Tuesday, November 4, 2008

CT Trip Day4 - Robben Island & wine Yard

In our Cape Town trip I have covered our journey to Knysna on day 1 (actually, it was a night jounrey) and Bungee jumping on Day 2 while we got a chance to see Table mountain on Day 3. We had a booking for Robben Island on Day4 at afternoon while before noon we could either take a choice to see beaches or wine yard. Both were in opposite direction and with a constraint to return to Waterfront, to catch ferry, it was one of beach or wine yard we could take. Weather was cold and no-one was showing enough dare to jump in sea under this cold climate, so it was decided to get some warmth by drinking wine.. Yes, we were going to see some wine yard.

Most of wine yard are located in Stellenbosch which is about 50 KM from Cape Town. Anand took the driving seat and after about 40 min we were near this city. We had heard about Spier that it is a good place to visit for tasting wine and wine yard. We were disappointed once we reached there that Spier doesn't do trips to wine yard. But they have some good wines to taste and few cafe of different culture to taste different types of food. Also, they have a tiger and eagle breeding place where one could watch and play with them, obvisouly for a charge. We were not so brave to play with tigers while it was their feeding time, so we spent some time watching them eat and then went to watch Eagles. For a charge of R40 one could watch them and have a chance to hold one on his hand. It was quite a exciting experience as Eagle is a strong bird and, if aggerssive, could be very dangerous. There was one instructor, who let us hold one friendly bird. I was almost laughing with joy and excitement that bird was actually interesting in humans and she herself was interested in coming to one's hand and look at face to, may be, recognising something. Initially we tried it with gloves but later few of us even tried bare hand to hold her. It was fun.

We did some wine tasting. Now don't get any ideas that we were actually trying to do it like professionals. We were even lower than novice in this field with few of us tasting it first time in life, so lets keep it like we were just tasting it for getting a bit high or in hope that we could actually sense difference in two wines. In last, for us everything was same except a little bit of dryness or smoothness. Once finished tasting, we were on road ahead as we had still not seen any wineyard. With a bad luck we could not find any which could offer a quick trip (we needed to go back to Waterfront in time, so) but with a better luck we came across a Distelery and person there was very kind to show us the whole processing and explain it with good detail. We also got chance to taste a, I don't remember it was a 70 or 80% pure alcohol, filtered alcohol.

With this luck we thanked the person for his time (we are really thankful to him) and started for our back journey to Cape Town. Everybody was hungry and knowing that we will return in evening with very less chance that we will get anything on Robben Island, we went for our individual choice of food. Anand proposed an extra bucket of KFC spicy chiecken wings which many of us agreed. But what is this? once everybody has eaten, nobody was ready to eat extra chicken wings. Anand literally pushed few of us (me included) to finish 16 pieces of chicken wings after having a heafty meal. But thanks to Anand, we liked it and sorry others who missed it that it was very tasty.

We collected our ticket for ferry trip and went to stand in queue. We were much ahead in line and had decided to take roof as it would give a better view with a lot of sea air. It was a bright day and we started to think once we were on top that was our decision good to come on roof. But once it started the thought was away as cold sea air was actually forcing some of people to grab their jacket and put it on. Photo session started for us to take snaps in different angle (isn't it a boon from technology that now one don't think about running our of reel and take limited snaps:)).

We reached Island in around 45 min. The bus which was supposed to take us to first spot was not available and so we walked to get in there. It was the enterance and main office for jail for which this Island was being used in Africa. Main office means some of their tourchur rooms as well. We also saw cells where many of them were forced to live with only two thin blankets while temperature could go beow zero in times. Cells where many others were put in to live in abondance, away from others as a punishment. It was sad but fact of history.

Later we got a tour by bus for whole Island to show officer quaters, church and other buildings.
We returned to catch back ferry and again we were on roof with a hope that we might catch a sunset from mid sea. But ferry was fast and we reached waterfront back just when Sun set and we missed it behind heights of ships on dock. While on ferry we had fun trying to take snaps and you could see that few others (and beautiful one) joined us in our fun.

When back at waterfron, our schedule went back to same going back to room, order pizza, eat it while drinking and sleep to get up on next day. you can say that our evenings were boring and we could have done a lot in Cape Town but I think we were able to do a lot in day time that we didn't wanted to spoil it with another tiring dance or roaming in night. Also we need to get up early next day so that we don't miss any place which could be of importance. You will see that on our last day of trip our decision was not wrong and we did happen to get few exciting events even when it was raining most of the day.

Note: I request you to please comment on how you liked it and let me know what could have been improved.