Shortly before Mravic—who has pretty much gone off the grid at this point, leaving Randmarks entirely to me—and [The Boy…] arrived in Cape Town, I hit Table Mountain, which is a big mesa kind of thing with excellent views of the city. (That round thing is Green Point Stadium. And yes, it is always that hazy.)
The unexpected highlight of the trip, aside from seeing Mick McCarthy in the parking lot, was the presence of these little furry things called dassies, which is Dutch for badgers. Though I’m not certain they’re actually badgers. (Typical of the Dutch not to know these things.) I ask you, do these look like the same creature?
Anyways, these dassies just hang out on the rocks close to a mile above terra firma. Looking at them you can’t help but think that they’re harboring thoughts of offing themselves.
After Mravic and [The Boy…] arrived, we took a drive out to the Cape of Good Hope and its neighbor, Cape Point. (Apparently that’s why they call it Cape Town. Who knew?) The drive out was ominous. We stopped at something called Chapman’s Peak, which supposedly offered incredible views. Alas, there were fog issues, so this is what we saw:
The peaks at the Capes themselves, though, were high enough that we were actually above the fog—but only just. It was kind of like being in Cloud City in The Empire Strikes Back….
On the way back to Cape Town, we stopped to see some penguins. It’s pretty amazing—Cape Town is the same latitude as Los Angeles (different hemisphere, obviously), so the winters here are pretty mild. (Remember, it’s the equivalent of Dec. 30 down here.) But it’s still close enough to Antarctica that penguins are indigenous to the area. Had I been paying closer attention at the penguin place, I could tell you more about where they live. But I had bought some gelato and the guy told me I couldn’t take it in where the penguins were, so I had to eat it fast, but not so fast as to give myself an ice cream headache. It was a delicate operation that required a lot of concentration, so I was in no position to focus on the informational signs on the wall. At this point, I’d normally post a picture of a penguin, but my laptop just died. (Astute readers of the 2006 Bechtel/Mravic World Cup blog will remember that the same thing happened in Germany. I blame Sepp Blatter.) So any picture I haven’t uploaded already isn’t going to make it in here (though I was clever enough to upload some stuff for one more post—then the blog is going to look like an 18th century newspaper). Also, chances are you know what a penguin looks like. Seen one, seen them all. (To wit, one of my favorite jokes: Penguin walks into a bar and says to the bartender, “Has my brother been in here?” And the bartender says, “I don’t know. What does he look like?”)
Anyways, after the penguins (there was a sign in the parking lot asking us to look under our vehicle for penguins before driving out) we stopped at Chapman’s Peak, where the fog had lifted and the sunset was incredible. This is where a picture would help, as it would not only look like something on an inspirational poster they sell in those kiosks at the mall, but it would also be a nice counter to the foggy picture above, allowing for a little before-and-after action. But you, gentle reader, can’t really complain. You get what you pay for.
Unless it’s a Mac PowerBook Pro. Then you don’t. You get a piece of crap that fries its hard drive every time you attend a major sporting event.