Published: May 17th 2009May 17th 2009
Well, Well, Well after a couple of days kicking back and subsequently kicking my heels in my hotel i was itching to get things moving again today and did just that, eventually.
I woke up quite early, well for me it was quite early anyways, 9am and i was ready by half past to go and pick up my hire car from Sixt. I've been pleasantly surprised by how straightforward everything has gone so far, touch wood, but this morning i encountered my first hiccup. Having booked my car yesterday afternoon it was actually only processed at 0930am which meant it wasnt ready when i got there just before 10am.
Quite dissapointing as i really wanted to get going this morning and head south to explore some more of the area further down the coast from here. Either way there was nothing which could be done, in fact it worked in my favour slightly as i got to go for breakfast in a place called the Tudor cafe, very quiet but very nice and an equally pleasant way to kickstart the day - isn't bacon and egg always?
I made my way back to Sixt where i had
to wait a little whilst longer for the car to be brought from the airport - yes it would have saved me some time, but it would have cost me more in a taxi.
So finally i got the car, a small Vauxhall Corsa which was adequate for what i was going to be using it for, but i was glad it was a Sunday as i was a little nervous about driving in Cape Town, although having seen how they drive in Durban and Joburg, Cape Town was a piece of cake!!
So the one final drawback was i had to pick my own Garmin up from Cellucity in the V&A Waterfront bit of a blag as its a regular phone store and so i had to wait again.
All in all i think my morning eventually started at just after 1130 and as luck would have it i had to head back to my hotel which was in the right direction to pick up my camera gear and a few other bits and pieces from my room.
I headed for a place called Kemp Bay which is pretty much the next town along the
coast, it was reasonably quiet as afterall it was a sunday but still after the storms of the last couple of days and nights i dont think too many people were overly keen on venturing out.
I was actually surprised about the amount of people out taking pictures, there are so many people it seems with a photographic interest over here which is fantastic.
So Kemp Bay as picturesque as it was, i lost my interest straight away due to all the cars and just generally how busy it was. I pushed on and headed down the Victoria Rd, the coast road basically which passes by a town funnily enough called Llandudno (hope i spelt that right) and eventually to Hout Bay.
HB is quite wide and quite deep set which is surrounded by towering hills, there is quite a picturesque beach however today was definately not beach weather. On one side of the valley, there is a road known as Chapmans peak, which i'd been told by a number of people was closed however to my surprise i found it open for "day passes" only, which was great as there were a number of great vantage
I did venture all the way to the top of Chapmans Peak, but before i did i took a short walk on the beach, and a walk along the busy wharf and past the restaurants where the seagulls where gathering in there masses. As i got to the end of the pier i lost interest mainly i think due to the hobo who wanted to play me a song which i wasnt interested in hearing, oh but dont worry it will only cost you 6 Rand - not interested now buzz off, so i did....
Something got my attention though on the far pier and i had to change to my longer lens to see exactly what it was but i noticed there was a seal colony over in the water and also on the pier. I found a local fisherman and had a quick chat with him before raising the question is the pier accessable, to my great delight it was and he advised me if i made my way around the perimeter of the harbour then i could enter through the far pier.
I did exactly that and parked up just outside the gates,
i walked through the main gates where i was greated by what i will describe as a rather scruffy looking South African hobo, who informed me it was 5 Rand to enter without a vehicle. I didnt actually care initially as i just wanted to get to the seal colony, as i asked the question how much with a vehicle, a police vehicle pulled up and he rapidly handed me back the 5 Rand coin i'd handed over without much fanfare.
I think thats the most use the police have offered me of late (if you know about the flat tyre incident you'll know what i mean).
So i headed past the two ships which were in drydock and then started along the pier wall, at which point i found my next obstacle, the ocean. It was the outer sea wall and offered great protection to the harbour but very little to me and my Nikon D300 and the rest of my 3k camera kit. I watched the waves over the next few minutes and timed my sprints perfectly to get to the other side almost bone dry.
What waited for me was fantastic and the pictures
which will appear shortly will i hope explain a little just how good the experience really was. The younger seal pups were playing right next to the pier, they seemed glad of the attention, well i was the only one on the outer pier. There were two main groups though, one on a raft who all seemed rather tired of both swimming around and being on the raft. The other group were fronted by two big seals neither of which seemed to want me very close to the rest of the seals. I didn't mind they were perfect models, acted just as stubborn and perhaps as nonchalent as me.
so satisfied with the selection of images the seals had given me i made my way back along the pier, cautiously avoiding the waves and headed back to my car.
Now the intention was to head further down the coast, and having tried to go to the Sentinel (A lighthouse further south) i keyed into the Garmin couple of towns which eventually it recognised one of. So onwards i went, happily on my way with no real reason to doubt i was going in the wrong direction. You see
the route up Chapmans peak is a toll road but is closed at the halfway point this would normally be the route south. As such its now neccessary to head inland.
The first i really noticed mainly was after i made a turn out of some woodland and onto the freeway. I'd basically circumnavigated the Table Mountain national park, dont as me how, the map and the garmin seemed to have a disagreement what can i say.
Well since i was back in CT, i decided that as the Cable Car was back in operation i'd take care of that and also the Rhodes Monument which is also set in the national park.
Actually the cost of £12 to go up the mountain, well i wanted to do it, it was one of the main two things i wanted to do and that can now be crossed off, but at the same time it wasnt that impressive really. I did enjoy it though. I have two images however which will be uploaded shortly which possibly highlight just how quickly the cloud closes in.
There was one unique thing about the cable car, which seperates it from
any other i've done and that is the carriage rotates through 360 degrees as it ascends and descends. Impressive it definately was and i'm glad i've done it, now i just want to get across to Robben Island on Tuesday and i'll be a happy little traveller (I have short legs)
Anyways thats all for now the images will follow so please be patient.
There are more photos below