I thought we’d take our next full day in Cape Town easy.
I thought we’d take our next full day in Cape Town easy, so I planned for us to spend the day at Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden. Little did I realize (again) that our pleasant outing walking through beautiful gardens would actually be all uphill and a mental battle!
Originally, I had wanted to take a picnic to the gardens and enjoy the whole day since I knew the grounds were expansive. Since most of you know Andrew and me you also know that we are not early morning risers. I used to be until I married a night owl who doesn’t sleep well. Now, I’m on his schedule. Needless to say we did not pack a lunch since we had just eaten breakfast!
We Got to the Gardens
We got to the gardens just after or around most peoples’ lunch time. The cost is 65 Rand per person which is about $5 per person. Once inside the garden tours and talks are free. The garden boasts at being named one of the greatest botanical gardens in the world. It is located at the base of the iconic Table Mountain on the slopes of the eastern side. The weather could not have been more perfect for strolling through gardens and enjoying the flora and fauna on display.
The gardens are divided in to types of gardens such as Proteas, Annuals, and Ericas, etc… We reviewed the garden map and decided to head as far from the entrance as possible and then stroll back toward the entrance taking in all the scenery. The entire route in to the gardens is uphill! Nothing like climbing the mountain and the hike from the day before, but my legs and butt were still sore from yesterday. Everything hurt!
We reviewed the map again when we came to a stopping point since we were unsure where we wanted to start. I saw that there was a waterfall on the map. It didn’t give a distance, but we decided to make that our starting location point. We continued heading in the direction of Skeleton Gorge to get to the waterfall.
I Have to Admit
I have to admit, the walk was really nice and you felt far removed from the bustling city outside the gates of the garden. However, the incline began to get steeper. Andrew and I argued over which way the waterfall since the trails weren’t labeled. Essentially, we had left the ground of Kirstenbosch Gardens and had gone on to public paths that lead you as a back entrance in to the gardens. There were signs posted “If entering here, please pay for ticket at front entrance.”
I was absolutely hot and miserable, and my butt did not want to walk up any more stairs. I didn’t care at this point if I saw a waterfall or not. What is so special about a waterfall? I’ve seen many of them in my lifetime. Andrew could see the misery in my face. I was being a Debbie Downer. I decided to not continue the walk up to the waterfall since the stairs to get to it had no end in sight. Stubborn is my middle name. Do I regret not seeing the waterfall? No. Do I regret acting so miserable? Yes. Sometimes you and your travel partner have different thoughts on what to do and where to go. It is a daily compromise.
I waited for Andrew in the Proteas Garden and we sat down and had a rest. We were both getting hungry again at this point, but we hadn’t brought any snacks or a picnic. After a while we decided to continue or original plan of meandering back towards the entrance, downhill this time.
Most of the gardens
Most of the gardens had familiar looking flowers and vegetation. A few plants were different and rare to us. The gardens were interesting enough to keep your attention for a while before moving on to another one. I think we enjoyed the interactive garden the most. You could touch the flowers to get them to release their scents. It was nice to be able to do instead of just look.
Eventually, we left the gardens and spent the evening with Maarten in Hout Bay at the Bay Harbour Market. It was a great place within walking distance to Maarten’s house where many art vendors and local food and drink vendors set up in an indoor market place. There was a great and lively atmosphere with a live band. It was a great way to wind down before getting to bed. We spent an hour or two looking at all the wares and goods on offer and wishing we had all the money and space to buy some great memorabilia to remember this trip.