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Made in South Africa

Cape Town Part 2 White African



Table Mountain..National World Heritage site and just recently elected to become one of the New National Seven Wonders of Nature. The mountain consists of Sandstone and Cape Granite formed by glacial and volcanic action millions of years ago. It is estimated to be over 6 times older than the Himalayas and is considered one of the oldest mountains in the world. There are many reasons to come to Cape Town but Table Mountain is very high on the popularity list and it is on ours for sure. We wanted to make the attempt to get up there yesterday but due to high winds and the fact that visibility was poor (Table Mountain was covered with the tablecloth as they say in Cape Town) and was shut down for a few hours, we proceeded with other activities. Today, though, is another story. We are up and "at 'em" bright and early. We have bluebird skies (lucky us) views of mountains, the ocean, the Cape Peninsula. We ride the cable car to the top, the most modern gondola we've ridden on yet. Once inside and in motion, the floor rotates 360 degrees so everyone can get a chance to enjoy the view from all sides. From the summit we have the most magnificent views of the ocean, the mountains, the Cape Peninsula and even Robben Island (where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned). Once on top, you can also take free guided plateau walks which last from 15 -45 minutes. Rappelling is another activity available (not for the faint of heart).. I WAS considering but decided I will try it next time I visit. I was told "Indecision is temporary, regret is permanent..."when in doubt, paddle out...", can you guess? Did I or didn't I? Definitely a MUST SEE!


Milnerton Lighthouse is on the agenda and is located near a beautiful beach on the Atlantic. We dip our toes in and take advantage of some photo opportunities. Refreshed and ready to continue on our journey we pass the Malay Quarter, the Bo-Kaap (which is the Muslim area) and stop at the V & A Waterfront to visit a diamond manufacturer. Africa is well known for their beautiful diamonds so we had to have a peek (when in Rome....roam!). We were served wine, given the grand tour and led into their showroom. A few of us had some more wine and found the tour more enjoyable than expected (maybe it was the wine). V & A Waterfront is a popular tourist destination which boasts a huge mall, endless choices for dining and a ferris wheel. It's a lively place and great for people watching as well


District 6 and Langa are areas where people who were trying to immigrate to Cape Town from all over the African continent received (to put it mildly) "squatters rights". Over 20,000 people were forcefully moved from District 6 to other areas in the early 1900's. This was a chaotic time for people in this area. Segregation between Malays, Blacks, Whites, Coloreds, Men, Women, Women with children were all divided into separate areas. The Malays were not moved far...they went to the upper Cape. Africans were taken to Langa and were migrant labor for the rural areas. They worked on farms, orchards and forests. Some, skilled, became boat and shipbuilders, the most unskilled...fishermen. In these "camps" they were allowed to practice their culture and religions. The oldest of these townships is Langa. Langa and surrounding camps still exist today. Things have not changed much...dangerous areas that you should not visit without a guide. We explored this township...with our guide. We first visited a cultural center that was erected by the citizens of the town to provide a safe haven for their children after school. With the help of donations and leadership from different organizations, this town succeeded in building a community center out of pallets. The people involved create an environment of learning and help the children use their imaginations to create a happier world. There is talent in these parts. I purchased a beautiful piece of artwork here...couldn't help myself. Everything including the building is "Made in South Africa". There is a sense of pride amongst the students and teachers which was so wonderful to feel. There is hope...and this is where tourism helps...it helps keep the hope alive and creates motivation to keep moving forward. Keep the dream alive...


It will take years to get part way to the standard of living that we enjoy. They have no comprehension of what that is like...not to have to worry about safety, food, water, shelter, health. They are thankful for the smallest gift... be it monetary or, for example, a lanyard with your name badge. They consider that a tremendous gift. We, on the other hand, have no comprehension what THAT feels like....(aren't we lucky!). Community centers are being started in many areas. Some more successful than others.

While we are visiting, we are invited to take an African drumming class which I lOVE! I also volunteer to play the zylophone. Our guide really appreciates my enthusiasm during my recital and dubs me the "White African"! I need to get this on a T-shirt!


Skye (our guide) had an incident at his home last night. Again, danger and corruption is big here. He does have security gates around his house but someone broke into his home last evening. Skye's wife shouted that someone was breaking in and luckily Skye was home...he fought the guy who then ran off but Skye did have an injury and now has to work harder to save more money to construct heavier security around his house. His wife went to live with her parents for awhile since it is now unsafe. These hoodlums usually return. The police force can also be quite corrupt and the people are never certain who is on the up and up... and who is not. Again..how lucky are we!

Skye then leads us down the street for an experience of what take-out is like in Langa. If you are hungry...just head for the sheep lady...(no pun intended)......take a look...


We have worked up an appetite and return to the waterfront for dinner. We grab fish and chips at a bar and grill and enjoy some smooth jazz as we dine. Four of us decide to share a cab back to the hotel. We were told the ride should run us approximately R50 but our driver charges us R70. We have a feisty Italian with us who absolutely refuses to pay the fee. The driver (in his African accent) says "Mama....oohhh...it is Sunday, after 9:00, we charge R70." We ask him to put on the meter but he refuses. Now he is driving like a maniac thru the deserted streets. Our feisty Italian gal orders him to stop the car immediately and let us out. He ignores the demand and continues driving. He reiterates the fact that it is Sunday, past 9 PM and the fee is R70. We are helpless and the Italian is shouting "I dont want to hear your sob story, let us out right now. We are not paying you R70. You will get R50".. All of a sudden we land in front of our hotel and jump out. The Italian's husband (poor guy) sitting in the front seat, gives the driver the R50 and is considering giving him more when the Italian "Mama" shrieks "NO! " The driver pulls a u-turn and speeds away! I ask "Lucille" after the fact, wasnt she scared at all having seen and heard about the crime here. She says "it never came to mind. I hate being ripped off"! Mama Mia!

Well, at least we got back safe and sound, not without incident, though, and not without a good story....and I shlepped my beautiful artwork "Made in South Africa" through it all!

? Memories.....?

Posted by Linda Fluckiger 13:41 Archived in South Africa Tagged town a & cape district v waterfront quarter 6 malay bo-kaap langa

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