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Beach changing huts at St James Beach

Beach changing huts at St James Beach

Our first morning in Cape Town we received our rental car at the hotel. Everything here is just as modern as anywhere in the world. This waterfront area reminds me of Vancouver BC almost. The food and coffee scene with hipsters are here as well. The service on the other hand is a bit shall we say, interesting. Most are professional and fast. But many can’t be bothered and look at you as if you have put them out to ask for something. Rather humorous. Don’t ask for directions. We did better on our own. The rental car rep had a GPS for our car but it did not work when she plugged it in. She said she would come back and leave it at the hotel for us for the rest of the trip. We leave tomorrow and she never came back. I am sure she charged us for it though. No bother. We got our paper map and off we went. Paper!!  I let Charles drive since he lived in the UK for 9 years and is used to driving on the left. Although it has been quite awhile. The part he can’t seem to learn is the difference between the turn signal and the wind shield wipers. These are opposite sides also and I think we had the wipers

Getting ready to hit the road in rental. Charles in front of our hotel in Cape Town. The Portswood.

Getting ready to hit the road in rental. Charles in front of our hotel in Cape Town. The Portswood.

on 90% of the time. The turn signal would come after the fact. We’ve been laughing for two days now.

Our goal for day one was to head down south along the coast and make our way down to Cape Point the southern most tip of Africa. We were told Kalk Bay was a nice beach town to stop for lunch and walking and then of course we wanted to see the penguins. As we were driving toward Kalk Bay we saw these bright colored huts on a beach. I had seen this image in photos before and realized we were at St. James Beach. The huts are changing rooms you rent in the summer time. A funny detail – When I went in to the public beach washroom you had to get your toilet paper before you went in to your stall. Perhaps people steal tp. I guess the attendant wants to make sure you don’t. We then made it to Kalk Bay and had lunch.

The homes along the beach towns are beautiful. Most architecture is very Dutch. I can only imagine how expensive they were. In to Simon’s Town next for the Penguin Colony. Now this colony is protected and a national park so you pay to get in to it. But the location is basically in the beach town along a residential street. Those poor home owners in the summer must hate the thousands of people walking by day after day. But very strange to have penguins here under the houses. On a side note, thank goodness we are here in the Fall (their Fall). There is no traffic and I can only imagine this coastline is a zoo in the summer. Next we drove all of the way to Table Mountain National Park which is

No fun allowed on this beach in St James. Perhaps Bloomberg influence?

No fun allowed on this beach in St James. Perhaps Bloomberg influence?

Cape Point. This basically reminded me of Joshua Tree in CA. Lots of side roads off of the main one that would bring you down to beaches or hiking or camping spots. Ocean on both sides. We ran across The Da Gama monument. He found the sea route to India in 1497. Below the cross was a beach we came to. I saw something at the corner of my eye and found these two ostrich roaming the beach. Ostrich on the beach? Wacky. Then up near the Cape Point tourist stop there were baboons hanging out along the road. Signs everywhere to be aware of the mean baboons. Even cobras! Thank goodness we did not run in to those! So far anyway.

We made it back to the hotel just after dark. I think we did pretty darn well navigating ourselves. A couple of wrong turns but nothing major. Making your way through Cape Town proper can be a little confusing and busy but not a big deal. Another great dinner at a The Harbour House a seafood restaurant on the waterfront. Today we drove out to wine country. Well part of it. It is huge. We chose the area of Franschhoek. A guy we met on penguin signthe plane suggested it. Stay tuned for next article. Let’s hope I can get better wi-fi tomorrow. This hotel service is terrible!

so cute!

so cute!

Imagine living right above this beach!

Imagine living right above this beach!

Ostrich roaming the beach

Ostrich roaming the beach

 

 

Da Gama Memorial at Cape Point

Da Gama Memorial at Cape Point

Local LE along the coast

Local LE along the coast

Cape Town at night on the waterfront. Same Wheel as Seattle's!

Cape Town at night on the waterfront. Same Wheel as Seattle’s!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beachside homes near Kalk Bay

Beachside homes near Kalk Bay

 

 

 

 

 

3 Responses to “South Africa – Part 2 – The Cape”

  1. Aubrey

    Great to see pics of my old home town, its a long way from Sydney. Some trivia; Cape Point is where 2 Oceans meet, the Indian Ocean and the South Atlantic. Cape Agulhas is the most southern part of Africa, east of Cape Point. Autumn (right now in the southern hemisphere) is generally the best weather for Cape Town, good timing! Franschoek (French Corner in Dutch) is where the French Hugenot Protestant refugees settled after being expelled from France in the late 1700s, hence the wine industry.

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