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Published: July 27th 2012
With our trip well and truly winding down we both felt the need to relax and to let the body recover from the hard hits that Africa has given us. But of course as soon as we done this we opened ourselves to let some little bug in and that is exactly what happened. For the latter part of Cape Town and its surroundings we both felt under the weather which not the best way to finish the trip was.
It also got us thinking, when at the end of a long trip and you start to relax, does your immune system seem to have a few days off also? It is not the first time after a longer trip that towards returning home it is the only time illness has reared its ugly head.
But as we are luckily in Cape Town it is perhaps the easiest place to get some treatment and before we knew it we were heading down the wonderful coastal route around the Cape of Good Hope. This drive around the whole point will be a full busy day trip with an early start from Cape Town which is best to avoid the mass
tourists that will follow you from stop to stop.
For us our first point of call was in Simons Town to check out the penguin colony. These cute guys are in a little bit of trouble as the numbers are now dwindling from the 23,000 breeding pairs in the 70’s to only around 1,500 pairs these days. Makeshift housing (see photos) are helping to protect the penguins from predators and the money brought in from the 600,000 tourists annually will hopefully be used in a proper way to protect their remaining habitat. How SAN parks have designed the boardwalk around and even over the breeding ground is great for the tourists to get right up close to the little guys. You will be guaranteed to be within a meter of a waddling penguin as he passes, beak full of twigs on the way to nest duty.
At some stage you will also noticed how greatly humans influence their living habitat. From time to time a penguin will walk past with a mouth full of rubbish collected from the waters, fishing string around a leg etc. Also as this colony in Simons Town is right in the middle of
the town, when the weather is nice swimming people will be in the same frame as the penguins.
From here we headed to further south to Cape Point and with the weather turning fickle we were in a hurry. For our time in and around Cape Town the weather was up and down and today was proving to be just the same, sun shine for thirty minutes then a storm the next. Unfortunately for us when we were up at the light house, the furthest away from our car we got caught. At this time of year Cape Town is famous for having four seasons in one day (or hour) so you have been warned 😊 It is a nice area with a steep climb up to the lighthouse will lead you to a vertical drop down into the thundering ocean. Some great views are had to be here and the old building dating back to the Second World War which is hanging from the cliff will make you very nervous. It was here that soldiers kept watch for ships passing by in the distance.
The lighthouse is close to Cape Point and a 10 minute drive will
take you to the most South Western point in Africa, not the most Southern which is Cape Agulhas around 150km away. Arriving here we were two drowned rats so had a quick look around but which not much to see except for a few wandering ostrich we headed back towards the western section of the Cape which proved to be the more scenic section of the drive.
Arriving back in Cape Town with the sun setting it was time to head back to our Couchsurfers and prepare for the remaining three days in Africa.
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