Cape Town Travel Diary: Been There, Done That

Our tour guide was right, I had the Cape of Good Hope on my list. As we approached the lookout point he began, "When you first heard of the Cape of Good Hope, whether it was from a school teacher, or a geography textbook, you probably never imagined that you would be here. Well, now you can say that you were there." Then he paused, "But we will only be stopping for just 8 minutes, because a photo is about all there is to do here, and we want to get on to Cape Point, which is really the more interesting and scenic place." There was actually a scenic hike that you can take at Cape of Good Hope, but we were on a tour van with about 10 others, so there was an agenda to stick to for the day. As we drove away the guide said, "Okay, now you can say 'been there, done that.' Yeah, not the real explorer spirit, but, you know.

The vista at Cape Point was breathtaking, it was hard to concentrate on our lunch when there was such an extraordinary view. One that wouldn't fit into my camera's lens. An important cultural lesson I took away from lunch was that "catch of the day" is called "line fish" in South Africa. As in, whatever is pulled off the line that day. I must have been nodding off due to jetlag when our tour guide explained the best fish to have in South Africa, so somehow I thought that the indigenous fish that you must try in South Africa was a fish called "line fish." When my friend asked me what kind of fish I was eating, I simply replied, "line fish!" He waited until the next day when I was eyeing the line fish on the menu again to politely explain that this might be a different fish from what I'd had the day before. I left South Africa not really knowing what kind of fish I ate, or should have eaten.

The whole time my friend (a co-worker who'd also flown in early) and I walked around we marveled that this is actually winter in South Africa. Unbelievable for those of us who make it through Chicago's dreary, bitter winter season. It was probably in the high sixties tempurature-wise. The sun speaks for itself. On the road, our journey was a mini safari, spotting baboons and wild ostriches. This ostrich made me laugh, since the bushes now look like his body, exaggerated.



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