Yesterday Karen and Hanlie and I went on a nice walk down near Cape Point, with a group of local botany experts who meet once a month to wander around, rip out some invasive plants, and talk endlessly about the indigenous and endemic species. It was a beautiful area, with views of the Atlantic and the bay, and I learned a lot about fynbos and local history. I also saw a lot of tortoises, and these really fast caterpillers.
One of the guys brought along his grandkids, Gabriel and Ruben. These kids were amazing at finding animals or animal parts (numerous porcupine quills, tortoise shell segments, owl eggs, etc), and it was a lot of fun to jump around on some large rocks again with people who truly enjoy that activity.
After the hike, I went got dropped off at the University of Cape Town campus, and headed to the Geomatics lab to help set up some of the workshops with the conference organizers. A couple machines had mysterious issues installing vmware, but overall it went nicely. I then got dropped off at my hotel, where I'm sharing a room with Andrew Turner. Unfortunately they refused to let me into the room, despite him leaving them my name and the room key. So I wandered away to go register for the conference, and met up with some old friends, most of whom I had not seen for a year, and some that I had never met in person. For me, getting together with all these folks I converse with online is the nicest part of the conference.