We spent 4 nights in Cape Town in an airbnb apartment on the 7th floor with views to Table Mountain, downtown and the marina district. Our first view of Table Mountain was no view at all. It was covered in clouds. The next day it was amazingly clear but when we drove up to the cable car to ride to the top it was closed due to heavy winds. The third day we were able to go up but while the vistas were still fabulous, they were a bit hazy. All these experiences were told are typical so stay a few days like we did so you have a chance to see i and hike on top. There are many trail options including hiking back down. We rode down!
The top of table mountain was beautiful even without looking over the edges where the view in all direction were simply awesome. I stopped to sketch some of the flowers growing among the rocky outcroppings. It was also a good excuse to stop and rest. There are miles and miles of trails up there...Go early in the morning , when it's cooler, less crowded and you'll have more time to explore it all!
Stellenbosch Wine Region
This was another pleasant day trip. We toured the town which is the second oldest town in South Africa. It was originally designed to be a garden to provide provisions for the ships that traveled around Africa. They also needed good wine so the first vineyards were planted here. We visited one of the biggest, Stier Winery. They are a very artist friendly winery, with sponsored installations of outdoor large mosaic murals. They even had a center for local artists to work and sell their art. We had good conversations and exchanges of ideas. Both sides inspired.
Our wine tasting, mine actualys was wine and chocolate. I shared the chocolate with Christopher. It was excellent and we brought three bottles home and 3 chocolate bars. The best chocolate was the white chocolate with lavender. Christopher did his tastings in August.
One day we took a tour of the biggest township in South Africa. It might have been one of our best tours we took because it really opened our eyes to the reality of life in South Africa. We had spent all our time experiencing a very sanitized, protected and touristy environment. The township tour informed us to the realities of what is actually happening, even today to the colored populations. We bought a sketch from a local artist but I didn't sketch that day at all. There was so much sadness I felt for the conditions that existed. Amazingly, there was hope evident and our young guide embodied that optimism for his future. But his path and the people who are forced to live in these conditions is very steep. Black Lives Do Matter.
On our final night in Cape Town we went to an open air summer concert in the famous Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. We packed a picnic and listened to a wildly popular local singer while sitting on the lawn. The gardens are immense and are snuggled on the backside of Table Mountain, getting lots of moisture from the ocean at their feet.
We returned March 3 to Covid 19
It took over 24 hours to get home via London. As soon as we landed we raced home to get our mail in ballots which were sent to us on the day we left, February 3. We filled them out nd drove to our local polling place and turned them in in the last hour of voting.
The plane from London to San Diego was nearly empty in our section. We had a ten seat row to ourselves so I stretched out for a nap and then set up my studio space using three seats. My first reckoning with Covid was the BBC news channel. I sketched what I saw and thus began a new series of sketches that I call "LOCK DOWN". These I have been posting daily on Facebook.