Thirteen Years: A Visit To Cape Point

AIDS was… an illness in stages, a very long flight of steps that led assuredly to death, but whose every step represented a unique apprenticeship. It was a disease that gave death time to live and its victims time to die, time to discover time, and in the end to discover life.

~ Hervé Guibert

A Visit To Cape Point

Continued from… Arts, Crafts And An Aquarium

“Annie,” Isaac suddenly called, “bring your camera. This one wants to pose for you.”

Annie rushed over to the tank where Isaac stood. In the tank was a small octopus. It watched them as much as they watched it. Two of its tentacles rested against the window. Isaac traced his finger on the outside of the window and one tentacle of the octopus followed.

“Oh, isn’t that cute!” Annie exclaimed, and she stepped back. Checking if the flash of her camera was charged, she aimed at the octopus. She took the picture from the side of the octopus, but the moment the light flashed, the octopus raised the two tentacles he had against the window with lightning speed.

“Hey, watch out,” Isaac laughed, “he wants to fight you!”

The ends of the two tentacles were curled up and indeed looked like two small fists.

Annie stepped closer to the octopus. She now stood right in front of it. Yet again, she checked the flash and then aimed the camera at the octopus. In the split second when the light flashed and the shutter of the camera opened to make the photo, the octopus moved so quickly that later there was only a blurry line on the display of Annie’s digital camera when she checked the photos.

“Oops,” Isaac laughed, “I think you made it angry with your light.”

Only the head of the octopus was visible now. It had moved in between two rocks in the tank. Annie moved her finger over the front glass of the tank, just as Isaac had done earlier, but the octopus didn’t move anymore.

“I guess it will not come out again,” Isaac said, and he walked on to the next section.

The last section they walked in was a sub-tropical area. In here, birds roamed freely.

“Hey Jeanne, you better watch out. Someone else has an eye on your bag,” Isaac warned.

Jeanne, who was watching something above her, looked down at her bag. A black bird had its bright orange beak against Jeanne’s bag. It wasn’t afraid at all. When Jeanne slowly walked away, the bird followed her.

“I think I have a new pet,” Jeanne laughed.

The penguins were shyer than the black bird. When they stood in front of the penguins’ accommodation, two penguins rushed to hide behind a rock. Both the penguins warily stretched their almost non-existent necks out to keep an eye on the humans.

Via the souvenir shop, they left the building of the Two Oceans Aquarium.

“Jacques, Annie,” Jeanne said when they were outside, “Isaac and I want you to sit on the bench over there and wait for us. We quickly need to do something.”

“What then?” Annie asked.

“Don’t pry, Annie,” Isaac laughed, and he stuck his tongue out at her, “a man has to do what a man has to do. Be a good girl now. Sit down next to your husband and wait for Jeanne and me to return.”

“Oh, you!” Annie laughed. “But please promise me that the two of you won’t do any silly things!”

“We’ll do what we have to do,” Isaac laughed, acting pretentiously posh, and he walked away with a hilarious swing of his hips.

Annie and Jacques waited on the bench as instructed. They passed the time, watching two seals playing around in the harbor’s water and making pictures of the cloud-covered Table Mountain. Even though the sun was shining, there had been clouds up on Table Mountain all day.

It took the better part of an hour for Jeanne and Isaac to return — empty-handed. What the Dutch visitors didn’t know was Jeanne and Isaac had also walked back to the car to put the gifts they had bought into Jeanne’s car.

Jeanne dropped Isaac, Annie and Jacques off at Isaac’s house just before it was dark that evening. She wanted to get home, but Jeanne would join them again the next day.

Isaac, Annie, and Jacques didn’t even go back into the house. They directly got into Isaac’s car and had their dinner at the same Spur as where they had it on the first night that they were in Cape Town.

On this twenty-fifth day of June, it was the opening of the parliament in Cape Town and one of the first official happenings where Thabo Mbeki attended as the new president of South Africa.

Kathy was one of the military people walking in the parade. The agreement was that Jeanne would wait for Kathy at their office and then the two of them would drive over to Isaac’s place.

During the morning, Isaac drove Annie and Jacques over to the Blue Route shopping mall, since Annie needed a couple of things more to take home with them. Just after the lunch, Jeanne and Kathy arrived at Isaac’s house.

They didn’t waste any time.

All of them got into Jeanne’s car, and Jeanne pointed the nose of the car toward Cape Point. Cape Point is not, as many people thought, the most southern tip of South Africa, but it was definitely the point where one traveled more eastward than southward. Another misconception was that the Cape of Good Hope, or Cape Point, was the point where the Indian and the Atlantic Ocean were divided. This however, occurred at Cape Agulhas.

At the gate that gave entrance to the Cape Peninsula National Park — Cape Point was situated in this park — Jeanne and Kathy paid the entrance and didn’t want to take any money from Annie and Jacques. A drive of a couple of kilometers into the park brought them at the visitors’ parking area.

“I would love to walk up to the viewpoint,” Annie said, “but I don’t think that you should do so, Isaac.”

“Indeed, stay here,” Jeanne agreed, “and I will stay too. This place on my leg is hurting too much to walk all the way up.”

Jeanne had a burn on her leg where she spilled hot liquid the previous evening.

“We will stay down here, then. Jacques,” Isaac said, looking at the silent man, “are you going to join the two ladies for the walk?”

“I guess so,” Jacques said, rubbing over his forehead and eyeing up the steep angle of the road leading up to the lighthouse at the top of Cape Point. Jacques wasn’t very fit and overweight. Deep down, he wondered if he would make it to the top, but he wasn’t about to let the others find out that he doubted himself.

“Okay then,” Annie laughed, “let’s go, Kathy, Jacques. Have fun, you two,” she said when she looked at the stay-behinds.

Annie, Kathy, and Jacques embarked on their walk to the top.

Isaac and Jeanne sat down on the low wall close to Jeanne’s car and watched as the other three walked away.

To be continued… Laughter And Thankfulness

Note: This series is a rework of a self-published book (2009), rewritten for this blog, and in loving memory of a dear friend who suffered from and passed because of AIDS. Keep in mind this story happens in the late eighties and throughout the nineties. Names of characters have been changed to protect their privacy.

© Rebel’s Notes
Image from Pixabay

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