Monday, January 25, 2010

South Africa Day 1

Greetings from the Cape,

Today we began our adventure by touring key parts of Cape Town in southern South Africa. Our day began with a tour of Table Mountain. This notable landmark for the Cape Town area was enshrouded in clouds from an incoming storm but we still were able to enjoy the view. The method of transportation to the top of the mountain was by a rotating cable car that climbed the 1087 feet to the top in a mere 6 minutes. Once at the top we enjoyed beautiful views of the greater Cape Town area and surrounding landscape. The awesome views inspired us all. "It really impressed upon me how big the world is and how much there is out there that we typically don't try to pursue" said Bryan Prins. No doubt it was amazing!

Following the tour of the mountain we took a driving tour along the southern peninsula, where we saw Bleesbok and several "naughty" Baboons, as Marius our tour guide dubbed them. Along the way we stopped for a leisurely picnic along the coast at Hope Point amongst the crashing surf. After our picinic we proceeded down to the Cape of Good Hope, the southwestern most point in Africa, and saw where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet. Denny Everson could only say that "it was wild!"

On our way back into Cape Town we stopped at the 580+ hectare (1450 acres) Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens to view over 8,000 different species of native South African vegetation. This botanical garden is dedicated to the conservation and preservation of some of South Africa's rarest species as evidenced by the 40+ different species of the Zycot tree, a native palm tree relative that is federally protected. The gardens were absolutely beautiful and meticulously manicured much like McCory Gardens on the SDSU campus.

This evening we were fortunate enough to dine at The Gold Restaurant in downtown Cape Town. We were treated to multiple samples of native South African foods and traditional dances performed by the restaurant staff. "The food and dancing at the Gold was incredible...that is the stuff I wanted to see in Africa." quipped Michelle Olson. It was an amazing experience for sure.

Overall, today was a great start to our adventure, hope to see you all again here tomorrow. Same place, same time.

Until then, from the dark continent....

Respectfully, Eric Mousel, Michelle Olson, and Nathan Meland

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