Tuesday, 9 April 2013

The Miller family visits Cape Town...

Candace's parents and sister came to visit us here in Cape Town the week before Easter. We were very excited when their plane touched down on the tarmac at Cape Town International on Saturday night, 23rd March. I had been monitoring their progress on a couple of flight tracker websites throughout the day! Due to work and school constraints, they could only visit us for one week. So we had to fit as much "touristy" stuff as possible into that time period, but also allow moments to relax and hang out with us.

 Little welcome packs we made for their arrival.
 Proteas (indigenous flowers) for Lavone.

The day after they arrived we took them to my church where they enjoyed the service and were able to meet Pastor Peter, who married Candace and I last year. Once home, we had a braai (barbecue) in the back garden with the whole family. It was great fun.

Monday dawned with a strong wind blowing, but since I'd been following the weather reports and knew that Tuesday would be the perfect day for the cableway, we decided to make this the day to travel down to Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope. We drove roughly the same route Candace and I cycled for the Argus Cycle Tour, some two weeks prior. We stopped at Boulder's Beach and saw many African penguins, and then headed down to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, part of Table Mountain National Park, where we saw tortoises, some bontebok (a type of antelope), ostriches, baboons, and many beautiful views. We headed back via scenic Chapman's Peak Drive and Hout Bay, and then had supper at Newlands Spur.

 Simon's Town.
 African Penguin and eggs at Boulder's Beach.
 Miller's Point. :-)
 King Protea plant.
  Bontebok grazing.
  Ostriches own the roads here.
 Cape of Good Hope.
 Baboon and baby.
  Chapman's Peak Drive.

Tuesday was a day that tested the patience of all of us, as we had to queue for a couple of hours waiting to go up Table Mountain in the cable car. Candace and I had some promotional offers that we got in our Cycle Tour race packs. These allowed a two for the price of one special offer. My sister came along too and once up we had a lovely time marvelling at the breathtaking views of Cape Town and the surrounding areas - all the way out to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for many years prior to the dawning of democracy in South Africa. We then visited the V & A Waterfront on our way home. A highlight for me was to enjoy a lovely traditional Mennonite meal that Lavone and Candace made for supper. It was amazing!

 Camps Bay.
 Mountain lizard.
Dassie (Rock Hyrax).
 View looking down at the lower cable way station.
 On top of Table Mountain.
 Lion's Head and Signal Hill with Robben Island in the distance.
 View across to Devil's Peak.
 Clock Tower at the Waterfront.
Devil's Peak and Table Mountain from the Waterfront. The upper cable way station is at the very right of Table Mountain.

A visit to Cape Town wouldn't be complete without a drive to see the view of the mountain from across Table Bay, and so Wednesday we drove up the West Coast and found a lovely beach near Blouberg. Here we enjoyed walking, wading in rock pools, and gathering shells. It was a lovely day with a chilly north wind blowing, causing some cloud cover on the mountain.

South Africa. 2013.

Thursday my parents took Candace's parents for a drive of the country outside Cape Town. They drove through farming and wine country out to Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. While they drove through the lovely scenery, Candace and Hannah enjoyed browsing through Canal Walk, one of South Africa's largest shopping malls.

Good Friday saw us, after the Good Friday service at church, head up to the University of Cape Town where we all took part in the Two Oceans Marathon Fun Runs. The Two Oceans Marathon is a 56 kilometre Ultra-marathon that occurs every Easter Saturday in Cape Town. The fun runs are part of the build-up to this event. Candace, Hannah and I struggled through the 5,6 km route, while my sister Debbie, Mom, Dad, Mike and Lavone all managed the 2,1 km stroll. We had supper that evening at the Mugg and Bean at Cavendish Square.

 My sister and brother-in-law and my nephews came to visit us at the Mugg and Bean.
Family photo. Got to love Jesse's mouthful of chips! :-)

Before taking them to the airport on Saturday, we were able to go to Craft in the Park at Rondebosch Park, which sees many vendors selling their lovely arts and crafts. But after an amazing week (which went by too quickly) we were heading back to Cape Town International, where some sad goodbyes were said. Thanks for coming to visit Mike, Lavone and Hannah! Hope to see you in the USA soon! 

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