The Western cape of Africa

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January 3rd 2010
Published: January 3rd 2010EDIT THIS ENTRY

Merry Christmas everyone

This is just a quick blog about the tip of Africa which is a pretty special place. But let’s get one thing straight it’s not really Africa. (although after 4 months of hard travelling it felt like a nice holiday within a holiday).

After Jefferies Bay the coast takes on a different feel with beach towns that would not be out of place in East Coast Oz or Southern California. But it’s a really diverse place where you can see big game in the morning, surf in the afternoon then go out for a few beers and a seafood platter in the evening all in one day!!

The cape includes the world famous garden route which is a section of the coast as scenic as you can see anywhere in the world. A couple of highlights were Plettenberg bay which is a beautiful little town where the cape town elite all seem to own holiday homes, and Hermanus which is one of the best places to see whales and dolphins from the cliffs around the town, this is also the wine producing region of Africa with vineyards as far as the eye can see, a truly stunning driving destination and holiday area.

A real highlight of the area is the scenic driving and from Gordon’s Bay all the way around cape point to Cape Town is an incredibly scenic route which in some places is carved right out of the mountains. The beaches are amazing in this area, and out of the towns they are deserted with the clearest water that reminded me of the Maldives (although it is freezing cold).

We spent a couple of days around the peninsula just taking our time with the drive enjoying the food and the beaches and the scenery at the cape point national park before we finally arrived at cape town which was certainly worth the wait!!

My first impressions of cape town was driving through the beach town suburbs which take you round the coast until you are at the Victoria and Albert waterfront right under table mountain. In the first couple of days it reminded me of Sydney a little bit. The best way to appreciate the spectacular setting of cape town is surprisingly to leave the city behind to get some perspective with the best views being from the top of table mountain which is spectacular, you can see the whole city below you from one side of the mountain and from the back side you can see the outer suburb beach towns and all the way to the cape of good hope and cape point. You can also see Robben island on a clear day and this is where Nelson Mandela and the other political prisoners were held during the apartheid era. We took a tour out to Robben island which is now a national monument and had of a tour of the prison by a former inmate who explained the tragic history of the island to us and also how this was the place that Mandela and the other freedom fighters first formed the idea’s for the ANC which became the first democratically elected government.

Cape town is a fantastic city with superb restaurants down on the waterfront and plenty of bars and clubs for a good night out. It has to have to most stunning setting of any city on earth and the whole cape area really should be near the top of anyone’s holiday list. If you like beaches, scenery, wildlife ,food and wine (the beer is crap) this really is the place to visit!

Additional photos below
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10th January 2010

Hello, Are you going to be updating again with the stuff you've done in Oz and Bali? I can't get over how stunning the scenery was - most of it looks so incredible. Not sure about the cage diving with the big big sharks. I think you both most have been slightly nuts! Louise you were brave going down first - I would have just sent Adam down and taken photos for the boat. See you both soon, x
12th January 2010

Hello Chel hope you are ok, the laptop went back with the landy in the container as I didn;t want to lug it round indonesia so its hard to do blogs at the min I will post a couple when I get back to perth and also skype you

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