Wednesday 29 December 2021

Coronavirus streets of the underhand - LV

Doing it again

There is always a desire to do something different when we are in Cape Town, though there are things we cannot tire of doing and repeating out of the beauty of the experience and how the passage of time allows us to see things anew.

The walks to the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, sitting at Nobel Square where now all the four Nobel Peace Prize laureates from South Africa whose statues stand there have passed on, the last two within months of each other.

Funny funicular fudge

Other popular places we have visited many times and today we decided to return to Cape Point and take that 45-minute walk from Cape Point to Cape of Good Hope. On arriving at Cape Point, we thought we would have enough time to visit the lighthouse before going on the trek, but with the time we queued for tickets to the funicular ride up and the waiting to board, there wasn’t enough time before returning to the rendezvous point for the trek.

One thing we noticed about the funicular situation suggests there might be some nefarious activity involved in the ticketing process that probably should be investigated, then we are not accusing anyone of anything, yet it did not escape our cursory observation. I paid for two adult return tickets, and I was given two separate proofs of payment and two return tickets with barcodes.

I gave one ticket to Brian, and we presented our tickets at the turnstile, mine was read and I walked through, but Brian’s did not let him through that the staff used a ticket from the next person to let him through. I suppose our apparent discomfiture made the staff improvise and we thought nothing of it.

A collusion in practice

At the top, we only had time to use the gents, take a few pictures and return on the funicular where this time, Brian was able to walk through the turnstile, but my ticket was refused as having already been used. The staff there did not do much to check my ticket, he simply led me to the passthrough gate by unlinking the chain.

It was then that we compared tickets and found that the reference codes and barcodes were the same when they should have been different. It would appear I was genuinely charged for 2 adults, but the ticket was duplicated for just one. For this to work if there is no proper reconciliation between tickets issued and moneys collected, the funicular staff have to collude in a fraudulent enterprise. I have my doubts that paying for two adults would have produced two identical codes rather than unique ones.

The fact that it was overlooked at the departure gate and the return gate of the funicular service would suggest something fishy, but who knows? An error of sorts in the system? I cannot say for sure; I just have an eye for interesting irregularities, and this was one of them.

Like a different tour

We arrived in time for the trek, it was exciting as it was at times also terrifying, but we did it along with seeing such breath-taking views at the edges of continental Africa. The tour had changed from a first stop at Bloubergstrand with picture-postcard views of the Table Mountain to Kalk Bay, the tour guide was a chatterbox raconteur who seemed to retell the tall tour tales we had heard before with more relish and insight, we were caught between amazement and rolling our eyes, most of the time.

As the restaurant at Cape Point had closed, we made for Seaforth not far from Simonstown where we had a late launch and as we had seen quite a few penguins in bigger colonies, Boulders Penguin Colony presented no particular interest to us. Water’s Edge Beach and Boulders Beach were teeming with crowds that we hardly noticed on our last visit.

We even got to see wild eland and ostriches at the Table Mountain National Park, we could not have said it was the same tour of April 2019. As we returned through Simonstown to Cape Town.

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