Sunday, September 13, 2015

South Africa 2015 - September, 12 - Cape Town Peninsula Tour

South Africa 2015 - September, 12 - Cape Town Peninsula Tour

Roll call was at 0900 AM SAST for our Cape Town Peninsula Tour.  We went up to the lobby to meet our driver for the day, Rakeef.  He was a local with a good referral from the agent we used to book this trip.  Rakeef greeted us with open arms.  As we headed down he cape byway, we chatted a bit and he set our expectations for the day.  He said, the day was all ours that he was only there to answer questions, inform us of things we might be interested in, and get us where we wanted to go.  What a nice tour this set out to be…

We didn't make it far before we stopped to snap some photos of the ocean and landscapes.  Every corner made a different perspective that just made Kathy and I in awe.  After the first short stop, I decided I needed to get the big lens back at the hotel, so we did.  And I am glad I did - more no that later.  We proceeded back down the road, past our original stop, and made another stop that had spectacular views again.  This just so happened to be near a few vendors selling items for souvenirs.  We saw a couple of items (not telling on here due to making it a surprise for the recipients back home) that we just had to have.  I cannot wait until we get to reveal what we purchased!

The agenda was to be visiting the following:
Haut Bay for a boat ride to Seal Island
Cape of Good Hope (western most point of Africa peninsula)
Lunch at Two Oceans
Simons Town
Fish Hoek

Here is how it was pitched to me:

Spend an entire day soaking up the scenery of endless dazzling oceans and immense mountains as we take you on a smooth drive along the Cape Peninsula…

As one of the most affluent areas in Cape Town, where property prices are almost as gasp-worthy as the view, see why Clifton is the most desirable destination in Cape Town. Then feel the infectious energy of buzzing Camps Bay – the playground of Cape Town’s rich and famous.

Unwind as you pass through Llandudno and feel your spirit be enveloped by the tranquillity and essence of Hout Bay. Hout Bay is home to a fascinating mix of warm and friendly people – from fishermen to businessmen.

Now that the Atlantic sea breeze and spirit have caressed your curiosity, prepare to be enthralled by the magnificent marine and mountainous Chapman’s Peak drive, as we curve around one of the most well-designed and award-winning roads in the world today.

We stop at the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve to appreciate its internationally renowned fauna and flora of lush fynbos. Then encounter Cape Point, where the ocean amalgamates into its yin-yang – the meeting place of the cold Benguela current from the West Coast with the warm Agulhas current from the East Coast.

At our penultimate stop in Simonstown, we explore Boulders Beach and meet the friendly residents in formal attire – the penguins. You may also want to look out for a whale in the distance.

Inclusive of Boulders Penguin Colony, Cape Point (where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet), and lunch.  After lunch stop over at Muizenberg Beach for swimming/surfing or at Simonstown for a boat ride.

Little did I know how fantastic this day trip was going to be.  We saw awesome beaches, lots of birds, several stop off points, and a lot lot more.  Some highlights of the trip were getting some panoramic shots at Noordhoek and Cape of Good Hope.  The wind was a bit much at lunch, so we had to eat inside, but the food at Two Oceans was awesome.  This restaurant is named for the meeting point of the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean.  We ended up having a budget of R250 ($18.50 US) each, which we blew away pretty easily.  Our menu was so great it was hard to decide, so we got a calamari plate and a sushi plate with lots of choices on it.  Of course, a couple of beers and a big bottle of water.  After lunch, we were set to go up the mountain on a tram car, but it wasn't working right and had quite a line behind waiting to get on.  We ended up selling our tickets and got back on the road.  On the way to our next stop, we encountered an ostrich that was in the middle of the road peeking in each car window apparently looking for food.  Kathy snapped some awesome photos of it as it approached our vehicle.  So funny! The next stop was the most south western point in Africa, where the winds were blowing at a guesstimated 50mph.  Yes, 5-0 as in fifty.  Holy moly, it made for standing up a little difficult.  Rakeef took our touristy photo next to the sign and we got back in the van to see what was next.

Simons Town was the next planned stop, where we again saw more vendors selling their goods, along with some shops and restaurants.  However, the big attraction here is the penguin sanctuary, which had a long wooden walkway on the outside of it and even more wooden walkways on the inside of it.  We walked around and got a lot of the penguins laying about the boulders and then went to the gated part nearer the ocean, where you could get pretty close to the little tuxedo wearing animals.  We spent a little bit of time here since the scenery was nice and the penguins were quite playful.

Back on the road, we decided it was about time to head back, since it was already quite a day.  Rakeef took us through the western part of the cape so we could pick up some necessities like food and water.  We also got some more Rand, since we seem to be going through it like hotcakes.  We ended up at the condo, unloaded our gear and souvenirs, and said our goodbyes to Rakeef. It was still light out, so we hopped in the car to head to Brians for a couple of brews before dinner.  Ran into Mark again, who confirmed that we were going to go with him on Tuesday afternoon for some local spot sight seeing.  We watched some Rugby as well, which is kind of entertaining if you have a vested interest in one of the teams.  Quite an amazing sport.  We left Brians and got some takeout grilled chicken and sides to take back to the condo and eat.  We ate outside on the deck listening to the waves hit the rocks and then hit the hay.  What a great day, again!

PS - Here is a google map of our day's travel:

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