Cape Town Diaries: Cape Point and a Book Launch

September 6, 2013
After our little excursion at Boulder's Beach, our group headed down to Cape Point.  Cape Point is a Natural World Heritage Site and is stunningly beautiful area of South Africa that is part of a nature reserve.  We visited the old lighthouse, which has become an icon of the area.  It can be reached by ascending on foot or by riding the funicular, a railway that goes up a cliff.  Almost everyone in our group (besides the girl with the broken leg and her pal) opted to just walk it.







Afterwards, we headed on down to the Cape of Good Hope.  The exciting part about driving around this area was that we were constantly on the look out for wildlife, and we were not disappointed!  We spotted: baboons, zebras, and ostriches!



The ostriches were actually hanging out right by the Cape of Good Hope sign where tourists stop and get their photos taken.  I was so surprised at how close they got to us, and felt a little out of my comfort zone with how close one of them got to my professor's husband and me.  It didn't help that he had just warned us to keep our distance because ostriches have one sharp toe that could slice you open in a few seconds.




We drove back to Cape Town, enjoying the picturesque views from the van's windows.


Later, my friend Scott and I stopped and had dinner at Character's Restaurant and Bar.  We ordered pizza, pasta, and had some delicious malva pudding for dessert.  We had been enjoying this Cape Dutch dessert throughout our whole trip, but Scott and I both agreed the one we had at Character's was the best one!


The pudding itself is spongy and made with apricot jam, but the outside of it tastes caramelized and has a sticky texture.  The sauce it is served with is usually a custard sauce made with vanilla.  Some places like Mitchell's serve it with ice cream, but this malva pudding was so tasty, I that I didn't miss the ice cream in the slightest bit.  If you ever go to South Africa and you have a sweet tooth, remember to keep malva pudding in mind!

In case you're curious about the ingredients or want to try to make this dessert, check out this recipe. A recipe for malva pudding is also featured on Oprah's website because that is what was served as dessert to students at the school Oprah opened up. 

Scott and I then headed off the The Book Lounge because there was going to be a book launch there that night.  A book launch is when the author visits a bookstore to talk about his/her new work.  Authors talk about their writing process, experiences, and also field questions from the audience.  When we arrived, the place was packed.  Everyone was dressed up and many were enjoying complimentary red and white wine.  It only got more crowded as the night went on.  We were lucky enough to get seats, but were unable to save some for the rest of our group because there were just too many people in a small space.  The author that came to talk about her work the night we attended was Melanie Verwoerd, who had just written The Verwoerd who Toyi-Toyied.  Let me explain the title a bit...Verwoerd is Melanie's surname.  Melanie married into the Verwoerd family, but later got divorced.  The name Verwoerd is well-known throughout South Africa because Henrik Verwoerd (her ex-husband's grandfather) is considered by many to have been the architect of Apartheid.  Toyi-Toying is a kind march that those who protested Apartheid were often found doing.  Head on over to this video on YouTube if you learn more--the guys on there take you through it step-by-step.

In the book, Melanie tells her life's story about how she and her ex-husband join the African National Congress and how she served as a member of Parliament even in 1994 when Nelson Mandela was the president of South Africa.  This totally went against the Verwoerds and they disowned her.  Later she became the ambassador to Ireland and fell in love with the late Gerry Ryan, a well-known Irish broadcaster.  Melanie said that she made a promise to Gerry to write about him if he should ever die, this book fulfills that promise.  

Scott and I didn't know any of this about Melanie before the book launch, but we were both interested in what Melanie had to say and purchased the book, which we also got signed.  I haven't gotten a chance to read it yet, but it is the next one on my must-read list.
   
It really was another great day in South Africa!

16 comments on "Cape Town Diaries: Cape Point and a Book Launch"
  1. Oh wow, that place looks amazing! I'd love to go there.

    Corinne x
    www.skinnedcartree.com

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    1. It really was amazing! I loved spotting all those different animals.

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  2. Those ostriches are MASSIVE. Never heard of Malva pudding...but now I wanna try it! Made of apricot, and creamy texutre and sticky goodness...sounds just about right. The book signing sounds great! Definitely a place to put on the bucket list.

    .:Marta:.

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    1. They are big, aren't they? That's why I got a little scared when one of them got so close to my prof's husband and I. I think it was attracted to the red it was wearing because we would move, but it kept on approaching us for awhile. I went into the book launch not knowing what to expect and didn't even plan on buying the book, but got sucked into Melanie's story.

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  3. Very pretty pictures Lisa! I love the view. How long are you going to be in South Africa? seems like you have been there for a long time. Do you like it there overall?

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    1. I actually have been back for awhile, but I'm just blogging about it later. I wish I was there this whole time, and yes, I enjoyed my stay there.

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  4. Cape town is SO beautiful . I wanna hug this ostrich unless it bites !
    I always love to attend a book opening , anywhere around my place . No one tells the story as authors do.
    Noor @ Noor's Place

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    1. Haha! You're brave for wanting to hug the ostrich. I prefer admiring them from afar. :) That's cool that you go to book openings around where you live. In the States where I live, my town is too small to ever attract any authors.

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  5. such beautiful pictures and the spotting of wild zebra :)

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    1. I'm so glad we found that zebra! We were starting not to believe our professors because they told us that they saw them quite frequently.

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  6. Wow I really like that light house. It looks so cool there and with all those animals? I could def have some of that pudding for lunch today, it looks yummy! Thank you for linking up for Travel Tuesday, hope to see you next week!

    Bonnie Rose | A Compass Rose - an expat lifestyle blog

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    1. I'm sad I can't order any of that pudding at any restaurants around me. I guess that means I'll have to make it, but I'm scared I'll butcher it! It really was cool there...I think this was my favorite day out of my whole trip to Cape Town.

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  7. What a beautiful view! I love the moodiness the clouds give your photos. And whenever I see an ostrich I always think about the ostrich race in Swiss Family Robinson :) I'm totally fascinated by that wild zebra--do they wander pretty freely in that area?

    Amy | Club Narwhal

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    1. Earlier in the morning on that day it was pouring...I'm so glad that it cleared up and got sunny for our little hike, but I do like the dramatic effect of the dark clouds in some of the pics.

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  8. I'm dying to go to South Africa, it looks so beautiful. I love all the animal shots you got!

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    1. We were so lucky to see all the animals that we did!

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