We arrived at our accommodation in Cape Town around 9pm last night and we are staying in a cottage in the DeWaterkant area which is centrally located within walking distance to the CBD, Bo-Kaap and the Waterfront. There are a lot of restaurants, bars and shopping in the streets around DeWaterkant and the area makes for a great home away from home.
This morning the weather was not looking good as there was very heavy cloud cover over Cape Town and Table Mountain was completely cover by the table cloth – that is the name given to the heavy clouds that roll over the top of Table Mountain and completely blanket it. Just as well we had planned to head out to the Biscuit Mill in Woodstock for the Saturday Neighbourgoods Market for our breakfast which is best way to start your weekend when in Cape Town. The market started in 2006 in what was a really run down part of Cape Town and now is the thriving heart of the city’s creative industries thanks to urban regeneration. The Saturday market is predominately food but there are also other sellers there with jams, sweets, eco shopping bags and a lot more. The criteria to be a stall holder is that they must produce the food or goods themselves and they must be a micro-merchant.
We really only came for the food and with so many stalls to choose from the hardest part is deciding what to have. I had a small frypan full of mushrooms, poached egg, cheese and loads of other things that I cannot remember but I can tell you it was great. There were stalls selling cakes, breads, anything Avo, toasted sandwiches, iced teas, paella, salads, you name it and I am sure it was available.
Besides the Saturday only market traders there are a large number of permanent traders at the Biscuit Mill and we spent some time looking at the great items on sale. One of the things that struck me was the quality of the goods and the variety being offered especially the leather goods. The area is a great place to pick up presents that you will not find anywhere else.
After a number of hours at the market we could see that the cloud was lifting so off to Table Mountain we went. Cape Town weather changes very quickly and when visiting this city you must be very flexible in your sightseeing plans as you never know when you will be able to get up the mountain. Due to the popularity of Table Mountain by both visitors and locals alike the queues to get tickets and onto the cable car can be very long but we were lucky and did not have to wait at all. By the time we got to the top the cloud was still lifting and while we did not have the full spectacular views down to Cape Point we had great views over Cape Town and Robben Island. Table Mountain is part of a World Heritage Site and is the single richest floristic area in the world with over 1,450 different species of plants in the fynbos vegetation. It is also home to daisies, lizards, butterflies and birdlife. There are a number of walking paths you can follow or you can take a guided tour but which ever way you do it, you will love the 360 degree views.
Our next stop was Signal Hill which is next to Table Mountain and by the time we had driven there the clouds had fully lifted and we had the most wonderful view of the mountain and of Cape Town. There was a good wind blowing and the paragliders were out in force and I counted 15 of them in the air catching the wind. Unfortunately we also had a flat tyre but a couple of the guys waiting to take off came to our rescue and we were soon off to our next destination, Hout Bay for a late lunch.
Hout Bay is 20 kilometres south of Cape Town’s CBD and is surrounded by mountains to the north, east and west and the southern Atlantic Ocean to the south. The bay is sheltered and is one of the busiest fishing harbours in the Western Cape and now supports a thriving tuna, crayfish and snoek (a species of snake mackerel) industry. If you are looking for good seafood, this is the place. Hout Bay is home to a yacht club, has a great beach and is a local spot for surfing or just chilling on the sands. There is a covered market, opened on the weekends and it attracts people, mainly locals from all over the area for the great food, live music and original locally made goods. We did not get to the market as we had just come from one and were a bit on the late side, but we did get to sit in a restaurant overlooking the harbour while enjoying good food and wine. We travelled back to Cape Town via Camps Bay where we sat and watched the sunset over the sea. There seems to be a bit of a theme on this trip. Once again we were not disappointed and the sky went from yellow to pink, to mauve and then red, it was another stunning sunset in Africa.