We have made it to our very last destination of Cape Town!
We arrived late on Monday night so did not see much of the town, only lights and it looks huge, don't know about town it should be city!
The next day we were straight out in the morning on a day tour of the Cape Peninsular and down to the Cape of Good Hope.
Cape Town lies at the top of a long finger like projection of land that sticks out off the coast of South Africa. Most of this land has become a national park and as such is a great place to explore. There are little towns and fishing villages along both sides of the coast but inland is mainly taken up with a few vine yards, a huge floral kingdom and the mountain range that concludes with Table Mountain in the North. Cape Town lies at the base of Table Mountain and it makes for a spectacular back drop, and it really is as flat as it's name states!
Anyway we first went down the west coast of the peninsular to a small fishing village called Hout Bay. It was pretty quaint down on the harbour but our main reason for coming here was to take a short boat journey out to a cape fur seal colony. The ride out was good, the sea was showing us a tiny bit of it's power and our boat was riding the waves brilliantly, like a rollar coaster! We got out to the seals and the captain manovered his boat to within 2m of the rocks so we could see the seals. They were everywhere, even playing in the wake of the boat, very cute but they do smell abit!!!
After Hout Bay we went across the peninsular to a small town called Simon's town. The British used to have a huge naval base here and so the town has a great British seaside town feel. We came here to see the African Penguins. For some reason about 20 yrs ago a small group of these rare penguins decided to make one of the beaches here, Boulders beach, their home. It is the only place in the world where penguins do not live out on offshore rocks!
Anyway the locals loved it, the government decided to protect them and their numbers have now grown to about 3000!
The parks board has built boardwalks around the beach for the public and made nests for the penguins so you can get really close to them. It was great, they are so funny when they walk, flippers out and they get a wobble on. They used to be called Jackass penguins because they make a noise like baying donkies!! But experts found out that other sepcies sound like this too so they renamed the African penguins!
After the penguins we went inland to the Cape Peninsular National Park which covers a huge area all the way to the end of the point.
We stoped on the way to watch a sourthern right whale breeching about 20m away from the sea wall and the road, didn't get it on camera but it is huge and wicked to see so close!
We also stopped next to a troop of Baboons on the side of a layby. Our guide was telling us that because people have fed them so often the baboons now associate us with food. As a result the older males have become extremly clever and the minute a car puls up they will go up to the care open the car door and search the care for food, usually successfully! When we pulled up we all opened the windows of the van to take pics but within 2 mins a big male was approching the van looking for a way in. Of course we shut our windows. 3 more cars pulled up while we were there. The baboon went to each one and pulled at every door handle on the cars to see if they would open but the owners were too quick and locked them. This was until the last car came. The driver got out of the car to take pics and didn't lock her door. The baboon was straight there. Our van driver was beeping the horn to get her attention but it was too late! In fact she had left her window fuly down the baboon was straight in the open window. There was a guy in the passenger seat, I have never seen anyone move so fast, it was hilarious, he fell out of the car, seat belt still wrapped around him and the baboon emerged with an apple in its mouth!! It was so funny. The people turned out to be English tourists and despite all the warning signs posted around it speaks volumes for us!!!!!!
Anyway back to the tour, we drove up to the top of a hill from where we got on our bikes and cycled 6km through the park to our dinner stop. It was a really nice ride through mainly grasses and flowers. We even got to see a rare type of deer which is hardly ever seen near the road so that was nice.
After dinner we went down to the end of the peninsular. Here the land splits into 2 forks, one is known as Cape point the other the Cape of Good Hope. We went up to the top of the point first where the old lighthouse still remains. It was quite errie as mist continually blew in form the Atlantic and shrouded most of the top in fog. When you were at the top by the lighthouse, you would get a break in the cloud when you cloud see everything for miles, then you would be cut off again. There is a new lighthouse now near the base of the cliff after too many boats sunk off the coast because they could not see the old lighthouse at the top because of the mist!!
There were also orstrich and zebra running about around the park too!
Next we walked out onto the most South Westerly point of Africa, the notorious Cape of Good Hope. It is well known as a difficult sea passage because of the rocks and rough seas, if fact there are 250 recks off the coast that lie so close you can either walk to them or snorkel over them!
It was a beautiful day for us and the sun was out as we walked out onto the egde of the cliff. There was hardly any wind but the sea was still throwing up some fantasic waves. You can only imagine it's power in a storm!
After that it was home time. On the way back we saw our first glimpse of Table Mountain and it is wicked.
We have a week now to explore Cape Town and visit table mountain so will update you as and when!