I always thought of Africa as a warm continent. Silly me! Arriving the week of the winter solstice in the southern hemisphere proved me wrong! I had planned for chilly and possibly wet weather but not cold weather. We arrived to pouring rain and 5C/40F temperatures. As if the weather weren't enough of a challenge, after 28 hours of travel we/TJ was challenged with driving on the left side of the road! We carefully navigated our way out of the airport through the driving rain to our Airbnb apartment.
|The view at lunch was breathtaking|
|Just warming up!|
The next morning my very perceptive husband made reservations at a hotel with heat, Internet and a hairdryer! We chipped the ice off our suitcases and moved on to warmer accommodations.
The itinerary for day was the Cape of Good Hope and Chapman's Peak! Luckily, we woke up to sunshine! I just knew things would look so much better in the sun and I was right. The view was lovely and there was hope and anticipation in my heart. We headed south and with every turn my eyes opened wider and wider with awe. What a beautiful country!
|Let's hike up there!|
|The view at the top is always the best!|
|Obligatory tourist photo!|
Chapman's Peak deserves it's own blog if you ask me but I'll spare both of us. If you are Canadian, think Cabot Trail only shorter. I can't thank my husband enough for doing all of the driving and missing out on every view because he was so focused on staying in between the lines and on the correct side of the road. I think the reason he was always willing to pull over for a photo op or just to gawk at the scenery was to get a break from driving, which suited me just fine.
|Definitely worth pulling over|
|We caught the golden hour|
The next few days were just as perfect. We went to the top of Table Mountain, went on a safari...and froze, drove through mountains, valleys and vineyards, and passed poor townships on the outskirts of the city framed by the ever present mountains on the horizon. We visited lush wineries and tasted many delicious wines. We ate tasty meals which cost us very little with the US dollar worth so much in this country. Every day left me wanting more.
|Isn't he handsome?!|
I found myself wishing I had not been warned about the dangers of the cities we visited. I wanted so much to not be on my guard. I tried to walk with trust and confidence and just enjoy taking in the sights. It was difficult because TJ was on high alert most of the time which bled into my psyche. I want to visit this country again someday and be safe and free to explore. We were perfectly safe traveling through the national parks or hiking or visiting wineries, I just wanted to be able to walk the city streets in the evening after dinner and that just could not happen, which is very sad. There was so much more to see.
There is obvious disparity between the haves and have nots in South Africa. Such a beautiful country on the outside but if you look closer there is crime, poverty, and struggle. The people live surrounded by rich natural resources and beautiful landscapes and I wonder if they realize how fortunate they are to wake up in such an amazing place! The townships at the foot of some of the most majestic mountains in the world are incongruent. The country is evolving and still has a long way to go before things are right. One thing that is indisputable, they live in one of the most breathtaking places I've have been blessed to visit.
|Unedited panoramic view,|
how could I not fall in love?