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Published: January 4th 2007
After yesterday’s day of doing pretty much nothing except catching up with each other’s news, today was far more action-packed. We took our ‘bus’ into Simonstown, the last town of any significance south of Cape Town, and had a bit of a wander. This is a fairly touristy place based around a naval heritage. The Time Out magazine reviews a seaside restaurant here and says ‘… you might even see one of the South African Navy’s secret new submarines’. Perhaps not all that secret really. The main draw of Simonstown is the nearby Boulders Beach, famous for its penguins. We paid it a visit and despite the first symptoms of penguin fatigue setting in had a good time - Gemma even saw a penguin in a lot of pain lay an egg.
After this we followed the tourist buses down to the Cape of Good Hope which as everyone knows is the bottom of Africa. Except everyone is wrong - the bottom is actually a place called Cape Agulhas a couple of hundred miles east (and a little south of course). It’s funny how something so clear-cut and objective can be subject to so much misunderstanding. Cape Town’s aquarium and
at least one wine brand go under the ‘Two Oceans’ name, implying they come from where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet, but they don’t. The problem Cape Agulhas faces is that it’s miles from anywhere of interest (except a lighthouse) and so attracts few tourists. In turn this means it can’t afford the publicity to counter Cape of Good Hope’s vaguely-stated claims. Plus Cape of Good Hope has a much more interesting-sounding name. We had a picnic lunch and Ed went for a swim, and as we drove off a family of enormous baboons came bouncing down the road. The point itself is quite fun and of course we had our photo taken next to the sign saying ‘Africa’s most south-western point’. We rounded things off in a restaurant called ‘Cape to Cuba’ in Kalk Bay. This is an utterly bizarre place where everything (literally) is for sale. For example, the chandeliers have a price tag (it’s not a grand place though, they’re plastic) as do the tables and chairs. According to an ex-waitress we met, a couple of years ago even the waitresses had price tags but that’s another story…
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