6 May 2012, Gail’s trip log

Long but fantastic day today. We slept pretty well and went down at 830 to meet for our “transit tour” – tour for those folks staying on the next leg of the cruise. There were two buses, neither full, on the tour. We were off by 900, headed through town to the Cape of Good Hope. The drive down took about two hours and included a stop at Clifton Bay – gorgeous, for a last potty break and photo op – before heading down one of the most spectacular ocean roads I have ever been on. It is so narrow that the bus tour guide said buses can only go one way on it, so we would be coming back a different way. There were high sheer rocky cliffs on the inside and fantastic ocean views on the outside. [Those who know Gail will know which side she was on, despite not being “on the edge” since we were driving on the left side of the road.] We wound our way up to Chapman’s Peak and then down to Hout Bay – every curve and vista more breathtaking than the last. It really was a memorable drive. Fortunately the weather was spectacular all day – sunny, in the high 60s (20 to the non-Americans) and no wind. We finally arrived at the Cape of Good Hope branch of Table Mountain National Park (which has many separate areas over 150 mile range) and then out to Cape Point and the old lighthouse. Here we climbed on a funicular railway up to the next level. But to get to the very top, the lighthouse, we had to climb 130 steps! I made it – could not be outdone by a couple of folks walking with canes. The view was worth it. We got some postcards and coffee while waiting to reboard the bus. Next stop was lunch at a restaurant overlooking the water at Seaforth. Not buffet [which she hates on tours]. We were served wonderful sea bass and calamari plate with drinks and homemade dessert. After lunch we walked about 1000 yards to see the colony of African “Jackass Penguins”. That was fun. Then back on the bus for the drive (a different route) back to Cape Town. Here we spent two hours walking through the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens – one of the greatest in the world, for sure, and all indigenous plants. And I am not into botanical gardens, but they were awesome. We arrived back at the ship after 9 hours – just about 600. Long but really outstanding day. Of course all the new passengers and crew had come aboard while we were gone. Lots of new faces in the buffet area tonight. Dan stayed up to work on our pictures from today and visit. I am really pooped and plan to go to bed early. Tomorrow we are going go the ball to mail the box!

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