Monday, 27 May 2013

Make the most of your Flotation '13 experience

If you are attending Flotation ’13 in Cape Town in November, plan your itinerary to experience the host of activities around the conference.

Flotation ’13 commences on Sunday 17th November with a late afternoon wine reception and a chance to complete registration formalities prior to the start of the technical sessions on the Monday morning.

Three short courses will also be available during the weekend. Chemical Fundamentals in Mineral Processing, will run from 0800 to 1700 on Saturday 16th November, with lunch and breaks. Flotation: the Chemistry and the Physics, will run 0800 to 1700 with lunch and breaks on Sunday 17th November. Full details of these two courses can be found by clicking here.

Also on the afternoon of Sunday 17th November the publishing company Elsevier will run an author workshop, which will be free of charge. Full details of this can be found in the posting of 20th March.

The conference ends with a wine function on Thursday November 21st, and on the afternoon of Friday the 22nd keen hikers may wish to join me, Jon and Amanda for a hike up Table Mountain via Platteklip Gorge.

MEI Conferences Cape Town
Hiking Table Mountain with MEI delegates
If you would just like to relax after the conference, the Vineyard Hotel provides a spectacular setting in its magnificent gardens with its backdrop of Table Mountain and Devil's Peak. It is also a wonderful base for exploring Cape Town and its iconic mountain.

MEI Conferences Vineyard Hotel Cape Town

One of Cape Town's gems, the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens is only a very short taxi drive from the hotel. The best time to photograph the gardens is early morning, and one of our regular conference delegates, Dr. Norm Lotter, of Xstrata Process Support, Canada, has kindly supplied this photo:

Kirstenbosch, MEI Conferences

If you, or an accompanying guest, have a few hours to spare while at the Vineyard, I would recommend that after a couple of hours at Kirstenbosch you hop on to the CitySightSeeing red double decker bus, which makes its first stop at Gate 2 at 0950, subsequent buses then departing every 20 minutes.

This is an excellent way of exploring the Table Mountain area of the Cape Peninsula in a clockwise drive around the mountain. The bus takes just over 2 hours to complete the circuit, but there are 18 stops and you can hop off at any of these stops, and then hop back on to any of the buses which follow at 20 minute intervals.

The following stops are highly recommended:

Constantia Nek. Here you can transfer onto another bus for a short tour of the Constantia Wine Area, including a visit to the oldest wine estate in South Africa, Groot Constantia.

Groot Constantia, MEI Conferences
Groot Constantia
Imizamo Yethu Township. There is a small charge for this 40 minute guided walk. You may feel that taking your camera into a township to photograph the poverty is intrusive, but the people really do want to show how they live, and you will be pleasantly surprised by the sense of community in this, as in other townships.

Mariners's Wharf, Hout Bay

Mariner's Wharf. This is a rough working wharf in picturesque Hout Bay Harbour, a good place for a 20 minute stop for photos and coffee. Try to take a seat on the left hand side of the bus when leaving, as the views approaching Camp's Bay are stunning.

Approaching Camp's Bay
Camp's Bay. Cape Town's most beautiful beach, with its backdrop of Table Mountain and the Twelve Apostles. Lots of excellent restaurants on the sea-front, including the famous Blues. A great place to stop for lunch and a stroll.

Camp's Bay MEI Conferences
Camp's Bay
Two Oceans Aquarium. The aquarium is definitely worth a visit, and it is situated at the vibrant waterfront, so you may wish to spend some time here.

You may find it more convenient to take one of the many Waterfront taxis back to the Vineyard, but the short journey to Kirstenbosch by the bus gives you a flavour of the bustling city centre and its Dutch and Victorian architecture.

Enjoy your time in Africa's 'Mother City'.  Don't forget that if you intend to present a paper at Flotation '13, the deadline for abstracts is the end of next month.

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