Cape PeninsulaOn Wednesday I was incredibly lucky to be invited on a helicopter tour of the Cape Peninsula and Winelands region.

It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but never dreamed I’d be able to accomplish (very few of us have quite enough cash idly lying about to go through with something like that).

Happily, a very generous family friend from the States organised a tour and invited me along – and even let me sit up front with the pilot!

What an experience… The Cape is extraordinarily beautiful from the air, and to see all the familiar landmarks from such an unfamiliar viewpoint was quite mind-boggling and eye-opening.

Needless to say, I took many many photos.

At 11.30am sharp we took to the air (from the Waterfront) in a bright red Civair Bell Ranger helicopter and started making our way along the Atlantic Seaboard.

At those heights the city looks just like something out of a computer game – everything so small but nonetheless recognisable.

My view sitting in front

We cruised past the Greenpoint Stadium, Seapoint pool, Clifton, palm-tree fringed Camps Bay, the Twelve Apostles Hotel (which has a helicopter landing pad, apparently), Oudekraal, Llandudno, round the Sentinel to Hout Bay.

Then on through the centre of the peninsula towards Cape Point, round the tip and then back down the False Bay coast towards Muizenberg via Boulders Beach, Simonstown and Kalk Bay harbour.

After we reached Muizenberg we followed the coast towards Somerset West, passing Sunrise Circle and Sunrise Beach and getting a fascinating view of the Cape Wetlands (Rondevlei, Seekoevlei).

Then on through the Cape Winelands, lined with vineyard after vineyard, interspersed with orchards and water reservoirs. We stopped at Franschhoek for lunch (ooh la la) and then it was back to the Waterfront via the southern suburbs.

Some of the most interesting sights from the air (I thought):

Cape Wetlands

What a fabulous way to spend a day! I’m still coming to terms with the fact that I can’t just hop back into a helicopter and do it all again.

The guys at Civair were fantastic. Francois, our pilot, was a great tour guide, and boy does he love his job (who wouldn’t!). The ride throughout was smooth and I wasn’t nervous for a second (which surprised me).

Well, one day when I’m rich and famous I shall take to the skies once again. Here’s hoping it doesn’t take too long to get there.

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