Cape point

Friday 30 October 2015

Feeling marginally better after my long sleep, I headed off at 8am, back down to the waterfront to be picked up for a day trip! There were just 5 of us, which was good. The guide was great too.

We drove all along the Western coastline. Through several fancy neighbourhoods.

The streets were lined with people out for a run! So many!

Our first stop was in Hout Bay. A small harbour, lined with stalls selling African trinkets – wooden carvings, Malawi chairs, carved ostrich eggs and paintings. Similar to the things I bought last time I was in Africa!

Here it is possible to catch a boat to an island of seals. But there were seals hanging out in the harbour also – jumping up for the men who were feeding them fish.

We drove through the Masiphumelele township. Just a couple of days ago there were riots here. A young girl was raped. The community found the 4 men and killed them in the middle of the road. After the police arrived and arrested the heads of the community, the rest of the community begun riots which lasted several days. Today, police cars lined the road.

Just past the township was a town full of government buildings which were constructed during the apartheid. These identical blocks of buildings were all used to home black people. Today it is apparently very dangerous to walk around – full of gangs and drugs.

We drove along Chapman’s Peak drive, a road which runs along the coastline heading South. This drive takes you along the edge of a cliff, with views down across several bays and beaches. It is supposed to be one of the most beautiful drives.

It was fairly quiet when we reached the national park. We had beaten the large buses.

The national flower of South Africa is a Protea. They only bloom for a couple of weeks each year, around the end of October. So currently, they were all out. The park was full of small shrubs, like a blanket of flowers.

Cape Point is the end of Africa.

The Southern most point.

It is possible to walk almost all the way to the end. It was all uphill!

There is the choice of a funicular, or you can walk. We walked. It was really pretty! But so windy.

There are two lighthouses, an old one, right at the point. And a newer one, at the highest point on the point. The new lighthouse was a popular spot, full of people. So afterwards, we took another path, further along, right to the end. Basically no other people along here!

It took an hour, round trip, to return back to where we started.

Baboons were hanging around the visitor centre. Lots of them. All trying to steal food. There were guards around, with sling shots, chasing them away. I don’t like monkeys!

After a quick break, we headed off on the second walk. Around the coastline, to the Cape of Good Hope.

The first section was through an area totally covered in small flowering shrubs, which opened up onto the edge of the cliff. We followed the edge around for a while, walking on the rock face, before having to climb up a lot of rocks!

The views were really pretty. Could see all the way back to the lighthouses on Cape Point, as well as the bending coastline on both sides. We scrambled back down the rocks, down to the other side and ended up on a rocky beach, with the Cape of Good Hope sign. Everyone wants their photo taken with this sign. It was a bit of a free-for-all, despite some people trying to make a queue.

To get away from the crowds, we headed away from this beach, just a bit further up the coast, to our own deserted section. It’s not possible to swim in any of the waters around here. It’s cold. Wavy. And there are strong undercurrents. There was a wild ostrich wandering along the beach! Took care to stay well away – they are a bit scary!

Next stop, Boulders beach. This string of beaches is famous for its penguins. They shelter here and basically live in people’s houses. I was really looking forward to visiting the penguins! We walked along a board walk, through a forested area. Some of the penguins were resting under the trees, a few babies too. Then at the end of the boardwalk, a viewing platform on the beach. The sea was perfectly blue and the sand was totally white, and covered in penguins! They were cute!

But a bit disappointing that you couldn’t go onto the beach. We were lucky that we had taken the slightly longer boardwalk around, as where we were standing was relatively quiet. The other side was totally packed full of people!

Enroute to get back to Cape Town, there were road blocks in place, the whole of Simons town was closed off. More riots. I got back at 6pm, after packing up all my things, I was asleep by 7pm!

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