The following day, Peter was kind enough to loan me his car again and I went back down to the Cape Peninsula. I got up early, 7ish, but perhaps I should have gotten up earlier. By the time I got there, it was nearly 9AM. I had also signed up for the Robben Island Tour that day which was scheduled for 1PM. I thought I'd save the Robben Island Tour for my last day but then I heard that many trips are canceled due to inclement weather and in Cape Town, you really didn't know. So I booked my ticket online and needed to make my way back to the Waterfront by 12:30PM. I also needed to allow myself extra time too since it was my first time driving there and I didn't know how the parking situation was going to be.
I spent about 1.5 hours or so at the Cape Peninsula which I felt wasn't enough. Well, maybe I saw enough but I didn't like the idea that I was rushing through and the idea of not getting my SAR75 value was probably what was killing me more. I was insistent on coming here because this is where I thought the two great Oceans meet: the Atlantic (US east coast) and Indian Oceans. I was surprised to find that this belief is incorrect. Many probably are led to believe this because it is actually the most southwestern part of the African continent. A bit westward, Cape Agulhas, is actually where they meet and it is said that it's an interesting sight with different shades of water meeting at a random point in the ocean, pushing against each other in different directions. A National Park, Cape Agulhas is only a stone's throw away from Betty's Bay and had I known that this was the real location, I would have, no question, stopped here. Oh well, I suppose I have to save some things for my return.
When I got to the Clock Tower, it was 12:15PM so I still had 15 minutes to find parking and get to Robben Island. Nicely, the signs were very well displayed in large letters and I arrived but still didn't know where to park. It seemed that I was heading into the parking lot in the wrong direction (and we know that is NOT a good thing!) so I called out to a man walking through the lot. I asked if he was from around here and told him that I was trying to find parking. He told me that I needed to go around the lot to get to the entrance. I must have seemed fairly desperate and the idea that I would miss my $30 tour and the chance to see the cell that Mr. Mandela spent 18 years in that he said, "well, I have a boat here so I think I can find a parking for you". REALLY?! It was as magical as turning and finding my backpackers in Stellenbosch! So I asked if it would be okay and had him show me the way. This good samartian, Tiago, was my angel and he helped me get to my tour! I had him hop in my car for the 100 meter drive (getting a bit too comfortable riding with strangers in the car!) and we turned off to the side and parked literally around the corner directly across the entrance. The entrance to Robben Island was right across the way unfortunately though there was a bit of water that prevented me from getting to the entrance! There were a bunch of guys nearby so I asked them how I'd get there, they pointed to the delivery entrance. I thought I wouldn't be able to get in since it was guarded by security. I went over and she asked me where I was going and I told her that I needed to get to the Robben Island ticket desk and so she quickly opened the door and let me in. After getting in, I had no idea where to go! It was like a scene out of 007, where I was chasing the bad guy. I had to creep around and finally had someone help me get through the backside of the entrance. 12:35PM and I made it in time for my tour!
Nelson Mandela's Prison Cell for 18 Years
The tour was divided into two parts after we traveled by boat to the island. Upon arriving, we were herded onto tour buses (3! there were a lot of us!) and went around the island by bus. I was so lucky to have a really good tour guide and I thoroughly enjoyed my tour because of him. After about an hour or so, we were dropped off at the main prison area and were guided by a former political prisoner. The ratings of the tour started to go down as the second guide who should have made my tour even better because he actually spent time in the prison for some years, was disappointing. I could barely understand what he was saying and he didn't seem to be as passionate about the tour as my first guide. It seemed as if he just did it because it was his job and he’d get a lot of tip money. At least we got to see the cell that Mr. Mandela had spent years living in.
The tour was about 4.5 hours and I got back just about 4:30PM. I was attempting to cook Hawaiian food for Peter and his fiancée, Claudette, so I needed to do some grocery shopping. I was trying to figure out where I would go and where I could park. Like any big city, parking is always going to be an issue. I think were quite spoiled in Hawaii where we have many large parking lots and if it's grocery shopping, parking is free. So after contemplating for some time, I decided to continue to leave my car there as I went shopping. It took me about an hour to try to find the closest ingredients to what we find back home. I was finally on my way about 6:00PM.
Dinner was okay though I couldn't get the Kalua Pig right. I don't think I bought the correct cut of meat. It came out quite dry and hard but my guinea pigs said that they enjoyed it (I ended up making kalua pig and cabbage the following night which was much better). On the menu that night was: Kalua Pig (sub-average), lomi salmon (descent), ahi poke (excellent!), chicken adobo (not so good because I had to use Kikkoman shoyu!), rice (could have been better) and haupia (excellent!). That night I had an idea that I should really try to hone my cooking skills as this is really the only way (the best way) to bring a bit of Hawaii to these far corners of the world; I think with some practice, I can eventually pull it off! It did start to make me start to consider culinary school too...I did come up with some pretty great items to sell at our restaurant! If I could only learn the technical part of cooking...
|Kalua Pig and Cabbage|
|Photos from Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens|