Road Trip

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Africa » South Africa » Western Cape » Hermanus
September 26th 2012
Published: June 17th 2017
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A half finished overpass in the middle of the city.
Geo: -34.4187, 19.2345

This morning we got up early and checked-out of the hotel. The walk to the car rental place was only two blocks. We picked up our little car, a Citroen and I easily directed Rach (whom I nominated as driver) out of Cape Town. Our destination was a cafe in Camp's Bay for breakfast. It didn't take us very long to arrive there. Table Mountain today was covered in clouds - again. We had a hot breakfast to warm us up and then continued on our road trip. It was nice to be travelling in a car again and driving along the scenic coast.

We didn't drive too far until we stopped again, just before 11am in Hout Bay. It is well known for its seal watching and as a historic and fishing village. We drove to the harbour and had a little walk around. We had planned to go on a seal watching cruise. There happened to be a boat leaving soon, so we didn't have to wait long. As we walked along we saw a couple of seals in the water below the walkway. On this cloudy day there was still a nice view of
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The mountain as seen from Camp's Bay.
bay from the harbour which is surrounded by mountains. There were many types of boats in the harbour. As we left the harbour more seals were spotted sitting and sleeping on a floating tube. The boat trip was taking us to Duiker Island. The informal settlement on the side of the hill was an interesting sight, as right above it there were expensive looking houses.

The boat went around the mountain and then we spotted Duiker Island. The sea was a bit rough, maybe a bit too rough for our boat? Anyway, I held on tight to the camera and to the railing with my other hand. The island was covered in fur seals with waves frequently crashing over the seals. The sea around the island was also full of seals swimming around. We didn't seem to stay here for very long, must be because of the rough sea. At least we were able to see many seals.

On the way back to the harbour, I pointed out the road to Rach that we would later be driving along – Chapman's Peak Drive - a road along the side of the mountain. On our arrival back at the harbour we
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A view of Camp's Bay.
were greeted by some local musicians. They didn't sound too bad, so I gave them a few coins in their outstretched hats.

It was now time to get back in the car and hit the road – more places to see! We continued driving south along the coast and drove the curvy Chapman's Peak Drive. This is a very scenic 9km coastal drive named after the mountain – Chapman's Peak which the road is cut into. We stopped at a few of the lookout points and had a great view of Hout Bay. There were lots of nets to catch any falling rocks. At the end of the drive we had a beautiful view of a coastal town with a wide sandy beach.

I continued to navigate Rach towards our next stop, the Cape of Good Hope. Rach was not impressed when we saw a road sign warning us of baboons. She does not like them at all and so we kept our doors locked and windows closed. I don't mind watching them, but I know that these ones are different and will approach people and vehicles if they think there is food present. Just after seeing this sign, we came
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Looking up at the mountain from Camp's Bay.
across a small troop of baboons crossing the road. Once they crossed, Rach sped off!

We then entered the Cape of Good Hope. Here there are a range of environments – rocky mountains, fynbos vegetation, the bush and beaches. We slowly drove to the lookout point. Along the way we saw a couple of ostriches and their chicks, views of the coast, the lighthouse and various sea birds. To see ostriches on the coast was a strange sight for me, as I am used to seeing them in the bush and not on the beach! We then stopped at the Cape of Good Hope sign – this was the most south-western point of the African continent and quite a windy place too! After a few photos with the sign and some deep breaths of sea air, we were back in the car.

On the way out I spotted a herd of Eland – the largest species of antelope and in my opinion the ugliest. We also saw more ostriches and a large troop of baboons. They were on both sides of the road foraging for food, grooming each other and resting. It was interesting to watch them – with the windows
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The mountains ahead of us were covered with clouds.
wound up of course.

When we arrived in Simon's Town at half past 2, we followed the sign for Boulder's Beach. Boulder's Beach is a little sheltered cove between Simon's Town and Cape Point. This was one of my favourite places - a chance to see penguins in the wild and very close to humans.

We parked the car and walked along the beach to the entrance. The beach here was beautiful and looked like a great place to swim. Here we paid the entrance fee and walked along the boardwalks at Foxy Beach. Boulder's Beach is one of just three penguin populations on the mainland in Southern Africa. The variety that live here are the African Penguins and they have been here since 1982, even though the area was well-populated with humans when they arrived. Then there were only 2 breeding pairs and now there are about 2200 penguins. This variety is considered an endangered species.

We saw many penguins freely wandering around their protected environment. They were busy getting on with their daily routine - entering the water, exiting the water, sleeping, standing and scratching. I enjoyed observing their antics. Some interesting facts that I learnt about
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The mountains covered in clouds.
them was that they can only stay submerged underwater for up to two minutes, they swim at a speed of 7 kilometres per hour and that their black & white colouring is a form of camouflage. Lucky for us, we also saw some baby penguins – covered in grey fluffy feathers.

These penguins are monogamous and with their lifelong partners they take turns to incubate the eggs and feed their young. After about a year or two the young penguin's blue fluffy feathers are replaced with the familiar black and white feathers. These penguins start breeding at about 4 years of age. Each year the adult penguins moult and lose their old worn feathers. It takes about 21 days for the new feathers to come through and during this time they are confined to staying on land as they have no waterproofing.

We were now on our way to Hermanus and would be staying there for the next few nights. From the penguins we drove along the coast and then joined onto a main highway. Along the way we drove past quite a few townships, shacks could be seen in most directions for as far as our eyes could see. It
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The view as we drove towards Hout Bay.
was still daylight and we were on the edge of the township, so I think we were safe!

At about 5 we arrived in Hermanus. We found our Bed and Breakfast, checked in and then went to explore the town while it was still daylight. Hermanus is very well known for its whale watching during season from June to November. Tourists come here to see the Southern Right Whales.

We parked in the centre of the small town and walked along the cliff edge. There was a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains and sea. We were also lucky enough to have some whale sightings in the distance. We saw the whales jump out of the water and turn around, then make a big splash – I just wished that they were closer to the shore! Still it was rather exciting and I knew that we would see more over the next few days.

In between whale sightings we also saw quite a few dassies. Once it got too dark to see any more whales we went to the supermarket and bought some food to make dinner. That evening we chilled at the BnB and drank some of the
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One of the seals we saw from the pier.
wine that we bought from our wine tour.

Additional photos below
Photos: 95, Displayed: 27


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09 Bay

The view of Hout Bay from the pier.
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10 Hout Bay

Some of the many boats in the bay.
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11 Hout Bay

Some of the many boats in the bay.
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12 Seals

The seals greeting us at the pier.
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14 Seals

Some of the seals that live in the bay.
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15 Bay

Houses on the hill at Hout Bay.
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16 Houses

Some of the houses in the bay.
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17 Scenery

Some of the scenery we saw from the boat ride.
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18 Seals

Many seals on the rocks.
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20 Seals

Lots of seals on the rocks.
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21 Waves

Waves that washed over the rocks.
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22 Seals

Seals swimming in the water.
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25 Seals

Some of the many seals sitting on the rocks.

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