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March 6th 2008
Published: March 9th 2008
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Local BoysLocal BoysLocal Boys

Thess local boys were running around and jumping off of the pier in the new harbor of Hermanus
Haley and I have finally started our South African trip. One that we started planning over a year ago. One that seemed so far away for so long...but has finally come around. After dating a South African for 2 years you can believe that I have heard PLENTY of stories, complaints, bragging that all started with "In South Africa we " - so I was excited to finally go to the country that I have heard so much about, from both Haley and her family/friends. Let me start off by saying, we are only half way through our trip and this country has not disappointed!

We started with a 15 hour flight from Dulles, to Cape Town. Haley's sister (Natalie) and brother-in-law (Freeman) were on the same flight as us (up from NC) which was nice. For some reason I was under the impression that the flight was actually 21 hours, so I was mentally prepared for something longer. The flight seemed to go by quite quickly (the great movie selection and free booze helped out a bit). I was fortunate enough to get an emergency exit row seat next to Freeman (Haley's brother in law) so
Orange Breasted SunbirdOrange Breasted SunbirdOrange Breasted Sunbird

Brightly colored bird, in Cape Point SA
we had plenty of leg room (and Haley sat next to her sister and were entertained by babies that were sitting close by the entire time).

The transportation side of things was painless, the flight was easy, the airport was easy, Haley's parents picked us up and shipped us to a flat that we had rented in Cape Town for the next 3 nights. The 30 minute drive from the airport to our apartment was really interesting. In South Africa the slums are called townships, and we passed a huge one just outside of the airport. I recently read a book called "Kaffir Boy" which gave a detailed description of what it was like to grow up in one of these townships. So it was very interesting for me to actually see (at least the perimeter of one). This was an extremely poor and typically very crime filled area. Check out the picture that I have included.

Cape Town itself is a small bustling city, with a few small skyscrapers and a large somewhat residential area that has sprawled out around it. It sits nestled between some steep rock cliffs (Table Mountain, Signal Hill, and Lions Head) and
Cape PointCape PointCape Point

The southern most point of SA
the beach, which ends up being quite spectacular (especially during sunsets, with an ice cold Castle beer in hand). Our time in Cape Town was pretty busy so I'll just highlight our activities.

  • Rhodes Memorial - a really nice spot (memorial to Rhodes) for tea looking over the entire city (high on a hillside)
  • Table Mountain - A huge mountain cliff, we were not able to hike up it due to bad weather and lack of time but we took the gondola up...truly stunning views for kilometers and kilometers 😊
  • Signal Hill - Another view point hike that we hiked
  • The Markets - Green square market was right in the middle of the City and had a ton of goods, nothing actually too interesting to me - lots of masks, and jewelery though
  • Haley's Family - In Cape Town, in addition to her immediate family, we met up with her mothers old maid Margie, and a number of her cousins & aunts.
  • Cape Point / Cape of Good Hope / Cape Fear - My favorite, which I will describe below.

On our second day in town Haley and I (like we typically
Rhodes MemorialRhodes MemorialRhodes Memorial

The Kalil's and I just after breakfast at the Rhodes Memorial in Cape Town SA
do) took a long coastal drive down to Cape Point, which is the the southern most point of South Africa. The drive was amazing with tons of scenic little photo spots and cute small towns, we stopped off here and there for this and that. The coast line was very reminiscent of New Zealand - again, huge cliffs steeply spilling off into the (FREEZING cold) into the Indian and Atlantic oceans. Cape Point topped it all off with a huge dramatic cliff jutting straight out into the water, capped off with a large white light house. There were tons of hikes along the tops of these cliffs and down a number of remote beaches, next time Haley and I will spend more time here and do some of the hiking.

I have also been trying to eat as much "game" as possible while here. In the city of Cape Town along Freeman and I have managed to put down the following beasts (and I will continue this list throughout this trip)

  • Springbuck
  • Wildboar
  • Ostrage

In addition to eating animals we have also already seen a bunch of (interesting to me) animals. You've heard of

Protea Flower, the SA National Flower
the big five - Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Water Buffalo, Elephant. Well so far we have seen what i am calling the little five - Dassie (like a nimble ground hog), Baboon, Buck, Seal, Guinea Fowl (that actually charged me).

My time in Cape Town has been very enjoyable, the food has been amazing, the scenery has been impressive, and the sun-downers (drinking beer while watching the sunset) have been a great way to start each evening. I was sad to leave but also excited for the next part of our adventure....Haley's holiday town of Hermanus (went there as a child). What used to be an old fishing village and has now started to turn into a trendy beach town (But still sleepy).

