Our final couple of days back in Cape Town was spent on the waterfront, soaking up the sun and taking a boat trip to Robben Island, where we saw a playful whale on the way.
The Prison where Nelson Mandela was held for 18 years was a moving experience to visit. Our guide Jama had been an inmate there as a political prisoner for 5 years from 1977 - 1982, and he showed us the type of mat he slept on when he first came in with 30 other inmates in a group cell. When bunk beds were introduced 2 years later there were up to 50 in these cells and they used to shower in cold sea water.
We couldn't believe apartheid only came in in 1948 and lasted until 1992.
The single cells in B block where Nelson Mandela was held were tiny, with just a mat on the floor, a bucket to use for a toilet and a plate, cup and spoon.
We also sat in the courtyard outside his block where they spent 30 minutes morning and evening for exercise. He managed to grow a garden there where he hid manuscripts he'd written for his book 'long walk to freedom', which were smuggled out when his friends were released.
As a single cell prisoner he also had to work Monday to Friday in the limestone quarry with no protection for his eyes. As a result of this in later years he needed eye surgery to repair the damage. They were woken at 5am for breakfast at 7am and were in the quarry from 9 until 4, when there were brought back for supper and then locked up for the night.
On his release and when the prison had been closed, he came back here to give his freedom speech and walked around the quarry to select a stone which he placed in the middle. His followers did the same and you can still see the pile of stones in the centre.
Our tour finished through the village which now houses workers on the island. A community with its own post office, clinic and guest house which used to be the governors house. It also has a lovely school, although they decided 18 children and 2 teachers didn't work, so the children on the island now have to get the first boat to the mainland at 6am and the last one back at 6pm to go to school. Sophia and Jake suddenly realised that an hour or two of home school each day wasn't too bad!
Our return to the mainland was lovely and we saw seals along the way. During our time staying on the waterfront we enjoyed meals overlooking the bay and decided South Africa might just have it all.
White sandy beaches, mountain hikes, safari adventures, shopping, restaurants on the waterfront and even Father Christmas!
Over and out from The Chedgy's World Tour - we'll see you all back in the UK for Christmas! 😘😘😘