Thursday, April 22, 2010

Cape Peninsula & Robben Island

We spent the rest of Saturday afternoon driving along the Cape Peninsula starting from Constantia through Muizenberg (where we spent the day just a few days before) and ending in Camps Bay via Chapman's Peak for our final sunset over South Africa. It was a spectacular drive…the vast landscape, viewpoints, ocean, mountains, and scenery are breathtaking. We also had fun watching the baboons along the way – they are actually quite aggressive so beware! We're not suppose to feed them, but I couldn't help but to give them a few stale oat biscuits we left in the car.

At Cape Point, we trekked up to the lighthouse, enjoyed the amazing views of the Atlantic Ocean, and listened to the ocean crashing on the cragged cliffs turning waves into meringue-like clouds. I almost had vertigo peering down the cliff – whew, but what a view! We bought binoculars (bought them off my avid bird-watcher colleague) with us for some (unsuccessful) whale-watching.

Cape Point is not the official point in which the Indian Ocean clashes with the Atlantic Ocean; it's actually Cape Agulhas, some few hours east of Cape Town towards Port Elizabeth. However, the meeting point does fluctuate depending on the season. Whereas Cape Agulhas is the southern most point on the African continent, Cape of Good Hope is the southwestern most point. We also saw a few ostriches – there is a huge ostrich farm nearby the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve.

We drove back via Chapman's Peak on a narrow and curvy road to Houts Bay -- the drive was beautiful. We stopped to have an early-ish dinner at Fish on the Rocks, a very locals' type place serving up fresh fish and chip. The area is a bit dodgy at night as this humble restaurant is sandwiched between warehouses on Houts Bay and loads of stray cats. Probably best to come during lunch on a sunny day. Keenan loved it here - he devoured his fish down to the bone!

Brilliant Driving Tour -- From Chapman's Peak to Houts Bay to Camps Bay:

We made it to Camps Bay in time to enjoy a beautiful sunset – our last sunset and "Africa" by Toto, came on the radio as I parked the car.

A glorious sunset upon the African sky:

We spent our very last day in Cape Town before our 6:30 PM flight back to London at Robben Island, followed by lunch at Giovanni's at Sea Point. The weather couldn't be more perfect for an excursion out to South Africa's most famous prison. It is perhaps the most appropriate way to end our trip, a dose of South African history from colonialism to apartheid. Nelson Mandela spent 18 years of his 27 sentence here doing hard labour. The Robben Island tour leaves from V&A Waterfront and takes about 3.5 hours, including 30 minute ferry ride each way (have your camera ready and grab a seat on the deck), a bus tour around the island, and a prison tour (your tour guide on this leg is a former political prisoner). It's really interesting...I highly recommend visiting Robben Island, and do book your tickets online to avoid disappointment.

V&A Waterfront and Table Mountain:

Nelson Mandela's Prison Cell:

On Robben Island looking towards Cape Town:

From South Africa with Love,
Lily & Keenan
April 2010

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