1st June 1836

Cape Town
There being nothing worth seeing here, I procured a gig & set out for the Cape town, which is 22 miles distant. Both of these towns are situated within the heads, but at opposite extremities of a range of mountains, which is joined to the mainland by a low sandy flat. The road skirted the base of these mountains: for the first 14 miles the country is very desert; & with the exception of the pleasure which the sight of an entirely new vegetation never fails to communicate, there was very little of interest. The view however of the mountains on the opposite side of the flat, brightened by the declining sun, was fine.

Within seven miles of Cape town, in the neighbourhood of Wynberg, a great improvement was visible. In this vicinity are situated all the country houses of the more wealthy residents of the Capital. The numerous woods of young Scotch firs & stunted oak trees form the chief attraction of this locality; there is indeed a great charm in shade & retirement after the unconcealed bleakness of a country like this. — The houses & plantations are backed by a grand wall of mountains which gives to the scene a degree of uncommon beauty. I arrived late in the evening in Cape Town, & had a good deal of difficulty in finding quarters: in the morning several ships from India had arrived at this great inn on the great highway of nations, & they had disgorged on shore a host of passengers, all longing to enjoy the delights of a temperate climate. There is only one good hotel, so that all strangers live in boarding houses — a very uncomfortable fashion to which I was obliged to conform, although I was fortunate in my quarters.

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