We drove north from Sossusvlei and out to the Atlantic coast, passing the Tropic of Capricorn, to spend a couple of nights in Swakopmund, the second largest town in Namibia. Industrial buildings sit among small golden sand dunes in the land surrounding the town. The town itself is a bit like a Disney rendition of a german village.
We landed in Windhoek, Namibia in the afternoon of Sept. 4th to sample some of the serious heat that we were to face in the following days. Woodland Hills had trained us well, and our endurance was about to be put to the test. The customs line was unwieldy: a lot of German was being spoken rather than the Afrikaans to which we had accustomed our ears in South Africa.
The original reason that I wanted to go to South Africa from the very first time Alexis and I started talking about doing a round-the-world trip some 10 years ago was to surf at Jeffrey's Bay. It was a given that it was going to be part of this trip, and we managed to plan it to coincide with my 42nd birthday.
Having heard so much about the Garden Route, we added it to our itinerary. From the wine region, one drives over the Franschhoek Pass a few hundred kilometers into the country, passing gorgeous rolling hills in the shadow of an undulating mountain range. Our drive was peaceful, the kids plugged into the iPad IVs due to the length of it, with our first destination being Victoria's Bay.
We departed Cape Town excited to continue on to South Africa's famous wine regions. Already very surprised and impressed with South Africa's gastronomic delights, we had high hopes for the wine district and we were not to be disappointed. The Cape Winelands are located just outside of Cape Town to the north and east, in a beautiful landscape of dramatic mountain peaks and lush, green valleys.
Deserving of its own blog entry is the Cape of Good Hope, the most Southwestern point on the continent. We expected this to be a highlight of our trip to Cape town, and it did not disappoint. On our drive down, we stopped to watch the enormous surf breaking out at sea and on the rocky shore before starting our climb up to the peak at the point.
We've spent the past 7 days in Cape Town, also known as the “Mother city” for its role in the development of modern South Africa, and exploring down the Cape peninsula. Cape Town the city itself is absolutely impressive, with the domineering sheer cliffs of Table Mountain, Lion's Peak, and Signal Mountain hovering over us at all times.
"10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 Blast off!", the kids screamed aboard our Air Canada flight that would route us via Montreal to London for a 12 hour layover before our round-the-world journey officially began. Flying Economy class was a rude awakening and gave new motivation to my quest to slim down—significantly—as the kids' width seemed a lot more appropriate for those seats.