So … we travel a lot by car, as a family (Namibia is a big country). This time around, though, we decided to take the kids a bit further. The kids had never been to Cape Town which is really shocking considering how close it is (by air of course). In a car it is a totally different story. One thousand eight hundred kilometres across Namibia and South Africa.
We were prepared…the kids were prepared and as I said they are used to travelling. Nonetheless a twelve-hour car trip is enough to test anyone AND if you do in the middle of summer even more so. But we managed. We managed endless straight roads, it is amazing how many perfectly straight roads there are in this country.
The scenery is of course beautiful on all sides and variable depending on which part of the country you are traversing. The rolling mountains of the capital/central region give way to the drier more desert like southern parts, the closer we get to the border.
At the border, twelve hours later, we spent the night on the SA side in a self-catering chalet. The spot is lovely as it is bordering the orange river. After so much desert it was a pleasure to see a flowing river. Fortunately, there was a pool to help the kids -and us- cool down in the 40 degree weather.
The next day proved to be a bit more entertaining for the kids as the road travels through many wine farms and orchards.
We stop at some padstals to buy local fresh fruit, jams, fruit rolls and of course biltong for my husband.
Finally, late afternoon we arrive in Cape Town. We chose to drive in through Muizenberg and Kalk Bay which is really pretty as the road runs along the beach parallel to the train line. Unfortunately, due to the extreme heat and beautiful sun shining weather, EVERYONE was either on the beach or on the road coming or going from the beach. Needless to say the going was slow.
Cape Town at last
Eventually we made it to Simon’s Town, where we would be staying for the next week or so and headed straight for the beach ourselves.
We had dinner at a seafood restaurant on the pier in Simon’s Town, went for a short walk on the docks and headed back to bed to rest up for our first full day in Cape Town.
The next morning we decided to tackle the toughest item on our to-do list first and headed out for a day at the V & A Waterfront. We drove along Chapman’s Peak as this is the most scenic drive in to town. It was really stunning and became our chosen route in and out of Cape Town centre.
It was again very, very hot so on the way in to town we stopped off at some beautiful beaches just for a short walk.
We arrived at the waterfront late morning and headed to our first stop for the kids, the aquarium. The kids loved the aquarium. They were in time to see the feeding of the stingrays and sharks and they got to view a large variety of sea life including penguins. The aquarium is a lovely stop but it is quite time consuming, luckily we had ample time to visit everything the kids wanted to see.
We then headed straight to the food market to see what was on offer and to find some nice cold water. The food market is amazing. It is very difficult to chose from all that is on offer.
After a quick bite the kids decided they wanted to go on the big wheel, not my favourite but I said I would give it a go. Last time I was on a big wheel I was terrified. I don’t like heights and it always stops when I am right at the top, and then it moves. I explained all this but the cabins on the wheel are closed so I thought that might help and the kids really wanted to go on – so I did. Yes it did stop right at the top. Yes it did shake and no it does not help that it is closed. My language failed me and I might have uttered something inappropriate in front of the kids, yeah I did. I was tempted to press the emergency button but alas I held on. Last time I swear. Finally the ride was over. Did I enjoy it, no. Looking out over the city only made me feel worse – but I got a fantastic view of the floor of the cabin. All for the kids.
After this terrific experience was finally over we did a boat cruise. This was WAY more enjoyable. The view of the city and Table Mountain from the ocean is incredible. The kids also spotted a Mola Mola fish which was the only time we have ever seen one outside of the aquarium.
We then meandered through the shopping mall a bit and had some refreshing ice cream.
By the end of the day we found ourselves tired and once again hungry so we headed back to the food market for some pizza, chickpea roti wrap and a crab sandwich. Now full and tired we made our way back to our temporary home. On our drive back through Chapman’s peak we spotted at least eight whales off the coast. What a way to end the day.