Tuesday, September 18th
We were on the bus this morning by 8:00 AM for our Cape Peninsula Tour. It was an interesting weather day. We experienced sun, rain, fog, and clouds. It changed throughout the day! Unfortunately the weather still kept us from going up Table Mountain! (We can’t control the weather!) Our day was still filled with many experiences.
As we drove along Chapman’s Peak road our first stop of the day was Chapman’s Peak. The road was a twisting and turning drive that was very scenic. This road was built into the mountain and took seven years to build.
Chapman’s Peak is the mountain on the western side of Hout Bay and has some incredible views from Chapman’s Peak drive as we climb the road. Chapman’s Peak’s highest point is 1,942 feet and there is an observation platform for picture taking.
We passed a beautiful white sand beach! It was raining when we passed it.
Our next stop was Table Mountain National Park, Cape of Good Hope. As we pulled up to enter, the information sign stated that today’s exit time was 18:36! Talk about being precise! The Cape of Good Hope is the southwesterly point of the Cape Peninsula. It was once named the Cape of Storms, by Bartolomew Dias in 1488. The current name was given by the King of Portugal. Has was more positive and he saw it as a new route to India. The Cape of Good Hope is exposed to gale-force winds. The vegetation here is very limited. We were told you often see baboons around but it was chilly when we were visiting so we didn’t see any! We did see ostriches and eland as we drove up to the Cape.
Amazing views could be seen from Cape Point by taking the “Flying Dutchman” funicular and then the steps up to the old lighthouse.
We also saw some whales playing in the ocean but didn’t capture any pictures.
The new lighthouse at Cape Point. It is located in a better location to keep the ships safe as they come around the point.
Our next stop was Simon’s Town which is located in False Bay and is also the base for the S. African Navy since 1957. As we were driving along we saw signs to watch out for Baboons and when we approached Simon’s Town there were signs to watch for penguins!
When we arrived, we went for lunch. The rest of our bus went to a seafood restaurant on the bay but we ate lunch with the Dritz’s at the Lighthouse Cafe.
Simon’s Town was a mixed race town that got along and coexisted without any problems until 1967 when there were Forced Removals under the Group Areas Act as part of the Apartheid government. September 24th will commemorate the 51st year when Forced Removals occurred.
After lunch we visited Boulders Beach where we found a South African penguin colony! These South African penguins or they are sometimes called the Jackass penguin because of the braying sound they make, are endangered! There has been a rapid decline in their population mainly due to a lack of food because of commercial fisheries.
We passed the Pollsmoor maximum security prison where Nelson Mandela was a prisoner from 1982-1988.
Our next stop was the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. It is a world-renowned garden that covers 2 square miles, 7% is cultivated and 90% is covered by natural fynbos (natural shrubland or vegetation) and forest. We had an hour to explore but you could easily spend a day! We walked quickly around to see the fragrance garden, the Centenary tree canopy walkway, and anything else that was along the paths we walked!
For dinner the ten of us that traveled together went to MAMA AFRICA. We experienced African music and order from a menu filled with authentic African cuisine.
It was another day full of adventures in and around Cape Town!