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Earth, Wind and Fire

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Whew...yet another full, exhausting day over here on the Cape with our private peninsula tour. After our amazing breakfasts, we were ready to meet Ian in the lobby at 9:00. Ian is the same gentleman that picked us up from the airport. He kinda reminds me a little of my dad and kept us entertained and informed for almost 9 hours straight...which is no easy task when we’re firing questions at him left and right. On the way out of town, I enquired if we’d be going through Camps Bay at all and if it’d be possible for a super quick pit stop for Hard Rock pins. Request granted and we were off and running.

To start things off, he gave us a little bit of his background and a whole lot of info on Cape Town and South African history. This all rolled right into our first stop at Hout (meaning timber) Bay. Ah yes, he offered up the option for scenic lookout points and as Brenda said, “Jackie will never turn down an opportunity for a photo.” So stop we did...over and over again 😀 The day had started off cooler (like 73), windier, and a tad overcast, but by the time we stopped, the skies had cleared out pretty well.


Lucky for us, Chapman’s Peak Drive was open today. It is considered one of the most scenic drives in the world that is super twisty and narrow with sheer rock face on the one side and plunging cliffs on the other. Add onto that it is a haven for cyclists and for us it feels like you’re on the wrong side of the road, and well it is quite the harrowing experience. But there are phenomenal views for miles!! Ian was telling us there is actually a huge cycle tour through the area where they cap it off at a max of 35,000 riders 😳 I can’t even imagine!! At various spots along the drive they also take full advantage of the winds for kite surfing. So we got to see some of that taking place at a distance as well.


All this earth we were covering was leading us down to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve. This is the area at the southern tip of the Cape Peninsula where the two ocean currents meet. There are some 8200 species of plants in the Cape’s floral kingdom, making it the smallest but richest in the world. All along the road, there are signs warning of the baboons and how to encounter them (not exactly signs we’re used to seeing in the US, so Ian made sure to get me a front row photo op of the sign...and later on the baboons 😝). Neil had actually mentioned the crazy baboons to us the last time we talked to him. And well, he was not kidding in the slightest!! They look so cute and fuzzy...until you see their teeth as they stop in the middle of the road and just stare at the cars. I swear the one stood up on his back legs with his hands out like he was just waiting for someone to hand him a snack. Thankfully no one was dumb enough to try that, and I quickly shut my window as soon as we saw the first one near the cars.


We made our way down to the tourist area with the sign everyone takes photos at...I mean we didn’t come all this way not to have proof of it right?! It was also nice to move away from the tourists and just stand and listen to and watch the waves crashing around. Just gorgeous blue water and all sorts of white caps...and a giant rock with African fur seals sun bathing in the middle of it all. We didn’t bother to go up by the real tourist trap...the defunct Cape Point Lighthouse that was a dud from concept through construction and now is basically tourist central according to Ian. Instead he took us off the beaten path to where there is a monument to Portuguese explorer Dias, as well as some more incredible views.


Then we were off toward Simon’s Town and our lunch stop. He took us to this great restaurant called Seaforth that is right on the water, with some absolutely delicious food. It was far too windy to be able to sit outside, but that would’ve been really incredible. I am not a fish person at all, but even I thought the kingklip fish of the day Brenda had was phenomenal. I followed Ian’s lead and went with a local Cape Malay chicken curry dish that had such tasty spices and came in the cutest little pot. 😋


And then it was time for Boulders Beach and the African penguin colony 😍 The members of the town thought it was oh so cute back in 1982 when 2 pairs of breeding penguins decided to set up house on their beach. Fast forward to now, when some 2200+ penguins have overtaken the place, and not everyone is still so enamored with them. They have raised walkway platforms where you can go to see the cute little guys just frolicking in the waves, walking around on the white sand, or sitting on their eggs trying to mind their own business. My favorite was watching them ride the waves into shore, then waddling up and shaking off the water. Day made!!


From 🐧 to 🌸 we were on the move again. Even though the weather had heated up, Brenda agreed to take a quick jaunt through the Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden. Luckily we were able to find her enough shade that I don’t think it was too painful. I on the other hand am always up for a Garden and the sunnier the better 🤷🏽‍♀️ Sadly it wasn’t nearly as colorful as I would’ve liked, but with the giant, imposing mountain as a backdrop, I was still very impressed. By that point we were almost back to central Cape Town. After winding our way through the traffic, Ian dropped us off and will be back Thursday to collect us one more time.


After a quick chat with Michel at the front desk to get some info and recommendations, we took a short break up in the room. Then we were back out in search of dinner, wishing we had actually written down the recommendation 🤦🏽‍♀️ Thankfully Brenda pinpointed the area, and then it was just a matter of finding the aubergine (eggplant to us Americans) fries he told us about. Love Thy Neighbor restaurant, with its Greek inspired dishes it is!! We actually sat outside in the courtyard behind this big old church. A central feature of the menu is the large wood burning hearth, right out there in the courtyard, where we actually watched them make our zucchini and aubergine pizza. We of course had the eggplant fries and washed it all down with some local 🇿🇦 cider called Savanna. Unfortunately they were out of the meatballs we also wanted to try, but that just meant room for baklava and ice cream with this molasses syrup (not too shabby of a swap out).


We got back and purchased a bottle of wine from the hotel with plans to throw open the windows and sit and enjoy the evening. We ended up going with a red wine, which sadly neither of us were huge fans of, but it still made for a nice time just soaking in the atmosphere. And quite the atmosphere when we could hear chanting or singing coming from one or two places. The only thing we could figure was mosques having their evening call to prayer. Yet again, not our everyday occurrence.

So there ya have it...today we covered quite a bit of earth, making our way through the wind, finishing off with dinner by the fire. I’d call that a smashing success 😊

Posted by JackiesJourneys 13:38 Archived in South Africa Tagged penguins chapmans_peak kirstenbosch cape_good_hope

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