Robben Island – Robben Island, South Africa

We cruised towards the deceivingly small Robben Island on a fully equipped luxury catamaran. We disembarked onto the hot cement before boarding the tightly packed (but fully functional) tour bus. I was amused by the humour and knowledge displayed by our guide.

We drove around admiring the views of Cape Town and the coast of South Africa. We learned about apartheid and the shocking recent history of Africa. Nelson Mandela, the most famous involuntary resident of this now UN World Heritage site, lived in terrible conditions for years.

I was intrigued by the gardens in the courtyard where select inmates were allowed only 1 hour a day. This was where the Walk to Freedom manuscript was buried in secret hidden from the wardens. I wished I could have spent more time reading the Cell Stories but standing in Mandelas tiny confinement was an experience in itself. We were led on the tour of the maximum security prison by one of the previous inmates. Who better to describe life as a convicted political activist?

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