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Piers and Lin du Pré are the owners of the Fleming 55 Play d'eau, based in Beaucette Marina, Guernsey in the Channel Islands at N49° 30’.197 W002° 30’.350.

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Our South African adventure

Table Mountain from our room at the Mount Nelson
click to enlarge

As you know, we’re in South Africa to be with our son, Toby, for his marriage to Amy. And what a great excuse to have a holiday as well.

Flight problems ex-Dubai

Late in the evening of April 5, we flew from Amsterdam to Cape Town on Emirates via Dubai. But after take-off from Dubai we levelled at 10,000 feet and flew north west out to sea and began circling. Strange, we should have been going south.

I was about to say something to Lin, when the Captain announced, ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, unfortunately, the undercarriage will not retract so we have to return to Dubai.’

Boring…

After dumping fuel to reduce weight, we landed, disembarked, ate lunch and had a four hour delay whilst another A340 was prepared. This time, the undercarriage came up.

Cape Town

Cape Town with Table Mountain behind
taken from the boat that took us to
the infamous Robben Island
click to enlarge

We arrived at our hotel, the Mount Nelson, at 2330 local, somewhat tired. We’d been up almost forty hours.

With six hours sleep, we were up and eating a sumptuous al fresco breakfast under the veranda in this equally sumptuous colonial-style hotel. The sun was already roasting hot and at 0800 we jumped in a mini-bus for our first guided tour – the City and Table Mountain.

Unusually for this autumnal time of year, the skies are clear, the sun is hot with temperatures in the mid-thirties. How perfect is that?

Table Mountain

Table Mountain is breathtaking. No other word can describe this seventh natural wonder of nature.

The Swiss designed and installed cable car whisked us 765m (2,510 feet) up to the top whilst we stood on its slowly revolving floor enabling everyone in the car to have an equal view.

On top of the mountain we saw some guineapig lookalikes, locally called Dassies, but in reality, Rock Hyrax. Is the plural Hyrices as in index and indices, we wondered?

Dassies roam the top of Table Mountain
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An American lady was cooing over one whilst trying to reach out to stroke it. ‘Oh how simply awesome. So sweet. I really must have one,’ she squealed. After a few moments I said to her, ‘You, know, I’ve been told they are far better rare rather than well done.’

‘Uh-huh,’ came the response before my words had fully settled in, followed by, ‘Oh that’s dreadful. How horrid.’ I could hardly prevent smiling whilst I added, ‘It’s best to keep back a bit, you know. They spit poison.’

By now, obviously confused, and with a furrowed brow, she backed off. Looking at me questioningly, she murmured a weak, ‘Thank you,’ and disappeared.

We wonder just how far this rumour will spread.

Afternoon

Having descended, we visited to the 1679 Castle of Good Hope which protects the Governor’s Residence.

Exhausted, but exhilarated by the sheer beauty of Cape Town and its surroundings, we return to the ‘Pink Lady’ and dined in its beautiful Planet restaurant.

Piers and Lin
Mount Nelson Hotel, Cape Town
…on temporary leave of absence from
Play d’eau
Fleming 55
Beaucette Marina

You can get in touch with us any time by using our Contact Form.

It’s 765m to the top…
click to enlarge

…and 765m down
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The Atlantic ocean is to the west and south
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The views are simply stunning
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You cannot tire of the views
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Looking to the north along the ridge
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If you really want
you can opt to abseil down
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Piers didn’t
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The hour we had gazing was far too little
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Cape Town with Robben Island in the distance
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Resident Egyptian geese
in the Castle of Good Hope Fort
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Papa Goose follows behind
making very loud ‘goose warning noises’
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The Governor’s Residence
within the Castle of Good Hope
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The Governor’s entrance hallway
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The dining room seats over 100 guests
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After a long day we arrive at the
impressive arches to the Mount Nelson’s driveway
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The Mount Nelson’s long and imposing driveway
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We arrive back at the Mount Nelson
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The glorious wing where we ate al fresco
overlooking the pool
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3 comments to Our South African adventure

  • Alan Richmond

    Hi, Piers and Lin

    According to my dictionary, the plural of Hyrax is Hyraxes.

    Mouse…mice
    Spouse…spice

    No, it doesn’t always work.

    Taking a vicarious pleasure in your trip; keep it up.

    Best regards

    Alan

  • Hil

    It’s all another world-so beautiful,almost unbelieveable. I love the American lady bit-typical you,too! Silly lady. The photos,again,are wonderful and the variety of them too. Please write lots more.

    Hil x x

  • Dave Birch

    Piers, telling fibs to that innocent American lady! But you’re right, I bet they are better a bit on the rare side and perhaps with a little white wine sauce?
    Dave

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