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Saturday, February 06, 2010

Things I Did Yesterday 06/02/10

Today is day three of my time in South Africa! Also, the first blog post I've done in a while. So bear with me, as I describe how yesterday I:

- Woke up around 9am with a hellishly sore throat. I was a bit worried that maybe I had caught something off the plane, but in reality it probably had more to do with the red wine I had stayed up drinking the night previous combined with some fine log-sawing snoring. A couple of paracetamol and a Strepsil soon put paid to that.

-Lovely morning, with a faint haze hanging across Table Bay which soon burnt off to reveal a beautiful, sunny day. Had some toast and coffee.

- Alex and I walked into town, which I enjoyed. Cape Town is very much a driving city, but I love to wander in new places, and there is plenty to see. There's such an interesting mix of poverty and entrepreneurship in the streets. Everywhere you go people are sleeping in parks, or begging. You can't stop at traffic lights without someone coming up to your car window asking for money or trying to sell you batteries or somesuch. But at the same time, we walked past a shipping container that had been hooked up to a generator and turned into a small convenience store, and I've seen around town a couple of times now rag'n'bone men operating with a horse and cart, the latter jerry-rigged out of a car chassis. It's a very odd place here, but there's certainly always something to look at.

- We went to a jewellers downtown to look into getting an engagement ring made for Alex. She's never had an actual diamond ring, but would like one. Her current ring is a simple silver ring with a piece of paua embedded in it. Anyway, the prices of rings really do knock me on my ass. We might get something made using existing jewels though.

- Collected a pile of tourism brochures and then jumped on the city tour bus. Interesting tour, highlighting the mix of history and geographical beauty that makes this place so striking. I can't overstate that latter point: Cape Town i, bar none, one of the most beautiful cities I've ever been to. The mountains are endlessly fascinating, changing their aspect throughout the day as the light changes, and shaping the clouds the lap over them. From every angle they look different, too, and can't help but catch your eye wherever you are in the city. The beaches, while not really my thing, are quite something. Even without taking into consideration the white-sand stretches themselves, the actual bays they occupy are beautiful.

- Went down to the waterfront and had a late lunch, accompanied by a few beers. Very nice waterfront development. I must say, there's something about the waterfront that reminds me of Sydney. The harbour itself isn't as striking as Sydney's, but it feels very similar in terms of the outdoor dining and drinking with live music wherever you went. To be honest, I'd forgotten that it was a Friday night. I bought a pair of flip-flops too, for 230 Rand. Which is about £20. They're very nice, but I do miss the days of The Mighty Pound, where I could roll into any country confident in the knowledge that my super-currency would allow me to live like a king. Oh well, they were good days while they lasted.

- The weather, by the way, has been very pleasant. Mid-20's, dropping overnight to the late teens. The wind hasn't been too strong, either. Very nice, though I'm warned it may well get a whole lot hotter.

- Went out to dinner with Jane & Nick to a steak restaurant in Camps Bay, another gorgeous stretch of coast. Had myself a 500g t-bone steak for the equivalent of around £11 (though Nick generously paid). Maybe this pound ain't so bad just yet.

- Had a dial-a-driver take us home, then sat on the porch looking out over the bay while knocking back wine and rum'n'coke. Then suddenly it was 1am. Whoops!

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