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Doing the Cape - Reprise

Recently, a friend of mine told me that he and a friend wanted "something nice" to do on a sunny Saturday afternoon in Cape Town. My response was (transcribed):

Beer in the sun? Or, wait, there's an awesome italian ice-cream shop in Hout Bay, on your right, just before you round the corner that takes you to Chapman's Peak. Drive the long way round though - along the coast as much as possible. I'm not sure that Chapman's Peak drive is open now, but if it is, that would be a win, and it would take you down past Cape Point, and then you can stop in Simonstown and visit Just Nuisance. Then you could go to the jetty in Kalk Bay, then take the Muizenberg Coastal Road, along, ending up in Stellenbosch for supper. You should've started this two hours ago. I think Chapman's Peak drive is closed, actually, but you could still take Ou Kaapse Weg, which cuts across the lower cape, and bypasses going all the way round on Chapman's Peak. You could also go up northish, to Blaauwberg, and walk along the beach there. Go to Blue Peter and have a cocktail while sitting on the grass out front, although that'll probably be a bit crowded. Or go straight out to Stellenbosch, pick up some olives and cheese from the Spar, and go sit on the university lawns and eat them in the sun. Or go up to Rhodes Memorial and have hot chocolate at the cafe. You live in the most beautiful city in Africa, and you come online to ask what to do on a day like this?!
My point was that there are endless things to do in this amazing city. I've said it before, and I'll say it again.

I recently discovered Do Stuff in Cape Town - an awesome site that lets people add activities, tag them, rate them, add photographs and descriptions, and allows you to search for things by a number of criteria. My friend Megan tried to find a similar site for Johannesburg, and did in fact find a site entitled "Things to do in Johannesburg", which basically boiled down to:

  • Shopping
  • Sun City
  • Leaving Johannesburg for a holiday
Now, I don't want to say anything bad about Johannesburg, but... Well, you know... As Simon and Adrianna say, "Dry, flat and perpetually on fire.". But I digress. I come not to bury Johannesburg, but to praise Cape Town.

A little over a year ago, I wrote about wandering around the cape with Megan. Well, she recently returned, and once again, Cape Town didn't let us down.

Starting on Friday night, we had an awesome Mexican dinner at Panchos in Obs, and then went to Banana Jam for cocktails and drinks with some friends. On Saturday morning, after a bit of shopping at Canal Walk, we drove through to Stellenbosch for the Wine Festival. It was a little packed with students, but we had a lovely afternoon of tasting wines and a few other delicacies (oysters, mmm), then picked up some nice wine, and headed back to Cape Town, where we were having some friends over for dinner.

I have to digress here. Oh, Woolworths, how I love thee. I give you money, and you really impress my friends. For dinner, we made:

  • Starter: Philadelphia cheese with almonds and strawberries, drizzled with honey, on crackers.
  • Starter: Avo wrapped in salmon on a bed of rocket, with a lemon wedge.
  • Mains: Fettucine with pesto, sun-dried tomatoes and feta, with a greek salad and garlic bread.
  • Dessert: Pecan-nut pie with ice-cream
And while I am a little proud of that, I'll come right out and say that I couldn't have done it without the love and support of Woolworths, who always believed in me.

On Sunday, we went to Pastis - a lovely french restaurant in Groot Constantia - for breakfast with Paul and Kerry-Anne Gilowey, and Deon and tink, and thence to Cavendish for a bit more shopping (I sat in Mugg and Bean). When we were done there, it was still an awesome afternoon, so we drove down to the Radisson Hotel, where we had cocktails in the sun, and walked along the pier as the sun set. Finally, to top off the weekend, we went to Beluga for sushi and more cocktails. (Unfortunately, due to a misunderstanding I had with an airport luggage attendant (he must have thought that the camera in my bag belonged to him?), there was no photographic evidence like last time.)

Now, you'd think that I'd just about said all I could about Cape Town. But you're wrong. A week ago was Heidi's birthday, and a bunch of us went to Grabouw for the weekend. To say that it was beautiful will not suffice. We stayed in charming cottages nestled in a clearing in a pine forest, next to a lake in the mountains just outside Grabouw, and it was lovely. Jacques took this incredible panorama:

Grabouw Panorama

I don't think I can say anything to top that, so I'll tip my hat, once again, to the Cape, and stop.

Final call for *camp

A recent mail from Neil to the StarCamp planning mailing list outlines what the current state is for StarCamp:

In case you were late and missed the previous email, we have a great venue at AIMS in Muizenburg. They're giving us a bunch of rooms on their ground floor, but they have some simple rules and requirements from us. But we should be able to have a good event there. We need some volunteers to man the doors and sign people in. We'll have some help from people at AIMS, but we should try be as little an inconvenience to them as possible.

We have T-shirts being made by Quirk. We have free lunch on both days provided by Sentient Communications. We have name tags and stickers from AlterSage. We have free drinks provided by the Western Cape Linux User Group. AIMS has connectivity, so we won't be using Amobia, but they'd be there if they were needed. Hopefully ProsperIS will cover the last-minute minutiae of infrastructure that AIMS doesn't have for us. We're in good shape in this department.

We have 21 talks/events offered over two days, as well as at least 4 others I'm trying to finalise. My expectation is that a few people will drop out at the last minute, but I think we're covered.

Our problem is that we only have 67 people signed up to attend. We have lunch for quite a few more people available. I'd hate for that lunch to go to waste.

CALL TO ACTION: So, the most important thing over these last two days before the event for you to do is invite people to attend StarCamp. Get them to sign up on the main event page (ie, not only on Facebook, if at all possible). Blog about it. Mention it to user groups you're part of. Mention it to your colleagues.

So, tell your friends, have a look at the wiki page, come along, and hope to see you there!
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