Cape Town

  • First Day in Fish Hoek, South Africa -
  • At The Mountain House - Many of you told us that you are interested in where we are living. To respond to this request here are links to our home in South Africa. The little guest house is called The Mountain House. The  house is located in Clovelly, a small community adjacent to better known Fish Hoek on the East […]
  • In the Neighborhood - I have never thought much about baboons until I came to South Africa. The phrases that came to mind were, “Crazy as a baboon,” “Ugly as a baboon,” and for some reason the lyrics to “Bingo, Bango, Bongo, I don’t want to leave the Congo.”  But baboons are serious business here. Because man has expanded […]
  • Hiking Muizenberg Peak - This is our Thursday hiking group.  Yes, Jill and Dana are hiking.  We have been twice now.  Last Thursday the hike was about 7 km, some of it up rocky mountainside. Yikes! The views on the way up and down are amazing, through many varieties of protea including King Protea pictured here. The view from […]
  • Cape Point - We went to the Cape of Good Hope. It is the place where two of the earth’s most contrasting water masses meet.  The warm Agulhas current of the East  meets the cold Benguela current of the West.  The resulting tumult from the meeting of these two water masses led the Cape to first be called […]
  • A Plethora of Flora - We have missed you dear readers.  We have been having trouble connecting to the net and have not been able to post. When we can’t connect we feel untethered from home. The blog is like a conversation with you and we were sorry for the interruption. These are just a few of the plants we […]
  • Mouille Point Lighthouse - We went on a ramble to the Atlantic Coast. We drove north through Cape Town and found the Mouille Point Lighthouse at the edge of the city.  Mouille Point is a working light house, as are most in South Africa.  Each light house has its own red and white paint design so it can be […]
  • Masiphumelele - We went to Masiphumelele. Masiphumelele is a township right up the road from Fish Hoek. About 38,000 people live there. They are not white. Here they are called Black and Coloured. Unemployment in Masiphumelele is over 50%.  Many people, 30 to 40%, have HIV AIDS. Drug addiction and alcoholism is rife and attendant crime. There […]
  • The Bo-Kaap Neighborhood - The Bo-Kaap is a part of Cape Town that really celebrates the city’s diversity, its culture, architecture and history. It is a multicultural neighborhood in Cape Town. Something not that easily found as races often live in separate neighborhoods. The people who settled in Bo-Kaap were craftsman, free traders and freed slaves from Indonesia, Java, Celebes, Bali […]
  • Cape Dutch Architecture - On our excusions we like to take a mid-morning break.  Lately we have become quite fond of mocha lattes aka mochaccinos. They are a mixture of hot coffee, chocolate and steamed milk. We availed ourselves of these while on the architecture tour that follows. The photos come from three different locations. Groot Constantia is the […]
  • High Tea at the “Nellie” - We went to high tea at the Mount Nelson hotel, the oldest hotel in Cape Town.  The hotel sits below Table Mountain on a spectacular piece of land right in the city. The hotel reminded Dana and me of The Biltmore in Santa Barbara where our son Darin and his wife Lara were married. It […]
  • Puttin’ On The Ritz - “Now, if you’re blue And you don’t know where to go to Why don’t you go where fashion sits Puttin’ on the Ritz Different types who wear a daycoat Pants with stripes and cutaway coat Perfect fits Puttin’ on the Ritz” -Irving Berlin In a wind sheltered cove called Boulders Beach, safe from predators like […]
  • In Fields of Flowers - We drove north from Cape Town on a sunny Friday morning to an isthmus of land that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean. And there, in a place called Postberg, is a national park open for only two months of the year…the two months when the wildflowers bloom. The expanse of flowers extends all the way […]
  • Seventh Wonder - This is Table Mountain. It is the high plateau that stands sentinel above the City of Cape Town. And it is one of the seven wonders of the world or of nature, depending on your information source.Table Mountain is a little like Mount Etna in my opinion.  It is the site everyone asks if you […]
  • By the Sea - The village right up the road from ours is called Kalk Bay.  It is, primarily, a fishing village.  Each morning the boats go out. Each evening they return with the day’s catch. Dana and I went down to the docks to watch the boats come in and unload. The boats are unloaded by hand. Each […]
  • Robben Island - For 400 years, Robben Island, 12 kilometres from Cape Town across Table Bay, was a place of banishment, exile, isolation, heartache and imprisonment. It was on Robben Island that rulers sent those regarded as political troublemakers, social outcasts and the unwanted of society including lepers and the mentally ill. During apartheid and in the 1960s, […]
  • Go for the Gold - We are holding a random drawing selected from the blog followers who will post comments in the next two weeks. Every new comment is a chance to win this striking apron featuring a silk screen of Mandela’s Gold, the specially named Bird of Paradise native to South Africa. The contest will run from today,September 9, […]
  • Sharks! - False Bay, the bay that we are living on, is known as one of the hot spots for sharks.  The Save Our Seas Foundation has organized a group called “Shark Spotters” to help identify sharks in the waters off the swimming beaches.  Shark spotters sit many hundreds of meters above the beach watching for the […]
  • Color. Color. Color. -
  • Diving Into the Sky - For my 64th birthday I wanted to give myself a lalapalooza present. So, I decided to go skydiving. I picked a place north of here and went out on a Tuesday morning. We arrived early, before the pilots and the divers and waited in a tin pavilion for everyone to arrive. The weird thing was, […]
  • A Beach Walk - On Saturday or Sunday morning Dana and I like to take a walk from our house to the Fish Hoek beach. We thought you might like to come along.
