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The Rough Guide to Cape Town, The Winelands & The Garden Route Paperback – 1 Feb 2010
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It's obviously hard with a city, such as Cape Town to have everything in the order you might like, but the order here worked fine for us. We also found Cape Town much easier to navigate than we had envisaged and the RG remained our only map. Where the book was particularly good however, was in its coverage of the surrounding area. The Winelands and Garden Route are beautiful and you could easily be overwhelmed and not really know how best to spend your time, but we found the RG informative and appropriately helpful in spelling out what was worth a visit and what not.
My only suggestion would be that it could benefit from a few more photos since we were completely unprepared for how beautiful the area is. Had I seen photos before I would have been much more enthusiastic about going! So, I'd recommend a trip and if you're going, this neat little book - packed with information, but small enough to be squirrelled away when you want to be discreet - is all you need.
I am admirer of Rough Guides: they are usually my first choice when planning a trip to a new place. This one turned out to be something of a disappointment. The author is excellent. He clearly knows his subject, writes engagingly and his comprehensive text does not gloss over some of Cape Town's problems.
The problem is the maps. Those that are dotted through the book sometimes do not correspond to the surrounding text, so are difficult to find when you want to go back to them. There is a bigger issue. Rough Guides' recommendations for accommodation and places to eat include a map reference that refer to a series of numbered maps (here at the back of the book) which show the locations of these recommended places. I've always found this feature very useful. Here, many of the reviews (including some starred by the author) have no map references! You are left having to peer at the maps to try to find the street name - even then, some of the streets are very long so you don't really know where the place is!
This brings me to my final issue. The book appears to have been photographically reduced so that some of the text (that set in lighter grey type or on a grey background, and names on maps) is hard to read.
I'll keep this book for the text, but for a practical guide I'll have to look elsewhere. The editors need to do some work on this book for the next edition. Three-star rating because of the text, but a disappointment.
Restaurants and hotel information is clearly set out.
A must for your holiday.
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