London – Prologue
One of Life’s lessons is to make stepping stones out of stumbling blocks. We were scheduled to fly from Austin, TX to Washington DC, then on to Cape Town, South Africa. However, we missed our connecting flight from Washington DC. The airline said they could get us out on the following day, same time as originally scheduled – 5:20pm. Fortunately I studied various flight options to Cape Town before I left Austin. I said, “No, this won’t work for us. Get us out on a flight to Heathrow/London then on to Cape Town. After much investigation and discussion we got them to fly us to London then on to Cape Town. Unfortunately, our luggage took a different route and we were without it for 3 days.
While in London, we caught a cab to “The Eye”. It cost $280 for round trip taxi from Heathrow/London Airport to the “Eye”. Time is more precious than money so I bit the bullet and paid this “expensive” fare. The cabs are ALL wheelchair accessible! I love it. We ate a Wild Boar burger then got in line for “The Eye”. The “Eye” was fully wheelchair accessible.
After eating a wild boar burger, and riding the “Eye” for half an hour, we went to the Sherlock Holmes pub for Fish-and-Chips as well as a pint of Guinness. Then we caught a cab back to the airport. These cabs have all been wheelchair accessible since 2000.
Cape Town, South Africa
After months of meticulous planning with Joni and Anthony, they came up with the itinerary below.
What super friends! With lost luggage and changing weather, we didn’t follow the itinerary exactly.
Our first Cape Town adventure was to have dinner at AFRICA CAFÉ (www.africacafe.co.za), which serves traditional foods from all over Africa. They have an incredible menu. The center woman, in the above picture, works at AFRICA CAFÉ. Her name is No-no. She is very sweet and couldn’t keep her hands off me. They also sell hand made crafts as seen in the picture at right.
The next stop was Groot Constancia Wine Farm where we were treated to an excellent breakfast, great company, and a fantastic setting. Wine making was one of the arts that the Dutch and other Europeans brought to South Africa.
Anthony cooked Bobotie for us at his house. It was delicious. In addition to great company and tasty food, we had the opportunity to discuss life in South Africa. If you want a credit card there, you will have to pay 26%. You have no choice of cards with different rates. You will have to pay fees on your checking and savings accounts, regardless of your balance. Some government officials are openly corrupt. I’m glad I live in the USA. Anthony became paralyzed in a hang gliding accident and I recently went sail planing so we had as a common interest in flight. So in addition to politics, we discussed physics, flight, and Bernoulli’s Principal.
Texans are known for their BBQs. Every Texan has his favorite method of barbecuing and his own recipe for BBQ sauce. In South Africa,the tradition is something they call a Braai (pronounced brii). Some of the South Africans took exception to me comparing a Braai to a BBQ. They said a Braai is a much more social event. I have only included a few pictures here but take my word for it, there were many people – related and unrelated – at this Braai. It was held at Carl’s parents house. See Carl below. Unfortunately, Carl was still trying to locate our luggage and didn’t have much time to enjoy the Braai. Carl finally tracked down our luggage and retrieved it for us after it was lost for four days.
No trip to Cape Town would be complete without a ride down to Haot Bay. These girls (above) were incredible. they spoke in unison on any subject. They sang songs in several different languages. Learn more about them at (www.thesoapgirls.co.za/). The picture on the right is one of many ship wrecks off the coast of South Africa. The seas get more dangerous the farther south one goes. An old sailor’s adage is, “Below 50 degrees (latitude) there is no law; below 60 there is no God.”
The woman above created beautiful works of art on ostrich eggs. She sells them to fund conservation efforts for seals. That’s Carl behind me. In the picture on far right that’s Laurence holding me on ledge, on the road to Boulders Beach.
After Hout Bay we drove to Boulder Beach, far right. The beautiful, yet extremely cold water, keeps some swimmers away.