Cape Town-Thursday-3/3

Day 29, Cape Town-Quick breakfast this morning at Euro Haus, before trying to get a hair appointment at Mop. No go, should have addressed this issue earlier. Just so much to do, that I let it slide. On the waiting list in case there’s a cancellation. I’m going to have to find another salon, if I don’t hear soon. Anyway, let it go for the day and grabbed a cab out of town to Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, the last of the sites to see on our list.

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The garden and nature reserve are about 1306 acres. The developed garden is about 89 acres. After 3 hours stumping up and down hills, it felt like we covered all 89 acres! It is the largest of 10 botanical gardens managed by the South African National Biodiversity Institute. The site was surveyed and administered by the VOC in 1652. After the British occupation in 1806 the land passed through several hands, the last being Cecil John Rhodes who bought it in 1895 for £9000 to protect the eastern slopes of Table Mountain from development. When Rhodes died in 1902, Kirstenbosch was left to the nation. It became a botanical garden in 1915.

Magnificent is a good word to describe this beautifully planned indigenous garden. There are areas with vegetation that has been unaltered by man that dates back to prehistoric times, areas with endangered plants, a tree canopy walk, stone sculpture garden, useful plants garden, fragrant garden and much, much more.

I can imagine the fantastic floral display that there must be in the spring and early summer.

We loved the stone sculpture garden. All the pieces were created by African artists.

Our cab drivers were interesting guys. By the way, we’ve yet to see a professional woman driver, in cabs or buses. The driver that took us out to the garden came here from Zimbabwe. He had a lot to say about Mugabe, the hero rebel leader, who went crazy with paranoia. He is thankful to SA for taking him as a political refugee, but is waiting for the day when he can go home. Our second driver was from the Congo. He had a lot to say about the dangers of living in SA, because of the resentment over jobs. He went on about the lack of education in the townships and how the inhabitants are not employable. This is all a repeat and confirmation of Laura’s views during our township tour.

When we got back into town there was excitement on Long Street. A fire had broken out in the backpackers hostel just down the street from us. We stopped for a drink and watched the action. The fire was out quickly and no one was injured.

We are going back to Boston for burgers tonight. We really like the owner, Eric and want to support him in his fledgling business. Plus he has a full band tonight, although I’m not sure where he’s going to put them. As you could see from the photo in yesterday’s blog, it’s not a very big place.

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