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03-19-2011: Cape Town, South Africa – Camp’s Bay

Southern Sky Adventures: 03-19-2011: Cape Town, South Africa – Camp’s Bay

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Spent the last two days walking the streets of Camp’s Bay and spending plenty of time in the sun and on the beach. The weather has been exceptional these last few days with temperatures of about 80 degrees and not a cloud in the sky.

beachCamp’s Bay has become my favorite beach in Cape Town if for only the right mix of beach, accommodation and activity within but 3 blocks. Like most all parts of Cape Town, the slope onto the beach is dramatic from just a few hundred yards inland. The Twelve Apostles are 3,000 foot mountains that serve as an impressive backdrop to this flat, long and wide beach. Restaurants and a few bars hug the street opposite the beach offering just enough attraction but not so much that it is overwhelming (a la too many parts of the US).

beach side

My pouring over the streets was more than just for a stroll as I’ve needed to expand my offerings for accommodation in Camp’s Bay and walking this area is probably the best way to accomplish my goal. Nice to do so in flip flops and a t-shirt. Little bit of walking, little bit of calling and a little bit of beach time – not a bad combination for the weekend. There are enough attractions to keep anyone content adding a bit of people watching, too.

Friday night Ian and Louisa invited me a friend’s birthday party, Pippa and Alex Harrington were hosting a party for the male member of the duo in honor of his birthday. The party was a cowboy theme and while Ian and Louisa managed to take a few items from their children’s stash to look enough like Marshall Dillon and Festus from Gunsmoke, I managed to bring along what scored me the most points, an American cowboy accent.

The party was held at the oldest hotel in Cape Town, the Kimberly. The stage coach used to pull up at the hotel on its route north to the diamond fields of Kimberly. Cecil John Rhoades spent many a day in the late 1800’s in the bar where the party began.

What started off as a benign group of friends turned into a rather boisterous crowd of revelers perhaps 100 strong. Beer, wine and spirits flowed from start to a rather embarrassing finish time for me of 3AM. Despite being the lone American and not knowing anyone at the start but Ian and Louisa, the liquids flowed strong enough and the ladies dressed attractively enough that I was the last one to greet the birthday boy a fair good night. During the interim 6 hours, I managed to meet a lovely young woman, dressed in full dancing girl western regalia, by the name of Dominique Botha. Oh was she easy on the eyes and was kind enough to enjoy my southern accent. If only she had not been the mother of 4 and the wife of 1, I would have made haste to meet the man she called Pappa, further to the north in her birthed land of the Orange Free State. Dominique Botha? You just cannot dislike that name. It roles from the tongue in a poetic resonance with which Shakespeare would like to bandy about. But alas, I digress.

Hout Bay

Hout BayThe evening was capped off by deciding to take a cab home to Hout Bay with my friends Simon and Penny as Ian and Louisa had left about midnight (perhaps a good idea come daybreak).

We were all quite inebriated, inebriated enough for us to agree to the taxi, meet the taxi, have Penny and I get in the taxi and then watch Simon walk off into a direction we did not understand. Penny and I looked for him after 10 minutes of his absence but only managed to have a few minutes dialogue with the more drunken car park guard. He could not make heads or tails of what we needed but filled Penny with enough wandering comments to have her wonder where her husband could have gone. Simon was not answering the phone so angst began to rise on Penny’s part until finally she just decided we must go back home to Hout Bay. En route Simon called to report he had taken their car home and was OK. Penny was relieved but not pleased.

The moon over the Atlantic on Victoria Road during our drive home was most impressive. Turns out that the moon on this date was closer to the earth than at any time since 1992. I wish I had the camera to take in the site. Never have I seen such a moon in such a spot and so bright. There was no need for headlights as the moon caste a strong shadow over anything between it and the earth. Quite a site.

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