St Michael's Cricket Club

 

South African Expedition 2000

Monday 24 January

Managed to get up at a reasonable time, considering the amount of Castle we had consumed the night before.

The plan today was to do some touristy type stuff. First destination was Robben Island. It was here that Nelson Mandela spent the majority of him time in jail as a political prisoner.

The island is situated about 5 miles off shore. A tour boat departed from the harbour every hour, and soon the spectacular views of Cape Town and Table Mountain could be seen.

The island itself is about 4 miles in circumference. The tour itself takes you on a guided bus tour of the island, and shows you the old buildings used by the warders, a lime quarry excavated by the prisoners, and some of the wildlife that lives on the island, including springboks and ostrich.

We were then shown round the prison itself. Our guide was an ex-political prison, who was able to give a graphic first-hand account of the brutality that used to go on on the island. Some of the things he said were truly horrifying, and makes you wonder how the rest of the world allowed this type of slavery to go on for so long. Tales of prisoners being buried in sand up to their necks, left all day in the 100 degree plus heat, and having other prisoners and warders peeing on their faces were truly horrifying.

Someone lock the door and throw away the key!!

Dave looks glum in a prison cell.
We were tempted to lock it and run off,
but we didn't as he was holding the kitty.

We were shown round the block where the ‘most dangerous’ political prisoners were kept, including Mandela himself. Then we were allowed to go into a block of cells where there were example to the items prisoners made from rubbish they found, such as a belt made from washed up fishing lines. You could also play tapes of prisoners own stories and thoughts.

I would strongly recommend a visit to Robben Island if you ever visit Cape Town. It evokes strong emotions, and makes you appreciate the struggle the black and coloured community had during the apartheid regime.

Back on dry land, we had a look at the Waterfront Aquarium. Well worth a visit, including a massive tank where divers fed live sharks.

Had another game of crazy golf on the way back, and then got w##kered again.

Tuesday 25 January

 

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