13th century Cahir Castle in Cahir, Ireland.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Dublin, Ireland.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Stamullen, Ireland!

Friday, January 3, 2014

First Impressions of Cape Town

When we got off the bus yesterday at around 2:00pm, our couchsurfing host Mark was there to greet us. He had said that his house wasn't that far from the downtown terminal and he's on holiday so it wasn't a problem to come and pick us up.

Drove us back to his place, and we got settled. We're in a suburb called Rosebank. Nice, older, middle class neighborhood.

We relaxed for an hour or two and got acquainted. We weren't sure what we were up for because of being pretty tired from our 21 hour bus ride, but we knew there would be lots of time for sleeping later! We had met another friend, Syed, at the hostel in Windhoek and Syed had also been on our bus ride. There was supposed to be the annual Minstrel parade here last night, but it conflicted with something else so it has been put off until Saturday. We were going to try and meet Syed at the parade, so now we'll try and get together on Saturday.

Instead, Mark suggested we just go for a drive so we can get orientated with our surroundings, and maybe just show us a few sights.

Heading through the village of Hout Bay.

Hout Bay actually looks like a great spot to spend a few hours wandering around and I'm sure we'll do that over the next week or so. There's a great beach there and it just seems like a nice spot. 

So, heading through Hout Bay, you then come to Chapman's Peak Drive.

The entire greater city of Cape Town (pop 3,700,000 or so) has a view of famous Table Mountain and the range that extends south from there. It's a dominant feature of the city. The eastern part of that range has a scenic drive on the side of Chapman's Peak.

And what a drive it is!

Still down to one lane.

Chapman's Peak Drive has a history of being closed due to adverse weather, mudslides, and other road problems. When they cut this road out of the side of the mountain between 1915 and 1922, it was considered a major feat of engineering. Problem is, that it's had to be re-engineered over and over again because of the instability of the mountainside.

This past November, there was a huge rainstorm in the middle of the month that caused mudslides that closed the roadway. They've only recently opened opened one lane of that area so that cars can get through. You can see in the pics above that there's still work ongoing.

You can see Chapman's Peak Drive cut out of the mountain on the right.

Looking across to Hout Bay.

It's a twisty, windy road!

With some gorgeous viewpoints.

You can see the road is cut into a near vertical section of the mountain.

And the support structures have been cut into the rock face.

Just as you think the views can't get any better, you come around a corner to this!

The beautiful Noordhoek Beach.

Ruth and Mark enjoying the view.

Our first look at the Indian Ocean!

And the surfer beach where at least one surfer dies of a great white shark attack every year. Thinking maybe we'll just lie on the beach!

By this time, we were looking for somewhere to go for dinner. Cape Town has very reasonable restaurant prices Mark suggested we head downtown to the Eastern Food Bazaar where the three of us ate and had a drink for a total of R$128 ($13.70).

No wonder this place is busy. A huge plate of food at a great price!

I can just tell that we are going to enjoy Cape Town!


  1. wow what beautiful views, thought my stomach did a flip flop at a couple of the view of the road. How long will you be staying with Mark.

  2. Nice welcome to Cape Town. The views are fantastic and great photos, too. Can't wait for the tour . . .

  3. Glorious views, twisting highways, and such blue skies. WOW. A real treat any day, but more so today considering it's -33C here in North Bay! Thanks. I feel warmer already!

  4. Oh how I loved that Chapman drive, and fortunate for me no road closures. Especially nice that so many wide pull off viewpoints were built. Good rate of exchange for lunch.

  5. So pretty! Looks like somewhere I could go for a few months for sure.... :) (is Mark single?) LOL

  6. What a stunning place! Who knew?!

  7. Boy this isn't what I was expecting of Cape Town. What a beautiful drive. I can't think of one place in the US where 3 people can eat for $14 unless they have Jr. Big Mac and that's it. Looks like a great beginning.

  8. Great tour. looking forward to more.

  9. I hope that you come to enjoy Cape Town as much as most South African's do. That is not the Indian Ocean though, it's the Atlantic ;)

    1. Yes, you are correct. The Indian Ocean doesn't officially begin until we are at Cape Agulhas.

  10. Ewww those roadside shots would have me queasy... but wow what a beautiful place!

    Karen and Steve
    (Blog) RVing: The USA Is Our Big Backyard

  11. All I can say is your trip is getting more amazing with every day!

  12. Nice weather and another beautiful place.

  13. What a amazing views! So many beautiful photos!!!


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