Saturday, January 22, 2011

Wild Views

At 8.30 Sunday morning we were picked up by Waahid, Son of Archi, our taxi driver from Saturday, to go on a day trip to Cape Point, stopping at a few other places along the way. It was great to drive along the coast and see some pretty parts of the areas around Cape Town.

We first stopped a place called Hout  ('Howt') Bay, and walked on the beach and a wharf, with some interesting boats of all shapes and sizes, and some crazy looking kelp. Were definitely in the richer areas, with a majority of white people around, some getting ready for a morning sail.
We then drove up higher, in an arc around Hout Bay to a place called Chapman's Peak. This was opposite the beach we had just been on and was a beautiful view back over the bay. Setting up a stall there was a man with animals constructed of beaded wire - giraffes and elephants, a lion, starfish, and little South African flag and turtle keyrings. They were so cute and so we all bought a souvenir. We didn't really take advantage of the opportunity to haggle, but all things considered they weren't expensive anyway. The guy seemed nice and we were happy to pay. He said they were hand made by him, though we saw very similar things at different stalls later on in the day, so wondered for a moment if we fell victim to a tourist trap. But they are handmade and all a bit different, and just seem like a popular thing to make so we like them anyway.
From Chapman's Peak we kept driving on to Cape Point. You pay to get into the park and then drive up to a little complex with a restaraunt, souvenir shop (to waste another hour or so!) and a little train up to a light house.

We bought pizza from the shop and by a sign warning us that Baboons are attracted by food, we sat and ate our food. No ferocious Baboons appeared, but a little striped mouse tried to steal my pizza and birds that swooped in to grab any leftovers. We did see Baboons on the road to Cape Point however, being chased down the road away from people.

After another mandatory stop in the gift shop, we began our walk down to the Cape of Good Hope, the most South-Westerly point of Africa. I say down, which it was along a boardwalk for most of the way, with amazing views, but it wasn't completely plain sailing. Our driver was meeting us at the bottom so that we didn't have to walk back up again, but then we came to a fork in the path and had to make our best guestimate as to which direction was the right one. Then the path started to go up again, and climbing up generally isn't the best way to get to the bottom. We may have almost turned back if it wasn't for some helpful hikers who informed us we could go up and over, and there was a path down on the other side.


I was glad that we didn't climb Table Mountain if just for avoiding the amount of complaining that would have happened, as was happening on this short walk. But really I think they all actually enjoyed it, and the views were worth it.

One the way out of the park we saw Ostriches on the side of the road, and then headed to Boulder's Beach to see the Penguins, and then another stop at a gift shop. Somehow we've managed to make purchases at every souvenir or gift shop we've stopped at since we've been here.

We were exhausted by the end of the day, but happy to have seen the views  of Cape Point  and the unexpected encounters with the wildlife along the way.

1 comment:

  1. Can you believe you are really at the bottom of Africa!?