Wednesday, November 07, 2018

South Africa Day 4

I don't know what this is in the pavement outside our hotel. If it was here in Australia, it would be surrounded by orange tape and bollards with warning signs as it is a trip hazard. In South Africa, apparently you have to look where you are walking. How novel! Ok, not great for people with poor sight.


While it was a do your own thing day at Cape Town, I think we had all booked the optional tour to travel in our coach to see Cape Point. We travelled down the west coast and then up the east coast of the peninsula. South of the main city area were hundreds of high rise residential buildings, most looking quite high quality. So my question where do the rich people live was answered. Many world celebrities own property in Cape Town. As we went further south, housing changed to look like this. Our guide strung off various names at times.


We saw heaps of Southern Right Whales cruising along in the Atlantic Ocean. It was mostly tails we saw but occasionally one would breach the water or clear its blowhole.


It was so very scenic.


Road toll point.


I think this is Hout Bay.


There were many intriguing non Anglo names, such as Noordhoek, Fish Hoek and Kommetjie.


We noticed many houses had thatched roofs. We were to see many more thatched places.


So here we are at the Cape of Good Hope. I expect it is a map representation that makes it look not like it is the most southern point of Africa. I recall Victor writing about where the Atlantic Ocean ends and the Indian Ocean begins. It depends rather on water temperatures among other reasons. There is no one point. This is not our travel group.


An ostrich in the wild.

We then reached the old Cape of Good Hope Lighthouse. We are not walking up that steep hill! Fortunately there was The Flying Dutchman funicular to transport us.



Going up. Our coach was somewhere down there.


More amazing views.


No funicular up to the lighthouses, so we will stay on this level.






Wow, there are people on this rock. Don't look Grace.


A proper funicular needs both cars working to balance each other out. We lunched at the lower funicular station. Back on the coach we passed by a statue of explorer Vasco da Gama. The Portuguese were here before the Dutch, but they didn't hang around.


Now to see the African Penguins at Boulders Beach. I prefer our own Fairy Penguins. I think our penguins would either be at sea at this time of the day, or in their nests.



Much work has been to rehabilitate areas for the penguins and fence them off from the public. Baby penguins.


Oh, an electric train line. The train only goes as far as Simons Town but it is viable to see some good sights. The journey from Cape Town is 1 hour 20 minutes at a cost of $1.60. South Africa has quite a number of electric train lines in the countryside, and uses narrow gauge rail lines. I read that you could once catch trains all the way from Cape Town to Cairo in Egypt.



For once we said, what the......and paid quite a bit for lunch at I think Kalk Bay. My glass of wine was generous. I don't usually drink during the day and it turned out to be a mistake.


The first of two times it rained while we were in South Africa. It was only a passing shower and here goes a train. We left and walked through sewerage that had overflowed. Workers were trying to clean it up and make it smell nice. They did not succeed on either count as we left.


Our next stop was at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. I went in but my glass of wine, and perhaps the food, had sapped my energy so I just sat. R followed the guide but not for long and soon returned. It has been a very full day.


Back for our last night in Cape Town. This is the Evangelical Lutheran Church taken from the bar terrace on the 14th floor. Next door is the Dutch Consulate General. We just had some tapas at the bar for dinner. I stared out the window and raised my glass to the still misty Table Mountain. It was nice to meet her. 

18 comments:

  1. You saw so much in one day, no wonder you were tired. Must have been quite something to see the Cape of Good Hope. It didn't look too busy either but maybe you just avoided getting people in your shots.

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    1. Marie, the Cape was very busy. Especially for a normal weekday. Tourism is huge in SA.

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  2. Whales! And penguins! Either of them would make it a most excellent day for me.
    I am not surprised you were tired though. Sadly wine at lunchtime is a thing of my past too.

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    1. EC, I can't remember if you saw penguins in the Antarctic and perhaps they were Emperor Penguins. The Atlantic penguins are not so good.

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  3. I am just sipping tea right now, but will have a still one in a bit. No daytime drinking for me, unless it is a light beer.
    Penguins, Whales, Ostriches, oh my!
    What an amazing coastline they have.
    All in all, were you impressed with Cape Town, or was the disparity of the Haves and Have-Nots too much? I have not been to South Africa, and actually it's not on the list. Should it be?

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    1. Maribeth, the coast line is amazing, as is our own back home. I keep the disparity of wealth in my mind as I enjoyed my apparent wealth. It is a very unequal society. I may have firm opinions on how to fix my own country and yours too, but not SA. We enjoyed our holiday very much, but no need for you to bother to go there.

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  4. I'm really loving those cliffs and ocean views, the perfect place to build a house with a large ocean viewing deck, partially covered for when it rains of course. (daydreams a minute)
    Thank you for these photos, they really are so beautiful. A shame you didn't have energy to wander the gardens though.

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    1. River, wouldn't such a house be so good. I am surprised we didn't see any. I've seen so many gardens in my life. I doubt I would have seen anything too new and exciting.

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  5. Too late Andrew, you should have put the warning before the scary photo not after 😀 gorgeous views though. Laughed out loud that you used a random tour group for the photo 😀 Must have been exciting seeing the whales, which reminds me I really should do a 🐋 watching trip soon!

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    1. Grace, it even freaked me out a bit to see people out on the rock. Have they not not heard of erosion and big waves? Let alone cliff crumble. I found the whales underwhelming. A fin! A blowhole blast. I think you have to be up close.

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  6. It all looks so very sophisticated, not at all the South Africa I so often hear about from my friends who live there. No doubt your tour was 'sanitised'. The good bits are very good; the bad bits are awful.

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    1. Cro, a point well made. We were on a well trodden tourist route. I have written a rant about South Africa but it still needs much polishing.

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  7. Those cliffs look rather awesome.
    Botanical Gardens can either be a bore or good.
    On the whole it's pretty scenery.

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    1. Margaret, the scenery really was amazing. Botanical Gardens............can be good. Darwin's looked very uninteresting.

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  8. The funiculars have always intrigued me, operating like a dumb waiter. An old mill south of town has a lift with a counter weight. You must know your weight so you can rise, or descend, with the proper weight on the other side. I've thought about making one for the cats, or even to get me roof level for gutter cleaning. And just for fun. Those penguins do not look like the stereotypical penguin stored in my brain. Spectacular views of the bays, beaches and ocean.

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    1. Strayer, a lot of work to make just for roof cleaning. I like the idea of the cats having one for some purpose. I agree about the penguins.

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  9. A very beautiful landscape ! No wonder that you were tired (that's certainly not the food and wine which BTW looked delicious) it was a long day and high up in the mountains it's tiring for us who are not used too.
    The penguins look like a general bank manager meeting in tuxedos !

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    1. Gattina, we are not to bad on flat land but we are not used to hills at all. Yes, back in the days when bank managers were important people.

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Democracy is all very well, but why give it to the people? - Audrey Forbes-Hamilton.