Good Hope

Cape Town, South Africa

We officially made it to Nelson Mandela, Elon Musk and Trevor Noah country.

Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens – we grabbed lunch at the Tea Room before taking a stroll through the gardens. The day was very golden and much deserved after laying over at Ethiopia’s Addis Ababa Bole International Airport for a second time.

We got used to it being forbidden to lie on the grass in the public parks in China that being able to lay on this was such a delight. Yes, a delight. Now go get me biscuits for my Earl Grey, love.

Magical trees from another world, a world where Obama was still president.

Travel tip: It’s not really safe walking out in Cape Town when it’s dark. Uber was really easy to use and actually pretty cheap throughout the city. We even used it to get into the city center from the airport.

Next morning, we took an Uber to the cable car entrance of Table Mountain which was under its annual construction the week we were there. So, we began our hike up from there. Everything was great until we reached the midpoint, when my mind/body decided that I didn’t want to do it anymore. Just like that. I still completed the hike, though, just with cement blocks for legs.

As expected, it was totally worth it. It was so damn windy up there that at times, the entire top would be covered in clouds, aptly called the “tablecloth.” Oh, and I also ate a really juicy pear up here.

The view of Lion’s Head, Sea Point and Green Point out yonder. If you have a day to spare, take a leisurely stroll along the promenade from Green Point to Sea Point.

Stellenbosch

And, the best part? Well, the best part was probably the combo of Table Mountain suffering + the chateaubriand I ate later that night as a reward. But, the next best part? WINE TOUR. We booked with Wine Flies and visited 5 wine estates in the Stellenbosch area. The first two we visited were Lovane Boutique Wine Estate (above) and Annandale Wine Estate, which is owned by ex-Springbok player Hempies du Toit. We were given a sampling of chocolates in the first and not enough bowls of biltong (best meat jerky ever) in the second.

The next two were Middelvlei Wine Estate (pictured) and Villiera Wines. At Middelvlei, we were served a farmhouse lunch that, while being mass produced for the throngs of tourists strolling in and out, somehow managed to taste like it was especially made for us. A true homecooked meal that made you feel all cozy inside. Grilled meats, grilled sandwiches, a nice small soup and a salad.

Last stop – Remhoogte Wine Estate. By then, everyone else on our bus was utilizing the spit bucket. My spit bucket was called my esophagus.

CHEEEEESE, Gromit.

And, if you haven’t guessed it already, I passed out on the ride back to our hostel back in Cape Town.

V&A Waterfront, where we caught a ferry to Robben Island (try to book this in advance!).

This is Nelson Mandela’s tiny cell, with nothing but a bucket, a small table and a floor mat to sleep on. As if being imprisoned wasn’t bad enough, black prisoners were given only shorts to wear, even in the harsh winter season, and very little rations to eat. White prisoners were given way better nutrition. Communication with the outside world was highly censored and book privileges were limited. Mandela had to write his book in secret in the middle of the night with the help of three other inmates. Persistence and perseverance. I suppose those two are taught for a reason, huh?

Our tour guide was a former prisoner who, in retelling his stories of the cells’ horrible conditions, found redemption and the will to forgive and become friends with the very guards who had tortured him. Now that’s very in the spirit of Mandela.

And, then, ROAD TRIP!

Around the Cape of Good Hope.

H&C now became the trio HRC, in full support of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The original cast of Jackass on location at Boulders Beach. (They’re called Jackass penguins or, African penguins.)

Travel tip: Check out the market at The Old Biscuit Mill and grab a cortado there at Espresso Lab Microroasters. Order a steak at Hussar Grill, a burger at Royale Eatery, seafood at Codfather, breakfast and flat whites at Jason Bakery & Origin Coffee Roasting, beers and app’s at Bootlegger, and, yes, go get that cheeky Nando’s!

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