Saturday January 17th ~ Cape Town and Cape Peninsula
We lugged our big cameras with long lenses along with us on this trip, hoping to capture some good pictures of the animals. Sadly, we went off and left the needed card reader in California, so those pictures are safely still residing in Tim’s camera. All the shops are closed up on Saturday afternoon and Sunday, but we are hoping to be able to purchase a replacement card reader on Monday.
There are a lot of pictures below, just not from the “good” camera.
We had a very heavy schedule with a lot to fit into the day. Here is a (not so) quick overview of where we went, things we saw and what we did, starting with a map of the area:
The coastline is rugged, scenic and beautiful. Enormous waves crash upon the shoreline with a ferocious force, spraying cold salt water high into the air.
HOUT BAY – A quiet fishing village.
CAPE OF GOOD HOPE NATURE PRESERVE – Over 17,000 acres of indigenous flora and fauna.
“The native plant life, known as fynbos, forms one of only six floral kingdoms of the world” ~ Gate 1 Travel literature
We had been warned about the baboons. Large, aggressive animals with an uncanny ability to sniff out if you have any food in your pockets or bag, we were advised to not carry anything to eat with us. We spotted several large adults sitting in the bush that we could observe from the safety of our bus.
The terrain is sparse, with mainly scrub and few trees.
We were also able to see ostrich as well as the rare and endangered bontebok (a large antelope).
CAPE POINT – The very southwesterly tip of Cape Peninsula.
And a little blurb about the lighthouse:
BOULDERS BEACH (Penguin Colonies). Just a short walk down to the beach, following along a boardwalk, we came to this small breeding population of penguins. Normally colonies are found on rocky islands, but for some reason this group chose this spot right on the shoreline. We could walk up to within a few feet of them.
“The African penguin (Spheniscus demersus), also known as the jackass penguin and black-footed penguin is a species of penguin, confined to southern African waters. It is also widely known as the “jackass” penguin for its donkey-like bray, although several related species of South American penguins produce the same sound.” – Wikipedia
KIRSTENBOSCH NATIONAL BOTANICAL GARDENS – At the foot of Table Mountain, known as the most beautiful gardens in Africa.
The Balloon milkweed is used medicinally. The leaves are dried and finely ground into snuff which is used to treat headaches.
They have saved several species from extinction.
Interspersed throughout the property were detailed stone works of art.
We closed the day off with a welcome group dinner at our hotel.
GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful for our compatible group. We have 31 people from all over the USA. Mostly well seasoned travelers, with an appreciation for seeing the beauty and diversity in the world. We seem to have a great mix – friendly, polite, curious and punctual. Our guide, Tesse, is very knowledgeable and is filling our heads with local lore and history, with some funny baboon stories mixed in.
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