Cape Town was the last stop on our journey, and while we’d had very good luck with the weather thus far, all of that was about to change. With the exception of our balloon flight going a day later than expected, our trip had gone down without a hitch, but Cape Town would be different. Not only had we planned three weather-dependent activities, but the weather was about to pack up as well.
On our first full day in Cape Town, we had planned to go to Robben Island, the prison where Nelson Mandela served the bulk of his time in prison. Like Alcatraz, Robben Island is, well, an island, which means getting there via ferry, which means needing relatively calm seas, something that was not looking likely in the days ahead. Fortunately for us, the weather was still O.K. when we awoke, so the ferries were still running.
After a delightful breakfast at our accommodation, More Quarters, we asked the front desk staff to arrange a cab to take us down to the Robben Island Museum on the V&A Waterfront for our 9am ferry to Robben Island. Once we’d been dropped off, we made our way into the reception area of the museum, a multistory structure with images of the island and of its most famous prisoner, Nelson Mandela, papered across the walls. Unable to locate any kind of a ticket in my travel documents, I went to the ticket office with my voucher in hand, while Ali chose to stand in the reception area. This was a mistake. Not only did I actually have tickets already (I would find them later), but the ticket office staff also seemed unsure as to what to do with my voucher. The man in the ticket office took my voucher and went off to seek advice on what exactly he should do with it. While I waited for his return, and completely unbeknownst to me, Ali was having difficulties of her own. It seems that “standing” in the lobby is not a good idea.