Charley Boorman Log- Day 3

June 11, 2012

In which Charley visits the infamous Robben Island.

Returning to Cape Town, conditions on the mountain are still uncertain. After two days of adventures for the body, I suppose you could say we choose to begin today with an adventure for the mind. We’re heading to Robben Island, the infamous prison island where much of the leadership of the ANC, including of course Nelson Mandela were locked up for a huge span of their lives. The prison closed in 1996 and it’s now open to tourists, and I’m fortunate enough to have an ex-prisoner, (Themba Frederick) Sipho Msomi showing me around.

There’s a beautiful rainbow over Victoria Harbour as we set off. Something so cheerful seems out of place when contemplating as unhappy a place as Robben Island but then, as a focal point of the changes that have occured in South Africa, the attitude of the modern facility is one of hope. So maybe that rainbow isn’t so inappropriate after all.

When we return to Cape Town, it looks like conditions are finally right for the abseil off Table Mountain. Officially, it’s just me going down but thanks to the neccesities of televison, we also have a cameraman and Russ come down with me. It turns into a bit of an epic event and the crowds at the top of the mountain get quite a show!