Cape Town and 58 Chapman Drive Guest House
Cape Town Travel Blog› entry 11 of 17 › view all entries
Day 10 - Cape Town. The Mother City and Gordon's Bay
What a site and an introduction to Cape Town: Table Mountain from the train window.
All of a sudden one of the train staff came into our berth and asked if we know Ona. Immediately, thinking the worse, I get the same feeling I had at the train station. The lady was asked to relay to us that Ona and Hennie were waiting somewhat patiently at the train station.
Now, who you wonder, are Ona and Hennie? They are the people we have rented the guest house from in Gordon's Bay. And they are at the train station? Seems so. Was it expected? Absolutely not. They did ask us for a group photo a few weeks ago. Now we know why and they didn't want it for darts. Actually, we have been communicating for almost a year and sharing info, photos and other things friends do.
We were very concerned about the van also as we are 2 ½ hours late. Oh well, do what we can.
We finally arrived, way layed a porter, unloaded the train and walked down the station. Here were Ona and Hennie, group photo in hand, greeting us like long lost family. They had actually been waiting for almost 3 hours for us. They epitomize the term friendship. It was like coming home again to family for the first time.
As we walked to the gate there were two gentlemen with my name on a sign for our van. Lee-Ann strikes again. She had been working with a sister company, United Kombi Van & Bakkie Hire, http://www.southafricarent.co.za. They also had been waiting for the 2 ½ hours. Now this was service WAY above and beyond. We have the same model van so there isn't going to be a "get acquainted" period as there was the first time. The group went into the "pack the van" mode and had everything in within a couple of minutes. The two gentlemen watched in awe repeating that they didn't think it would all fit. Down with you "nah sayers" foreth we knoweth what we do. Well maybe after 5 times of doing it, we're reasonably good at it.
Ona and Hennie offered to take Karrie and Amy with them, hostages(?), and lead us out. Again, the familiar "off we go" heading to Gordon's Bay.
An explanation is due here. Why did we pick Gordon's Bay and not stay directly in Cape Town? With all the plans we had and the research it appeared that Gordon's Bay would be close to center of our forays. As I mentioned we had made all arrangements for the rental apartment via email, firstname.lastname@example.org. After numerous discussion with various contacts we knew we were in the right place for our Cape Town stay. View the photos and you'll definitely agree also.
We left the highway and headed south along the Strand, "beach" in Afrikaans. We did see a few signs for Strand Beach. Beach Beach? Nah. We drove into Gordon's Bay and saw the nicest little beachfront town. Now we're heading up, and I do mean up, a rather large hill or a small mountain. Talk about premonition, we saw two planters with the words Hakuna Mathata, no problem, on them. These became our landmark. We turned on Chapman Drive and Hennie turned into the drive marked 58 Chapman Drive and disappeared! Not good. We slowly, ever so slowly, followed and saw the roof of the house and about a 30 degree driveway. I was in submarine service for years and don't thinfk I ever experienced a down angle like this before. I shifted the van into 1st and stepped on the brakes and, oh yea, made a mental note to clean the seat when, and if, we stopped. We did, just short of remodeling the kitchen into a drive through.
This place is awesome. Well manicured gardens and walkways, all brick, beautiful. We piled out of the van and they lead us to our new home for the next week. There is no way to describe the view. We were half way up a mountain facing north along False Bay. Directly below us was Gordon's Bay, to the north Cape Town and Table Mountain, to the west the Cape of Good Hope and False Bay and mountains to the east. After a few minutes of taking this in we went inside. The living room kitchen is massive. Add to that three large bedrooms and baths and you still can't appreciate the place.
We asked Ona and Hennie to join us for dinner that night as soon as we settled in and, more importantly, took showers. Arrangements for the location would be handled and we each did our thing.
About 6 PM we met up and piled into the van and headed up and out. That's the best description for exiting the driveway, UP and out. We went to the Harbor Lights restaurant at the marina. The place is on a par with some of the finest restaurants we have been in. Well appointed, great menu and, most important, a wine list featuring South African wines that went on forever. The view to the north over the marina and west to the setting sun was something an artist would love to capture. The meal and service was great as was the company.
Unfortunately, as all good things must come to an end though and we were headed back to the guest house. Now we did see the view during the early afternoon but we were unprepared for the view that evening. The lights were shimmering as far as the eye could see. We did identify Simon's Town across the bay and all the way to Table Mountain in the north. The visibility was that good. As tired as we were, the tripods and cameras came out in force.
The seven of us just sat there in the back porch relaxing and discussing the plans for the rest of the week and especially the next day.