Thursday, October 22, 2009

Cape Town

Today's route:  Seapoint to Noordhoek

The last two days in Cape Town have been wonderful, both in the enjoyment of this increadibly beautiful city and in the satisfaction of a tour well completed.

Yesterday, Wednesday, was a very windy day. The Kennedy's and us left the hotel early and drove north to Bleuberg, which provides the iconic view of Table Mountain across the bay. I have always wanted a photograph of the car from there and it was well worth the drive.

A sugested drive was around thge penninsula, but as windy as it was I decided to avoid the False Bay side and instead headed to Noordhoek along the eastern side. Through Sea Point and then onto Clifton - the beaches as magnificent as ever and then through Bantry Bay and along the most magnificent coastal road up past Llandudno and then down Suikerbosie into Hout Bay. All this was my regular cycling route when I liverd here for a few months so many years ago and it has not lost it's splendor.

Up and onto Chapman's Peak with its long climb is an incredible experience. Sheer cliffs alongside, the icy waves crashing onto the rocks below it is simply magnificent. Rounding the apex, the view back to Hout Bay is outstanding, then we begin the twists and turns of the descent into Noordhoek.

Once in Noordhoek, we were welcomed at Lord and Lady Laidlaw's estate - the most magnificent home and gardens I have ever visited. Spanning over 300 hectares, it is crafted with style and elegance and unlike many large houses it is clearly a home - both warm and intimate depsite it's size. The gardens are simly spectacular and defy adequate description that would do them any sort of justice. A wonderful lunch was catered with care by Christine and with excellence by their chef. It was one of the highlights of this tour.

Also at the luncheon Fredericke had an exhibition of her work - stunning paintings by one of South Africa's most talented artisits. We were fortunate to see them.

After lunch we returned to our hotel and a little later went out to Gordon Ramsey's restaurant Maze - the food was forgetable but the company was great.

Our last day, today, started with a visit to the Christian Barnard Museum which honors the world's first heart transplant - it was excellent. Then a loverly lunch with family (Eve and Gerald ress) and a friend Robyn Nuthall  and then a good afternoon with my brother Rod.

Our final tour banquet was held tonight - it was excellent and sad witht he realization that the tour is now over. Tomorrow we ship the cars, and ourselves, back to our many corners of th world.

I would like to thank John and Fredericke White and Stuart and Cindy Maxwell, our organisers and hosts, for the trip of a lifetime.

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