Africa

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Cape town

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Cape of Good Hope

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Makalali

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Makalali

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Johannesburg

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Okavango Delta

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Chobe 1

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Chobe 2

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Victoria Falls

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Cape town day 1

On April 7, 2012, Craig, Jan Tracy and Amy left Tucson for 17 days in Africa. Jan was up at 2am. I didnít even go to bed. I figured I would catch up on my sleep on the plane. 

I had ordered a car from Hertz for pick up the afternoon before. I am a regular Hertz preferred customer. When I got to the Hertz office the clerk told me that she had a big 4 door Dodge Ram truck that she had to get back to Phoenix. She would give it to me for half price. My price was already a good one. It ended up costing me only $30 plus 7 gallons of gas. It was perfect for 4 people and our luggage. 

We were at the Phoenix airport at 5:30 am, two hours before departure as instructed. The plane left on time for Atlanta. There was only an hour layover in Atlanta. 

The flight to Amsterdam was a great flight. The seats were comfortable and we all had our own movie screen with a selection of movies. We could stop the movie, pause, and backup. I got almost 10 hours sleep on the two flights. Jan, Tracy and Amy read and watched the movies. 

We had a 4 hour layover in Amsterdam. We checked out all the shops. It is a beautiful airport. The flight to Cape Town was 14 hours. We totaled three flights, 4 hours, 8 hours and 12 hours for a total of 24 hours seat time and a 33 hour trip.  

The Cape Town flight was long but a good one. We were all in 3 row seats with the empty middle seat. We again had a large selection of on demand movies. This was my birthday. Tracy and Amy kept coming up with candy as birthday gifts and the stewardess sang me happy birthday and gave us Champaign.  

We arrived in Cape Town Friday night at 10pm. Our host was there to meet us and take us to our hotel. It is a large luxurious hotel near the Cape Town waterfront.

Our host picked us up at 8:30 at the hotel. It is an exclusive tour in a Toyota minivan. We rode around town looking at the huge waterfront shopping area, neighborhoods, the downtown section and other parts of the city.

We toured an old fort in the middle of the city that was built by the Dutch in the 1600s. It is all restored and is the oldest building in South Africa. Then we visited the South African natural museum. We could stay as long or as short as we wanted.

Cape Town is great place. It is surrounded by water on 3 sides with a huge, 3000 foot high mountain and national park called Table Mountain right in the middle of the city. It is one of the 7 national wonders of the world. (I check on the internet and it is.) The top is quite flat and about a mile across. The range stretches south to the cape for 40 miles. The sides are straight up but they have a huge cable car that goes to the top. The ride up is exciting and the views spectacular. We could see in all directions out to sea and look down on the Cape Town. The weather was threatening rain in the morning but it cleared. It was cold up on top of the mountain but nice in the city. It is winter here but very mild but it can change quickly. 

After a break we took a shuttle to the Waterfront. Hundreds of stores, hotels, restaurants and shops. We walked for 3 hours and then had dinner. The girls roamed through the craft shops. The people here are very friendly. There is a real mix of whites, blacks and natives. There are no obvious signs of discrimination however. We were glad to catch the shuttle back to the hotel. Jan was asleep at 8 pm.

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