The drive to Hermanus was similar to the drive to Cape Point. We took the longer more scenic route and were joined by Freeman and Natalie. We often stopped to scramble down the rocks to look at the ocean, or for a picture or two. After about a 2 hour trip we pulled into town. It was easy to tell when we got close because haley started getting really anxious and the story telling began! "When
Guinea FowlGuinea FowlGuinea Fowl

This Guinea Fowl actually charged me b/c i was too close!
I was young we used to ", "This is the spot that ", etc.

Hermanus is a great little town and I have loved my time here. Each morning we get up and either hiking/run along the boulder filled beaches, or along the mountains that town over the city. The weather has been perfectly hot, and the fresh squeezed juice has been perfectly cold. Here the entire family (Haley, her parents, Freeman, Nats) have all stayed in her parents place and explored the area together.

Well I think that is enough for now, on the next entry I will describe the rest of my time in Hermanus, talk about my experience with cage diving for GREAT WHITES, and get into more details about the ice cold water and my new tiny little speedo!

Additional photos below
Photos: 20, Displayed: 20


Cape Town SACape Town SA
Cape Town SA

A high vantage point looking over Cape Town

A township
Rocky BeachRocky Beach
Rocky Beach

We passed this rock beach on the way to Hermanus
Road TripRoad Trip
Road Trip

On the way to Hermanus
Betty's BayBetty's Bay
Betty's Bay

This was taken in Betty's Bay, SA
Hermanus BeachHermanus Beach
Hermanus Beach

Voel Klip beach, Hermanus SA

My new speedo!
Me on the beachMe on the beach
Me on the beach

Me on the beach
Cape-Dutch ArchitectureCape-Dutch Architecture
Cape-Dutch Architecture

Here is an example of the architecture that is typical in this area
Local BoyLocal Boy
Local Boy

This local boy was running around and jumping off of the pier (with all his friends) in the new harbor of Hermanus

Some colorful beach shacks

This baboon really struck a pose for us
Cape PointCape Point
Cape Point

Beautiful Coastline coming up to Cape Point
Cape of Good HopeCape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope

More coastline

9th March 2008

Whoo Hoo!
Hi there!! So glad to finally see some pics and hear word of your trip. Looks fantastic. Cannot wait to hear stories. give all my love.
9th March 2008

Hi Chris and Haley, All I can say is WOW!!!! Little did I know when you visited us in Egypt Chis as a teenager that you would develop such a passion for traveling. South Africa looks fantastic. I can't wait to hear more about it and see more pictures. Have a fabulous time and please come see me when you return. Love, Bev
9th March 2008

Wish we were there to celebrate..... Chris, you are among fabulous folks
9th March 2008

World travler
Chris you never cease to amaze me...
9th March 2008

Chris you are such an amazing photographer. Can't wait to hear more about the trip -- I wish I could be back there with y'all!!! XOXOXO
10th March 2008

Awe, you make me want to go 'home' so badly reading your messages and seeing the pictures. So glad you are all enjoying yourselves. Can NOT believe you did the cage dive. I'm sure the pics are out of this world. Looking forward to reading more stories soon. Miss you guys lots!
10th March 2008

Great blog Chris...those pictures of the coast make me wish that I wasn't in my office right now but at the beach hanging out! Glad your safe and anxious for your next blog that explains the speedo (seriously?) and the cage diving pics!
10th March 2008

Glad you like Cape Town
Hey there, just came accross your blog. So glad you like Cape Town, it's my hometown and very close to my heart. Check out my travel blog http://parisandpomegranates.blogspot.com/
12th March 2008

What's with the banana hammock buddy?? Maybe next trip Haley can just bring an extra set of her bathing suit bottoms for you!!
13th March 2008

Missing you
Hi Chris. Missing you and HM so much. I know you are having an incredible time in the Kruger !!! We cannot wait to see the pictures you have taken there as well. It was such a pleasure having you and teaching you the local slang - lekker, ohhhh, biltong, gaan kak in die bos, does your face have a puncture, shuu and more oh yes and of course a BRAAI!
17th March 2008

Amazing !!
What beautiful pictures , the sunset, grapes, cape dutch house gable, guinea fowl, beach shacks, townships etce etc could go on forever. I cannot wait to frame them for the hous, and to try and paint some also. Thanks Chris, cannot wait for somemore. Love Marie Pleased and grateful that we are all back safely

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