Welcome to the cosmopolitan city of Cape Town. On arrival at Cape Town airport you will be met and transferred to your luxury hotel. Tonight, meet your Tour Director for a welcome briefing. Three night stay: Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront
The Republic of South Africa, is a country located at the southern tip of Africa. The country is divided into nine provinces and has 2,798 kilometers of coastline and has a population is 50,590,000. 11 official languages are used with many speaking more than two. English is the common language used in public and commercial life, however Afrikaans is commonly used among the white and colored peoples. About 80% of the South African population is of black African ancestry. The capital of South Africa is Pretoria which is less than an hour by road from Johannesburg.
How the day turned out.
Today has been a ‘rest’ day before our meeting with our Tour Director this evening where we meet up with the folk that are not in our group but doing all or parts of the same tour as us. The weather is ‘sh…y’ although it cleared up enough for us to walk back to the hotel from the nearby shopping centre on waterfront.
We woke soon after 3:00am local time and went to breakfast soon after 7:00am. In all the breakfasts we have enjoyed over the past tours, this has to have had the biggest variety of all. And because you are never sure when/if the next meal is to be ‘on-time’, you tend to enjoy a portion of each food on offer. (Oh no!!!)
At 10:00am, we catch the shuttle across to the Waterfront precinct for some ‘retail’ therapy and to see how the locals venture out. Some of us have mobile phone questions to be satisfied – some still have those questions to be settled. We find a souvenir shop early on and it gets attention from both our eyes and our wallets. The handcrafts are just different to what we have seen on previous tours; some very tribal and some are of the type that would take lots of patience and time. There is a statute of Nelson Mandela at the entrance, covered with beaded handcrafted material and just a magnificent piece of work. Much of the artefacts are very colourful and eye catching. The dolls are so well done and Verley has her eye on a life size one standing near Nelson Mandela.
Further on, we find a Handcrafts Market and it is great to see that none of the tags say ‘Made in China’. Traditional Drums are around $100 each, but it is too early in the tour to cart around a large item. There is a vendor selling wood inlay work which looked like they were paintings; so intricate and delicate. Of course, there is a abundance of handcrafted jewellery.
After a ‘take-away’ lunch in the food court we wander around the rest of the waterfront area and notice an enormous crane, in the marina. There are many vendors plying for our attention to take a cruise around the bay region – but the weather is not too good for tourists to enjoy. We find carved rhinoceros just the right size to take pictures of ‘adults being children’.
Prior to our evening meal, we have a meeting with our Tour Director, Di. She flew in from Sydney to do two tours back-to-back. She will be with us all through the tour. However, South African law requires that only local South Africans can ‘tour guide’ in the country; we will be introduced to him in the morning.
Someone has left their diabetes testing strips at home.
Some people didn’t bring winter clothes – we are still in the southern hemisphere people.
People who attempt to walk through glass doors should ensure that they are opened before doing so – they are not ALL automatic. One teacher now has a flattened nose.