront where we enjoyed lunch with a great view of the harbor and then went back to the guest house.  Without anything planned for the afternoon,  Mr. Hartwell took Sophie, Francois, and me to the Groot Constantia Winery and had a tour of the cellar. When we got back to Acorn House later that afternoon, we all spent some time relaxing in our rooms, and then went out to dinner at an Italian place close to the inn. At dinner some of us chose to get an ostrich burger, which was another new experience for us.

Our last day in Cape Town was spent at Table Mountain, which towers over Cape Town and has a great view at the top,  in the right weather. We spent the morning there, and Mr. Hartwell, Sophie, Francois, and I chose to hike up the mountain, which would take two and a half hours. The view from the bottom was already a beautiful sight looking down on Cape Town, and as we progressed on the hike up the mountain, it got even more beautiful. The hike was long and challenging, however was a great experience, and we felt very accomplished once we had reached the top. By the time we got to the top Mrs. Hartwell, Sammy, and Ashley had been enjoying themselves up there for a few hours since they had taken the cable car up. The view from the top was stunning;  on one side you could see the beautiful Indian Ocean, and on the other look down on the mountains and towns surrounding. After spending some time at the top of Table Mountain, we all took the cable car down and went back to Acorn House. We spent our last few hours in Cape Town finishing packing up, showering, and eating lunch. Saying goodbye to Cape Town was hard, knowing soon enough we’d be out of Africa, however, we were all ready to go home after the long two weeks.

Cape Town by Emily Dolan ’15

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