Thursday, July 26, 2012

Well we're in South Africa and presently in Capetown having enjoyed a relaxing (almost) overnight train ride from Pretoria on Monday and arriving Tuesday afternoon.  We travelled on the Blue Train and had a few problems with the train itself which caused us to arrive in Capetown about 3 hours late.  To catch up lost time, the train hurtled through most of the night at what seemed like breakneck speed causing lots of rocking and bumping and thumping.  Not the best setting for a pleasant night's sleep, but  the service and staff on the train were excellent and they couldn't do enough for us.  The food was amazing and so of course we ate more than needed and drank more than we would normally do, but that's what you do isn't it? 
Ready to roll
Silver service, crystal glassware, a menu - doin' it tough
The Lounge Bar on the train

Sadly we've seen several of these shanty towns as we've travelled through the countryside
It seems that because we are two women travelling together, people assume we are an item and in both of the hotels we've stayed in so far, we've had to ask for twin beds as our rooms have been set up with a massive king-size bed.  We laugh about it now, and I'm not quite sure why it's assumed that we're a couple! 
Our shack before we had the bedding configuration changed - it's pretty comfortable
This morning we toured Capetown by bus, but were disappointed to learn that the cable car to Table Mountain was undergoing maintenance so we would miss that landmark - Paddy was really upset as you could understand - it should be one of the highlights of any visit to Capetown.  
Colourful houses in the Malay Quarter in Capetown
As well we learned that our tour of Robben Island wasn't going to happen, so instead we settled for a tour of the Stellenbosch wine area.  Again, not what we had hoped to be doing, but we enjoyed the beautiful scenery and enjoyed sampling some of the local wines and cheeses.

A few barrels maturing so that we can enjoy the hint of blackberry and mocha in our next glass of vino

Thought my motor bike friends might appreciate this - the sign behind says 'Caged - a mid-life crisis' I'd hate to think what this is worth!
Anyhow, 3 days into our tour and the jet-lag has almost gone.  Tomorrow we're off to the Cape of Good Hope - I hope.  More to follow soon.