Thanks to South Africa Airways, our flights from Washington Dulles to Capetown were comfortable (well as comfortable as you can be in coach for 19 hours. But who cares? We were headed to Africa!) As expected, Cape Town was beautiful. We had a full and fun day exploring and taking in the sights: Table Mountain, the Cape of Good Hope and an entire colony of African penguins. I stood on the Cape of Good Hope and looked out toward Antarctica and reminded myself to simply – “Breathe”. So I did. I just soaked it up. It was a beautiful and peaceful moment. Plus it netted Audrey and me one of our great On The Map Travel company photos!
There were, however, aggressive baboons on Cape Point that were attacking people with food right and left. They would charge, the people would drop their sandwiches and the baboons would grab them and run off. I thought it was hysterical, Audrey did not.
We rode the Rovos Rail luxury train from Capetown to Pretoria; it was spectacular (www.rovosrail.com). Very Agatha Christie. We were met at the private waiting room by none other than the owner – Rohan Vos. Get it? RoVos Rail . . . what a clever man. The coaches are vintage wood paneled – classics remodeled and refurbished to mint condition – meals were leisurely and the company was great – very interesting people. We really felt the romance and atmosphere of a bygone era. They hooked up a steam engine for a while – we all climbed into the cab and blew the whistle – boy was it hot in there! One night Audrey and I stood on the outdoor platform at the end of the lounge car – the very end of train – and stargazed as we chugged along in the wild African night. I have never seen stars like that in my life. Is the word magical overused? Oh well — what else is there to say?