Published: November 13th 2007November 1st 2007
Beautiful Weather As Far South As You Can Go
Well, the title’s a little bit of a lie. First off Cape Town, or even Cape Point which we visited, isn’t as far south as you can go in the world. Second off, it isn’t even as far south as you can go in Africa. But, in this case consider it literary license. The weather was beautiful and we were pretty far south.
After our days in the safari camp, I expected to be completely let down by Cape Town. We’ve seen a ton of cities on this trip and what’s one more to add to the list. Is that a jaded response? Probably. But I was feeling pretty sad to leave all the safari animals behind. Thankfully I was pleasantly surprised by Cape Town.
Set right on the water and surrounded by some spectacular mountains, Cape Town is an almost ideal setting for a city. I figure that merchants traveling from England to India must have had a pretty hard time starting back on their journeys after a stop here. The weather during our brief stay was just shy of perfect. With highs in the 70’s
(low 20’s for you Celsius people) and lows in the low 60’s (mid teens for you C people again) we pretty much thought we had hit the weather jackpot. Driving In South Africa…Are You Crazy??
Its funny, the things that we do that other people might not do. As far as TravelBlog is concerned, we are not adventure travelers, but compared to the average US traveler we might as well be Evil Knievel. After our plane landed we went to the rental car agency and picked up our almost brand new Toyota Corolla. The lady behind the desk looked at us like we were nuts when we told her we were from the US. She kept repeating to us, “Stay Left, Stay Left” because they use the British system of driving on the left. I tried to inform her that we had driven on the left side of the road before but no matter how hard I tried she just shook her head and looked at me with pity in her eyes.
I wasn’t really worried about driving on the left side of the road, but what did worry me were the stories of violence
and car jacking that were ubiquitous in the South African newspapers. These are the sort of stories that you discount at first as freak incidents. Then after you continue to hear about road related violence you start to worry as you lie awake at night. Finally, after serious thought, you resolve yourself to be careful and not inform your parents about the possibility of problems until long after you’ve actually accomplished the questionable task at hand. (Love ya, Mom & Dad!)
Turns out that we didn’t really have to worry to much as long as we stuck to the touristy areas of Cape Town. With Kel as my superior navigator, I had nothing to worry about as we had never gotten lost once on the whole trip. What the car did give us, was the freedom to explore which is always what we want. Whenever we can we like to travel independently, and a car gives you freedom unlike anything else. Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope
Or first full day was spent driving through the far southern tip of Cape Town. This area of coastline and mountains is a gorgeous couple of hour
drive and well worth it to anyone who loves nature. We spent our whole day stopping whenever we wanted to enjoy the amazing scenery and take a few pictures.
Cape Point, which is theoretically the point where the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic meet, has a few old lighthouses and thousands of tourists. We found that a quick hike out to the original lighthouse got us, what felt like, miles away from the crowds and allowed us beautiful views of False Bay and the Cape of Good Hope. By circling around the main lighthouse and braving the wind, we were able to find a little peace and quiet (despite the ever present wind from the south).
The main highlight of our trip south was the quick stop at the penguin colony which resides at the Boulders halfway between Cape Point and Cape Town. In our ever present quest to see more wildlife we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see the newly named Chin Strap Penguins (used to be the Jackass Penguin). The little guys are so close to you that you could reach out and touch them which is pretty amazing after our experiences hiding from penguins
in New Zealand (so we wouldn’t scare them away). The penguins in South Africa stood in large clumps trying to protect themselves from the wind while we, and hundreds of others, stood around and gawked at them. Resting and Preparing For More Travel
The rest of our time in Cape Town was spent enjoying the good food, good weather, and nice hotel room. Since this was only a brief, brief stop, we decided to get a bit of rest before our long journey northward. With upwards of twenty four hours of travel ahead of us on our way to Jordan, we felt that rest and relaxation was one of the most important things we could accomplish.
Hope everyone back home is doing great. We miss you all and look forward to seeing you soon. Keep reading!!
There are more photos below