We had a 7am wake-up call and coffee delivered to the room. A great luxury to begin our first day in Africa. We met M.E. and Dave for a brisk walk to the waterfront, then back to the hotel for a great buffet breakfast with the whole Intrepid gang. We all met Frank, our guide, in the lobby at 10 and headed out.
First stop -picking up SA (rand) money - with a side trip for some "retail therapy" in one of the shops on the Victoria and Alfred waterfront.
The bus took us up the mountain to the cable car base, where we climbed aboard and rode to the top of Table Mountain. The vista was spectacular!! The cable car does full rotations as it goes up and down, so everyone gets the full effect of looking over Cape Town and into the cliff. Unfortunately it all disappeared when we got to the top - it had misted over (the "tablecloth" was on the Table Mountain. ).
From there we did a run to Signal Hill where we enjoyed watching guinea fowl for a bit, then walked along the brow of the hill admiring Cape Town spread out below.
A general tour of the city followed , the highlight of which was a saunter through the Malay Community, a neighbourhood of brightly-coloured 250 year old homes and buildings that looked like they would fit into Miami's Art Deco area seamlessly. We were back at the Mount Nelson Hotel in time for a scrumptious "High Tea". We took over most of the enclosed veranda and enjoyed great food and conversation. By then many of us were ready to have some quiet time - seems we didn't quite get our batteries fully charged on less than a night's sleep last night.
At 6pm we reassembled in the McNaughts' room ( it's the biggest after all ) for our first Hall Party. Everyone brought snacks and drinks and we had a couple of hours of music and conversation. We're getting know each other better and better. We all agree that we are very fortunate to have Freank as our guide and that we're having a great time. Some folks went for a bar dinner afterwards, but we decided that after tea and the hall party nibbles we didn't need another meal.
Selected slideshow of the day; click for larger view with Captions: