Over Christmas, 2003, I went to the Southern part of Africa to visit Katie, a good friend from high school who just finished two years in the Peace Corps. We traveled around, mainly by buses, and camped at youth hostels, to cut down on cost.
Here is a picture of Katie and I after we climbed a little hill near our hostel to get a good view of Cape Town. I was so tired on my first day (traveling and jet lag) that Katie noticed I was walking with my eyes closed on the way home.
The port in Cape Town with Table Mountain (they should just call it a mesa) in the background.
We climbed to the top of Table Mountain and saw a nice view of the surrounding area.
We saw a nice sunset from the top. It was interesting to see the magnification effect of the sun through the water of the ocean - the larger circle on the bottom is being magnified from the water. Other interesting thing was that the moon was backwards down in the Southern hemisphere.
Another view of Cape Town and Table Mountain from across the water. This is from Robben Island.
Robben Island is where many political prisoners were held during Apartheid in the 80's. I was shocked to learn that Apartheid was demolished as late as 1994, I thought it was much earlier than that.
This is the limestone quarry where they worked the prisoners. This whole in the wall is what they used for a bathroom - they just put a bucket inside. Robben Island ended up turning into a University because of the inmates - when two of them would go to the bathroom, they would use that time in this hole to teach each other to read and discuss the political climate off the island.
There is a breed of penguin that lives in Africa, apparently very used to the hot weather.
A little more expected, seals come and take a rest.
Street performed we saw while we ate lunch one afternoon. He did some pretty interesting tricks - I was surprised that he could have as long of hair as he does - one mess up and all his hair would go up in flames.
We then headed down to Cape Point, also known as the Cape of Good Hope.
Here is a nice 270 degree view from near the tip. On the left is thee Indian Ocean and on the right is the Atlantic Ocean. There is no natural border of the two oceans, so it is a little arbitrary as to where one ends and the other begins, but I think is fun to say that I saw them meet.
Very pretty coastline down at the cape.
A little bit of the desert we were traveling through - very pretty though.
We arrived into Rehoboth, where Katie lived for two years, at 5:30 AM and walked around town for half an hour to get to the school, where she taught.
Some of the houses of the town. I really like how colorful they are - much more so than the houses I am used to. The people of this town are called Bosters (not sure if that's spelled right). They are mixed black and white decent.
This is at a dam near the city. I liked this sign - very clever, especially since English is not typically spoken perfectly very often. Africaans is the main language spoken around much of the Southern part of Africa. Africaans is based on Dutch, but a little different.
The dam is privately owned and is sort of a resort.
Katie knew the owner and ended up talking to him. He gave us a chalet free for the night and just asked us to tell our friends about it. It usually costs about $120 per night and has three beds in it. So, to keep up our side of the bargain, here is more info about it.
Downtown in Windhoek, the capital of Namibia.
This is the bus we traveled on for many hours. In the back right is the state building and there is a nice church on the back left. When we were wandering around one day, we stumbled into a very pentecostal church that was casting out demons. It was very interesting to see.
Some of the many woodworking crafts you can buy. Unfortunately, since we were traveling rather light, it was hard to carry anything like this around.
A nice view out of the front of the bus - the buses were quite nice to travel in and there was nice scenery.
We crossed the Tropic of Capricorn - we came a long way up from the Cape of Good Hope (34 degrees South vs. 23.5 degrees).
That was the first half of my trip, click here for the second half.
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