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Goodbye Cape Town

Written on: Tuesday November 14th, 2006

A journal entry from: The Winter of 2006/2007

A sad goodbye to White Lodge which has been a very comfortable place to spend our first ten days in South Africa.Catherine and Darrell already feel like old friends, I hope we meet them again some day. So now before we head out to the Garden Route a reflection on our past week and first impressions of South Africa.

  • Although the townships are very basic with extremely humble housing, the people that live there don?t seem to feel that they have a bad life In fact the communities seem to be closely knit with a strong family commitment and the majority looking out for the welfare of others. Ann Collinson met a girl on the flight from Joberg who wanted to take Ann around one of the townships as she is very proud of where she came from.Strangely enough though she was on the flight because she was coming to Cape Town for the funeral of her boyfriend who had been shot in one of the townships a couple of days earlier.

  • Cape Town is a very modern city that visually would fit in well if it were plucked out of South Africa and deposited in coastal southern California.The people are friendly and happy.The service in the restaurants is good as is the food and the prices are similar to those in the States and Canada.

  • The golf courses are good and abundant.The ones we played were a bit pricey but we understand there are cheaper ones.

  • The scenery is fantastic, just one beautiful area after another.The streets are clean, wide and reasonably well signposted.It?s a very green landscape mindful of the Brisbane area.

  • Although we?ve been warned to be careful as there?s a lot of violence around, we never felt threatened but security in the Cape Town area is very apparent especially in Costantia where most of the houses are surrounded by high walls with barbed wire and electric fencing on top.
  • We?re constantly running out of change as there are people ? usually black males ? in every parking lot who will ?guard? your vehicle for you whilst you?re shopping, playing golf or taking a walk.They then stand with their hands out when you get back, so we usually give them 5 rand, which is just less than a dollar. One funny thing that happened was after a game of golf one day we noticed that the van looked cleaner and there was a guy cleaning the car next to ours, the ground looked a bit damp but not totally wet.Mike asked if he?d cleaned the car and he looked puzzled but didn?t say no, so Mike gave him 20 rand.Then the next morning we noticed that the guy that did the yard work at the B & B was cleaning cars, we didn?t know if he?d been the one to clean the car and we hadn?t noticed, so Roger spiffed him 20 rand too.