  • Silvermine - Right across the road from our house is the Silvermine River.  The river forms a beautiful and nature filled wetland that we walk through as often as we can. The Wetland is home to the endangered Leopard Toad as well as many varieties of birds and pond life. Every day when we walk we see […]
  • What’s for brekkie? - Brekkie* or breakfast is an important meal here in South Africa. South Africans lay quite a spread.  It’s Dana and my favorite meal of the day. See if you can guess which breakfasts are mine and which are Dana’s?  I gave one to you…my favorite. We also take a coffee break at 10:00 on the […]
  • South Africans - These folks are South African but they are more specifically Capetonians.  The Western Cape, where we have been, is markedly different from the rest of South Africa; climatically (mediterranean); politically (more liberal), economically (more wealthy), geographically (the southernmost point), horticulturally (the smallest of six floral kingdoms of the world) and culturally (more laid back.)
  • Keep To The Left - South Africans drive on the left-hand side of the road. Dana has been doing all of the driving while we are here. I frequently hear him muttering the mantra, “Keep to the left. Keep to the left,” reminding himself of the correct lane.  Staying in the left lane is hardest in parking lots, at roundabouts […]
  • Kirstenbosch Gardens - Kirstenbosch Gardens are one of the best National Botanical Gardens in the world. The land is unique, sitting at the foot of Table Mountain, and all of the plants are indigenous to the Cape. Plants in the Conservatory come from a number of different  South Africa regions, including savanna, fynbos, karoo and others.  The outdoor garden focuses on plants native […]
  • Cape Point Hike - On a glorious Sunday morning we took a hike with some good folks on Cape Point. Cape Point encompasses the Cape of Good Hope. The tip of the peninsula is sandy soil supporting a kind of native vegetation called “fynbos” or fine bush. Hiking with this group of people is really special. People are gracious, soft-spoken and great […]
  • Groote Schuur - Groote Schuur (Dutch for “big barn”) is the official residence of the President of South Africa. The estate sits on a plot of land originally owned by the Dutch East India Company.  Later Cecil Rhodes bought the estate for 60,000 pounds and made it his official residence. When he died he willed Groote Schuur to his beloved […]
  • !Khwa ttu - Dana and I have seen a lot while we have been here in South Africa but we felt we really wanted to know more about native people…the tribes that were here before the Europeans landed.  What we found was an indigenous history much like the United States with stories of  a people, nearly extinguished by European […]
  • The Wild Ones - Africa is abundant, in its land, its beauty and its wildlife. We visited a reserve about an hour from Cape Town to see some of Africa’s Big 5; hippopotamus, rhinoceros, lion, leopard and elephant. The Cape Big 5 Safari Reserve is a natural sanctuary for African wildlife. Our morning was spent in an open landrover […]
  • Saturday…Market Day - We have been going to an open market in Cape Town almost every Saturday. The market is in and surrounds an old biscuit mill in a neighborhood called “Woodstock.” Woodstock used to be a run down, seedy area of the city. In the last few years artists and creative entrepreneurs have discovered the area, renovated warehouse […]
  • Winner of the Gold - Here is the announcement for the winner of the beautiful South Africa Gold Mandela Apron you have all awaited with bated breath. THE WINNER IS NEIL FREER (A wild hurrah and eheheh for Neil) Neil is a frequent  “Commenter” on our blog and a home chef in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He wanted the Sicilia apron to […]
  • To Mill; To Grind - We visited Mostert’s Mill on a misty Saturday to watch them mill wheat. This mill was built in 1796. It is just a small mill built for one farm that sat on the slope of the Liesbeek River Valley in what is now Capetown. This was one of the first independent mills as before this […]
  • Goodbye South Africa, Hello Australia - Our time in South Africa gave us a natural world that astounded us; the Table Mountains, the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans, the Cape of Good Hope, False Bay, wine country, apple orchards, mountain valleys, natural springs, wetlands, fynbos and incredible botany and wildlife. We have hiked on Muizenberg Peak  to see breathtaking vistas and […]
%d bloggers like this: