Finally! We made it to the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa

LIMG_0785Well, it took us a long time to get here. The first day, we were waylaid by the wineries at Constantia. Next day, we were delayed by a visit to World of Birds and then to the penguin colonies at Boulders. But, that second day, we kept driving south, and around mid-late afternoon we finally made it to the Cape of Good Hope.

It was 3 or 4 pm, and we hadn’t even had lunch yet. There was a funicular (slanted railway car going up the hill) to the lighthouse above, with a trail alongside. Dave had heard of an award-winning restaurant here called Two Oceans (because this is the place where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet – although it is not the southernmost point of Africa) and we thought it might be beside the lighthouse. So we hiked up there – hungry! – and the view was magnificent… but the signs to the restaurant allpointed down, back to where our car was parked.

So we hiked back down, and found the restaurant hidden at the back of the parking lot – but with a magnificent view of False Bay and the shorelines to the north and east (we were on the east side of the cape – the Indian Ocean side). Stopped there for a late lunch of the most tender calamari I have ever tried, and finally around 5pm headed out for our hike to the cape. Here are some pix:

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View to the north fromthe lighthouse.

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View westward from the lighthouse – that point behind the beach is the Cape of Good Hope.

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At the restaurant.

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Dave thought it was fun to feed the red-winged starlings from our table at the restaurant. Until he realized that the restaurant provided water spray bottles to shoot them with, to keep them off the dining tables – and suddenly Uncle Dave turned into the starlings’ worst enemy.

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Nice view! We saw a fur seal from here, as well as a few mongoose-like mammals. We still don’t have a bird book or animal book, so we are kinda making up the names of the things we see as we go…

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Five pm – lunch finally over with, and still an hour or two until sunset, we are finally heading out on a little hike.

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A beautiful little beach below – wish we had more time.

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View back eastward to the lighthouse. Turned out the lighthouse was too high – ships couldn’t see the light if it was foggy out – so they had to build a new one, lower down. You can just see the new one on the rocks, just above the horizon.

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Surprise! We saw ostriches as we hiked to the cape!

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View back east towards the lighthouse. The ostriches were on the flat green plateau on the upper left. If you can see any black dots there – that is them!

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View from the Cape of Good Hope, downward and to the west. There is another parking lot down there. This now is the Atlantic Ocean (previous pix were the Indian Ocean).

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Reptile. Lots of these guys. Since we don’thave a reptile book, I have named him the South African black alligator lizard.

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Better ostrich views on the way back. There were small chicks, too – you just can’t see them in my photos. Sorry!

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There was a little side-trail on our way out. You are supposed to be out of the park by sunset or you risk getting locked in (and we were still 10k from the gate) – but this would probably be our only time EVER coming here, and we wanted to take advantage of every moment. So we took the side-trail… and we saw our first whales from here! They are southern right whales. There was one right below us, here in the bay, just at the break, and several more further out to sea.

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Heading back to our car…hmmm, this road was chockerblock full of cars here when we arrived.

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Yup, definitely last car here. And definitely a very full day. We barely made it out of the park, arriving to the gate just as it was closing!

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