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Another Idiot Abroad
19th Feb 2016 - South Africa
Cape of Good Hope and cricket of no hope?

Another excellent day out yesterday with a trip down to the Cape of Good Hope. 

It's a trip we could have booked with the firm who sorted out our Robben Island and Aquila Safari tours, but we decided to chance it with our best mate John, the taxi driver.  Definitely turned out to be the right decision as we had his services from 9:00am until around 7:00pm and he was happy to stop wherever and whenever we wanted.  He also had a bit of an itinerary planned which covered everything we were looking to see so everyone was happy.  He even turned out in a tour guide uniform and name badge and despite his first language being French,  being from Rwanda, he was right up for the tour and he loves the chance to speak and improve his English. 

We had good opportunities for photos down at Cape Point,  where you can see the Atlantic and Indian oceans, having been through Camps Bay,  Hout Bay seeing seals, an ostrich farm and baboons on the road.  

The journey back took us to Boulder Beach where there were African Penguins.   Who doesn't like a penguin, especially with a cuppa?!  We also went through Simon's Town, then through Fish Hoek and Kalk Bay and on to the vineyards at Constantia, which are the oldest in Cape Town and which are set close to some lovely old buildings with thatched roofs.   The wine tasting was just shutting down,  but as it all tastes like vinegar to me that was no great loss.  Incidentally,  you'll do well to find any vinegar for your chips in the restaurants over here, but at least they don't smother them in salt like in New Zealand. 

We didn't see anything of Kingy at breakfast this morning,  so me and Ro took the scenic route along the seafront all the way to the V and A Waterfront. After a quick drink and snack we discovered that there was an exhibition of South African rugby nearby so took that in.  Some interesting stuff there,  in particular the story regarding their exile from international rugby and obviously their spectacular winning of the World Cup in 1995 following their return.  As a bonus there was a free beer available at the Quay 4 bar on the waterfront with your entry ticket.  Lovely stuff.

The one downer of the day was the grotty weather forecast,  particularly with the first T20 scheduled for 6:00pm this evening. The heavens literally opened as our best mate John picked us up in his taxi. Our plan had been to get there early enough to catch the second innings of the ladies match first,  but the rain and the heavy traffic put paid to that. 

Fortunately the rain soon stopped and we were treated to a thriller of a game,  albeit low scoring.  Needless to say, England again came up short, finding yet another way to lose, having got into a position to win.  With South Africa needing 15 to win in the last over,  England contrived to bowl two full tosses and then miss two run out opportunities.  Although disappointed,  I have to say that the wins seem to mean so much more to the South African people than they do to us.  There is also joy in the crowd on a different level to that I saw in Australia and New Zealand when I saw them beat us a year ago and every good result here seems to have a positive effect on everyone around and is another boost for a country still recovering from a very dark and divisive past. Maybe that's just me looking for positives.

The close game and overall decent bowling performance still can't really hide the fact that England give their wickets away far too easily.  I'm all for the positive approach and this side are World Cup contenders,  but surely not with batting as reckless as this.  One thing in their favour is that I won't be in India to watch it!

We had an amusing ride home in the taxi with John, talking about the earlier heavy rain and trying to explain the saying 'raining cats and dogs' to him.  John came back with a Rwandan saying for when there is rain and sun at the same time.  So 'The hyena is getting married' is what you should be saying in the case of rain and sun and disappointingly England didn't even win the daftest expression to describe weather competition tonight.  John was also treated to Kingy's stories of his trip to Rwanda some time ago, when he was helping to protect the gorillas from poachers.  John says he's now going to be on the lookout for babies looking like Kingy when he next returns home.  Funny!

Last full day here tomorrow and no firm plans, but there is the possibility of some horse racing at Kenilworth.  We shall see....

Next: Time to go home
Previous: Safari so good at Aquila and Paarl.

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