CJ, Ted and I took our preprandial walk along the sands below our hotel. We all love this early morning fixture. I do reflect that notwithstanding the good fortune of having a home by the sea it is the moment of stepping out of the front door and onto the beach which makes the experience special. Ted has been finding the occasional sea snail washed up on the sands. It is the same species each time, I need to find out what it is. He finds one this morning.
After breakfast we are going to drive to Llandudno beach and spend the morning there before going to Cape Town to do Table Mountain. First we must pass by the Pik and Pay to buy a bucket and spade. It is a fabulous day and arriving at the beach we hire some umbrellas and beach chairs and set up our little camp fairly high up on the shore.
The rollers are tumbling in, there is surf. We will be tempted to the shore a bit later. There is a nice little splash pool and Nick and I fool around making a string of mini-castles with moats to be fed by overflow from the standing water nearby.
We munch on Droewors and other South African dried meat delights, crisps. An ice cream vendor passes with his freezer box from time to time and on one round we buy something. I choose a mint chocolate icecream, something I have not eaten in decades. In this fashion lunch time comes and goes.
Venturing to the shore I cannot resist the feel of the icy frothy water round my ankles and calves. There is a very strong undertow and coupled with the vigorous waves and the swirling surf I need to brace myself to stay upright. Ted goes in further and is joined by his mother. Ted finds a stipe of kelp which he enjoys waving around. The sea really does feel cold but the clarity of the water, gin-clear, like liquid glass overcomes the chill factor and the pair of water-babies that they are, spend some good time jumping the waves and trying to time it just right such that the whole body is not drenched each time. One wave manages to trip Ted up and he goes under. It is a shock but he recovers from the shock and indignity and it can be filed away as a useful experience.
If we are going to get to Cape Town in time to go up Table Mountain we must leave the beach, although we would have happily spent a day there doing beachy things. Piling into the car we head for Cape Town and the road that winds up to the point where we will take the Aerial Cableway. We do not have to queue for long and we are soon being borne aloft. The ride only lasts five minutes and we reach the summit which is 1,089 metres above Cape Town. We are drawn up into the small atrium which serves as the station. Once you are up on top of the world you can sit and soak up the commanding 360-degree views of Cape Town, Table Bay, the nearby peaks of the surrounding mountains and the rest of the Table Mountain National Park, a World Heritage Site. It is renowned for its flora, said to be the single richest floristic area in the world. There is a lot of fynbos vegetation on the mountain, with over 1 460 different species of plants. There are also plenty of Cape Hyrax (rock badgers), lizards, insects and birdlife.
The plan is to eat in the V & A Waterfront in Cape Town. We do a quick change in our capacious vehicle then head out into the network of malls and pedestrian precincts. Charlotte and I seek out shops that might sell a scarf that I saw in one of the shops adjacent to the Table Mountain ticket office, but failed to buy because I did not have any rand on me at the time. Ted is also due for a treat, a Lego one and he finds a kit he will go on to make single-handed. After this little bit of retail activity we rejoin Ry and Nick in Quay 4 for a drink then go on to Karibu for dinner.