Wednesday, 25 April 2012

First weeks in Cape Town

Panorama from the top of Table Mountain. From left to right are visible Lion's Head, Signal Hill, Robben Island, the Cape Town city centre, Table Bay, and Devil's Peak.
I note to my amazement that it has been over a month, since I posted anything in my blog. Now where on earth has that month gone, and what has been going on? 

Well first I am sorry to have to tell you that I won no award at either the Ravens Eden Porn Awards or the Hookies, but I am delighted to have been nominated none the less, and extend my congratulations to all the winners.

Secondly, I was getting ready for my extended holiday to Cape Town, which is where I am now and will be until the end of May. I am staying with Billy, my best friend, my sis, who moved here last November, and it is truly wonderful to be able to see him every day again. I have to confess to being extremely lazy since I got here. Our days consist of visits to the gym, to the beach, and to the malls, where Billy is shopping to put the final touches to his beautiful flat in Sea Point. The picture windows and balcony face west, and almost every evening so far, we have been able to sit on the balcony and drink in the most spectacular sunsets. Really I have never seen anything like them anywhere else in the world, even from Sounion in my beloved Greece.

Billy and I at the top of Table Mountain
Over the past two weeks, as we have driven around Cape Town, I have been unfailingly swept away by the beauty of the surrounding mountains, and a few days ago we took the cable car up to the top of Table Mountain. However much I have admired the mountains from down below, nothing could possibly prepare me for the majesty and sheer breath taking beauty of the views from the top. Though we are officially entering winter here, the weather has for the most part been better than an English summer, and that day was no exception, the sky a crystal clear blue, the temperature already reaching around 26C at 9am this morning (much hotter by the time we got to the beach later in the afternoon). From the top of Table Mountain you get amazing panoramic views of the city and the surrounding coastline. Indeed it is hard to know which way to look, for wherever you look your eyes are regaled with views of astonishing beauty.

For those of you who don’t know, Cape Town is surrounded by mountains, the most remarkable of which is Table Mountain, standing 1086 metres above sea level. It is characterised by a level plateau about 3 kilometres from side to side, edged by impressive cliffs. The plateau, flanked by Devil’s Peak to the east and by Lion’s Head to the west, forms a dramatic backdrop to Cape Town. This broad sweep of mountainous heights, together with Signal Hill, forms the natural amphitheatre of the City Bowl and Table Bay harbour. The highest point on Table Mountain is towards the eastern end of the plateau and is marked by Maclear's Beacon, a stone cairn built in 1865 by Sir Thomas Maclear for trigonometrical survey. It is 1,086 metres (3,563 ft) above sea level, about 19 metres (62 ft) higher than the cable station at the western end of the plateau.

Other significant moments of my stay have included a visit to the elegant Artscape Opera House, where Cape Town city Ballet were performing Giselle with visiting guest soloists, the excellent  Daria Klimentova and Vadim Muntagirov from London’s English National Ballet. What the resident company lacked in technical proficiency, they certainly made up for in enthusiasm and commitment and it was a thoroughly enjoyable, and moving performance, the youthful company dancing their hearts out, and determined to give of their best for their international guests.

A few days later, we had a very different night’s entertainment at the small Camps Bay Theatre, where Ruby Wax was performing her one woman show Lost It, which draws on her own experience of mental illness, not, you would have thought, a particularly funny topic. Nevertheless, Ms Wax had us all screaming with laughter at her various exploits, her timing and delivery razor sharp. How clever of her, though, never to let us forget that mental illness is a serious subject and still one of the great taboos. The second part of the show brought that very much home in a question and answer session, in which audience members were encouraged, in a spirit of togetherness, to talk about their own experiences, either first or second hand, of mental illness.

Sandy Bay
The weather, as I said earlier, has, apart from a couple of days, been warm and sunny, and we have spent a fair amount of time topping up our suntans, in the knowledge that these sunny days must be numbered. I’ve managed a couple of visits to the nudist beach, Sandy Bay, Billy complaining bitterly on the first one about the 20 minute hike from the car park. Sandy Bay is exactly what its name suggests, a beautiful sandy beach with rocks at either end, one of which has been christened whale rock because whales often play in the waves there, though not unfortunately whilst we were there. The first time we went, the beach was very quiet, just a few naked men lying out in the sun or cruising in the bushes, and on the second time, when I went by myself, I and a young American had the whole place to ourselves. He obligingly gave me an extremely enjoyable blowjob on the rocks out in the open. There is something really enjoyable about naked outdoor sex, particularly when there is no chance of interruption.

We still have so much planned and so much to see in this beautiful country, but I comfort myself with the fact that I am here till the end of May, and I will update as and when I can.