Saturday, January 12, 2013

Looking at Table Mountain, from Lion's Head
Camps Bay, a exclusive Cape Town suburb, looking south. 

Down town with the Harbour

I found this unbelievable, with all the wind they have and the rocky soil, how can this tree still be there. 

There were some challenging parts of this hike, Barry coming down. 

The high density shoreline directly below the Lion's Head. 

We went for a hike up Lion's Head with Brian and Dorothy.  It is the peak that is quite rounded just next to Table Mountain if you look back at the last blog,s pictures you will see the pointed round peak,  It was bright and sunny this time and we had wonderful 360 views of Cape Town. There were sections where there were ladders and the steel steps bolted to the rocks.  At times I felt uneasy being so close to the edge with the wind gusting around unpredictably.
Robert Subukwe's house, the structure opposite were the dog kennels, bigger than some of the cells. 

A former political prisoner, leading the tour, he has a sample of the identifications they were required to have on them at all times while they were imprisoned. 

The cleaned sanitized version of the hall Nelson Mandela used to be escorted down on his way to the quarry. 
The prisoners were isolated, not allowed to talk to each other, even while getting fresh air. That is a photo of a young Nelson Mandela on the right. 
Later on that day we headed out to Robben Island where the political prisoners were incarcerated during the apartheid years.  We saw the cell Nelson Mandela spent 18 years in and the quarry where required to work. They had to chip out quarry stones and then move them from point A to point B and then back again.  At first it was so they stones could be used to build roads and then it was just an exercise in punishment..  Robert Subukwe, was imprisoned after he led people in a passive resistance to the law that you had to carry a pass with you everywhere.  He served out his sentence and then when he was about to be released the S. African government invoked a new law, called the Subukwe clause that allowed them to detain him because they were afraid of what he might do.  He lived in that house in isolation for 13 years until he was so sick they released him so he would not die in prison.  
On a lighter note, when Hilary Clinton came to visit the island with Bill, when he was President, they were going to tour the island, there were not enough buses for everyone visiting to go at the same time.  Hilary suggested they fly a bus over to the island, so they did.  The helicopter bringing the bus over had one of the straps break so the pilot released the bus, just short of the island.  So if the tourist miss the last ferry back to the mainland, they can always take the bus. 
We are off to Namibia in a few minutes.  I must say we have loved our time in South Africa and would recommend it as a holiday destination to anyone.