Rain, wind, rain. And chilly! I shivered at night under a thin comforter, wore my fleece to bed, wrapped my toes in a towel. There was no heater in my room at Cape Town Backpackers.
I thought about doing a shark dive, but I couldn't sort out the ethics. Are shark dives okay? Are they not okay? They're certainly cheap enough in Cape Town. But is it acceptable to chum to attract sharks, to associate them with humans? What I needed was an expert.
So in the end, I did two days of touristy things that rain didn't ruin. Two days of things so clearly on the beaten path that I didn't have to sort through the morality of them. And laundry.
On Monday, I went on a winery tour with African Story Tours. On Tuesday, I toured Robben Island, where apartheid-era non-white political prisoners were held, including Nelson Mandela.
Of these, the winery tour was infinitely more fun. Robben Island was sobering, interesting, and still a bit horrifying although we've all heard the stories over and over, although the entire experience is repeated dozens of times a day for huge tour groups. I caught the MyCiti bus from Gardens to the V&A Waterfront, took the ferry over, and was shuttled around in a large group by bus and on foot, listening to former political prisoners relive their incarcerations over and over. And the unaddressed question, hanging in the air still hangs: What will happen as the ANC strays farther from its roots, as it gets more and more into the realm of wishy-washy political party full of agendas and conflicts, but still gets votes based on its historical importance?
But South African politics was not one bit on my mind on Monday morning when a woman with a van showed up to take me on a wine—and chocolate and cheese!—tasting tour in nearby Stellenbosch.
I don't even drink wine, but Ed Ward told me ahead of time that I didn't have to, that I could just taste it and spit it out. And there was that chocolate and cheese thing, so I was game.
I looked up at fog-shrouded Table Mountain one last time.
And was surprised that I could see it.
Along with a rainbow.