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Day One of Three in Cape Town

March 20, 2010

sunny 80 °F
View 2010 Around the World in 20 Days on marksrtw's travel map.

March 20 - I am now more half way around the world from all of you or approximately 14,000 miles and 9 time zones. As I write this it is 10 pm in Cape Town and 1 pm in Spokane still sharing the same day. This has been a refreshing stop for me as the experience so far has been amazing and I have been running on the adrenaline of anticipating of what’s next in this amazing adventure. My first day in Cape Town was a welcome relief from the language barrier and hectic pace of Buenos Aires and Madrid. My home here is a dramatic contrast from my hotel on the main avenue in Madrid called Gran Via and the noise of sirens and the pulse of a major European Capital. I now live in a quiet and charming neighborhood on Signal Hill just above the central business district of Cape Town and short walk to the Victoria Waterfront called the VA. My good fortune continues as the guest house (17 of Loader) upgraded me to a beautiful room decorated with antiques and its own balcony shaded by mature trees that give it a very private and calming feel. That is just what I needed as I have run out of gas. I spent my first day walking down to the VA Waterfront and once again taking advantage of the Red Double Decker Hop on Hop off bus. It was a great way to once again see the main sights without expending too much of my dwindling reserves. The weather cleared as I started exploring the area and soon was near 80 degrees. Of course, I sat on the top deck and soaked in the vitamin D. The city has a new airport and has probably never looked better as it prepares to host the biggest sporting event in the world, the 2010 FIFA World Cup Soccer Championships in June (the first ever in Africa). The new stadium is now complete and the waterfront is fresh and beautiful and will amaze the world when the city is discovered by the world. The bus traveled through the city past the church where Reverend Desman Toto summoned for many years. Past the old fort built by the British in the 1800’s complete with a moot and around the main square that will be the sight of the award ceremonies during the FIFA World Cup. The energy in this city is amazing and I think will only build as the residents begin to realize that what they have been preparing for for 6 years is less than 100 days away.
I hopped off the bus at the base of Table Mountain and road the Ariel tramway up to the top. The tram is nearly identical to the one in Palm Springs, circular and rotates 360 degrees as you travel up the face of the mountains steep slope so everyone has a perfect view of every angle by the time you reach the top. It was cooler at the top but still hot and very, very sunny! As I realized by the end of the day too sunny! Next we drove by the coast riche neighborhoods and multimillion dollar beach front and hillside home that is the most desirable area to live. Something similar to Malibu and yes, their own Venice Beach where all the beautiful and famous people go to be seen. It is also the most photographed in glossy magazines where world models have all been photographed with the icon Table Mountain as the back drop. Para gliders silently soared and circled above and landed on the beach. I would love to do a tandem ride as they are available but I just don’t have the time to devote to that amazing experience. I’m sure it is a amazing but heck, I can’t fit it all in unfortunately. We past close to the stadium the will hold 68000 crazy (anyone who knows world soccer knows exactly what I’m talking about) fans will paint faces, where their team masks and just go insane. It can be very dangerous and probably will be no different here.
We ended up back at the waterfront and the perfect place to grab a delicious seafood dinner of Calamari, Kate (local fish) and chips. As I was heading back to my guest house I could resist the offer to jump on a sunset cruise to see the city from the water as the sunset. It was well worth the 20 bucks and we actually had a whale breach right off the boat which was very unexpected and a perfect end to a perfect day in Cape Town. Well I’m exhausted so I will upload pics tomorrow and let you know how the trip to the Cape of Good Hope was. I’m sure it will be impressive. The weather is supposed to be another sunny one with highs in the upper 70’s and lows in the mid to low 60’s. Right now it is 64 degrees, the windows are open to let in the nice breeze and I am off to dream land and a good night sleep I hope.

Posted by marksrtw 01:58 Archived in South Africa Tagged round_the_world

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I am in such envy of you. Your writing is inspiring me. I think I need to start working on my around the world journey. Have alot of fun and adventure. Don't worry about money, that is what credit cards are for!

by Paula Cleanthous

Hi Mark -
Sounds like you're having a great time. That's a good thing.
Take care.

by Lou

Hey Big Brother, So glad you are having a beautiful time! Keep up the pictures. I love seeing the sights with you. Loved the food picture..you know I love food..checking flights for Mom but she may wait until fall and then you can come with her. Try to get a little more rest. I know how you are so try to change the cycle so you stay healthy. Love you! lil sis-

by Cindy

Yo Bro! Sounds awesome. Just got off the phone with Mom. Read your blog to her and let her know your next stops. Told her you were going to Somalia for a boat ride, then to Iran for a tour of a nuclear enrichment facility...just kidding!

by Skip

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