13 months
Nov 14:
Nov 18:
Nov 22:
10 yrs of freedom
Nov 25:
unfast food
Nov 28:
the low down
cape town gallery
all galleries
next location
(hong kong)

view from atop Table Mountain
Cape Town, South Africa; Nov 8, 2004

beachfront property

Ah… finally a chance to actually relax. Not that I’m complaining, but we’re *tired.* Planning the wedding and this trip at the same time, having the wedding, finalizing trip preparations, packing the apartment, then going to Oxford, Uganda, and Tanzania… we need a nap. Travel veterans usually recommend working some serious downtime into long trips. I can certainly see why; I’m content to sit and do nothing for a few weeks. So this month in Cape Town will not be as cram-packed full of adventure as the previous months. And what a place to relax; Cape Town and the surrounding area is flush with natural beauty: mountains, oceans, the works.

As a start, I’m writing this on the beach – Camps Bay, to be specific. Well, actually I’m writing it on the laptop while we sit on some grass really near the beach. I suppose I could write it ON the beach with a stick in the sand, but that would take a really long time and you’d probably never get to read it.

Susan is relaxing next to me reading a book called The Devil Wears Prada. While it seems as likely as not that the Devil does indeed wear Prada, this is one book that will not be read by both parties.

Camps Bay (looking away from the beach)

Just so I’m not completely shirking my journal responsibilities, I’ll tell you a bit about the beach. The water is a schizophrenic color vacillating between turquoise and royal blue, and our view is dotted with little rock islands. This beach is on the Atlantic Ocean side, not the Indian. The weather is beautiful and seems perfect for swimming, but nobody is because the water is really very cold. Okay, I lie, one crazy person just ran in (surely a tourist) – perhaps there is a method for extracting a frozen ice block human from the ocean if necessary. In from the ocean is a lovely strip of light-colored sand that extends about 75 meters inland. There are a few people scattered here and there, but it’s not crowded. We’re sitting on a well groomed strip of grass (about 50 meters deep) that butts up against the sand and is home to a variety of nice trees and interesting rocks (some quite large). A very pleasant place to sit – the temperature and wind are perfect. And hey, my wife’s here, so it’s a happy place for me to be.

We forgot the beach umbrella that was kindly provided with our apartment rental, so we were thinking about renting one here. But the fellow wanted R25 for it (25 rand is about $4), and then he wanted additional moolah for chairs and ha! – even cushions! So we opted for the free shade under this nice tree instead.

Before we settled down in this spot, we strolled up and down the strip, ate some lunch and walked into a nearby real estate office. We asked about prices, interest rates, down payments and any difficulties with owning property as foreigners. We often do this when we travel somewhere; we theoretically examine what it might be like to live there more permanently (jobs, house/apartment, schools for kids, etc.). It's mostly out of curiosity and in case we want to live abroad someday, we’d like to be informed. “Very interesting,” we responded to the helpful agent (the prices here aren’t that low), as we politely accepted a business card and calmly strolled out of the office, affecting our most expensive gait.

Thus begins our lazy stay in Cape Town.

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