On August 11th, we have an appointment with the shipping company in Cape Town. So we take the direct route to Cape Town along the coast. We pass a lot of small lovely villages, the first one being Hermanus, which is known for the many whales who pass along the coast. And we are not disappointed. Very close to the beach, some very big whales can be seen, it’s unbelievable.
From Hermanus it’s just another 2 hours drive to Cape Town, always along the steep-coast, with spectacular views.
We check in at a nice campground 20 km north of Cape Town. Just for one night – in the end we will have stayed 10 nights… it’s a nice place, very well protected from the strong winds and partially also from the rain. The plenty of rain we will see during these days!!
After roughly 150 nights in our very expensive expedition tent, the zippers are beyond repair and we have to use our emergency spare tent (20 Euro) for the last 4 nights! After optimizing it with an extra tarp, it even stands the strongest rains that hit Cape Town again and again…
Our first day trip brings us to the famous wine-region Stellenbosch with its nice surroundings. We only took one picture, it speaks for itself :-)
As an “old” and long-time sailor, it’s a highlight for Thomas to see the Cape of Good Hope. Even with the car, it’s a spectacular journey. We can imagine that it’s a very tricky area for sailing due to the constant changes in the weather.
Cape Point with its Lighthouse.
A view from Cape Point to the Cape of Good Hope.
A nice surprise are the many penguins in Boulders. In 1984 the first couple came here for breeding, and already now there are more than 1500 penguins, which are not shy at all and you even have to watch them while driving!
Whenever it’s raining, we go to the Cape Town Waterfront with its nice malls and restaurants along the harbor. Unfortunately, we never can manage to go to Robben Island, the former prison island where Nelson Mandela spent most of his prison time. The trips are always fully booked and require reservation in advance, and often they are cancelled on short notice due to high winds.
One morning, we look out of our tent and cannot believe that the weather is so sunny and warm. Very quickly we take the decision to climb the Table Mountain, even knowing that we have to make the strenuous hike up and down, since the cableway is under maintenance. The 800 m up are extremely steep and tiring but we are rewarded with a marvelous view over the city. The hike down is even harder and the next days are Claudia’s most painful days of the whole trip. Getting out of the tent in the morning is a real challenge. Good that nobody can see us :-)
View on Cape Town from the Table Mountain.
Even the longest trip has to come to an end and now it’s time to leave. We are very lucky with our planning. The last day is a logistic masterpiece! We get up very early (as usually) to dry our tent which we use until the last minute. We leave for the shipping company where we load the car by ourselves into the container and we do the customs clearing at the same time. When we leave the shipping company at 1 pm, the container is already leaving to the harbor. And we go to the airport with our little blue rental car which we parked at the company already the night before.
Now we are at the airport, waiting for our flight to Dubai. It’s astonishing that we will arrive in Dubai in 9 1/2 hours which is 7.600 km away and it took us 188 days and 34.400 km to come here by car!!
Once we are home, we will put together some facts and figures about our wonderful trip. Just in one word: it was like a very beautiful dream that came true and absolutely everything worked perfect. No accident, no problems with the car or the health and, most important, we are still HAPPILY MARRIED!
21.08.2009 Above Africa at a height of 36.000 feet in the Emirates First Class. It was an upgrade and the good luck seems to stay with us till the end ...