Sunday, August 25, 2013

South Africa Saga: Westin Cape Town

This morning we slept in, or at least lounged around in our room, before enjoying a leisurely buffet breakfast in the Protea Hotel President, saying good-byes to some of our fellow tour members.

Then it was time to take our pre-arranged shuttle to the Westin Cape Town. There was only one problem: We weren't on "the list." Whether our guide, Craig, or somebody else had made the mistake, we were fortunate not to be transferring to the airport with a tight timeframe.

The non-too-friendly Thompson rep advised us we could take a shuttle, but it would cost us 100 Rand. We agreed to that - a few sympathetic words from him would have gone a long way and we've already fired off an e-mail of complaint to the company as a matter of principle. [update below].

Our arrival at the Westin, and the upgrade to a junior suite, made the minor annoyance fade into distant memory.

Windows on two sides with mountain views, water views, and of course the convention center "wing" below us.

Once we'd unpacked a little, we took the Westin shuttle down to the waterfront and spent a pleasant couple of hours wandering around on a sunny Sunday that obviously Cape Towners are enjoying as well. We ran into no fewer than 10 of our fellow tour members along the way, all enjoying unstructured time after two weeks on  a bus.

We remember walking through this store with Tom and Ellyn on our previous trip. We didn't buy anything here but it's a fascinating place for window shopping.
We could have been on Granville Island in Vancouver or Circular Quay in Sydney, but here we are in Cape Town, a long way from both of those places.

Yes, we also bought some last-minute gifts for grandchildren. For a couple of them, this photo will serve as the instructions.

Updated: This morning bright and early we received a phone call from the same Thompson's rep, asking us if he could come by to reimburse our 100 Rand.

We invited him up to our suite and chatted with him. He apologized profusely for his rudeness and said it was another glitch as the large Thompson company purchases the smaller Ikapa, the company from which we bought the tour.

We appreciate the gesture - it certainly brought closure to the incident.

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