Day 64, Year 6 The Cape of Good Hope and More
Date: Monday, December 27, 2010
Weather: Still Sunny; Still WINDY, SE 35 ‘Round the Clock
Location: Simon’s Town, Western Cape, South Africa

I ended yesterday’s log by saying that we had no plans for today, but that changed right after the log was sent. Friends Piet Hein and Tory of Double Dutch called and offered to pick us up this morning to go to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve which is a part of Table Mountain National Park. We have really wanted to go there but it is too far to walk and there is no public transportation, so the invitation was very welcomed. And not an hour later our friends Bruce and Nadine from Hout Bay called and invited us to their home in Hout Bay for an overnighter so they can take us to the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and a tour of some of the nearby wineries. Again, these are things we really want to do. We are so grateful to these good friends who want to make sure we see the best that the Cape Town area has to offer.

Simons Town is located on the northern part of a peninsula that forms the western side of False Bay. At the very tip of that peninsula is Cape Point which curves a bit to the east. And just west of the most impressive Cape Point is the Cape of Good Hope. When Sir Francis Drake rounded the Cape of Good Hope in the late 1400’s he dubbed it the “fairest cape in all the world.” But the horror stories of rounding the Cape of Good Hope have had us a bit nervous from the start of our circumnavigation. Walking to the lighthouse at the top of Cape Point and looking down on the Cape of Good Hope was quite an event for us. It was exciting to see that it is really not all that scary if you just watch the weather carefully. But today certainly would not have been a day to round the Cape. This wind is still blowing 30 to 40 knots continuously. We then drove down to the Cape of Good Hope. The beach on the east side of it is the whitest sand there is and the water is that beautiful turquoise. On the west side there are just rocky beaches and kelp growing from the shore quite a ways out so there can be no swimming on that side. We drove back north through the park taking a few more side trips to beautiful white sand beaches. We saw ostriches, one lone, large antelope in the distance, and just generally admired the beautiful countryside. By the time we left the park, the line of cars waiting to get in was very long. We were very grateful that we had come early. But it was not time for lunch, so Tory and Piet Hein suggested we head along the coast to Hout Bay, stopping for lunch on the way. The first place we stopped was completely full, so we drove on to Kommetjie to Imhoff Farm. This is a historical Cape Farmstead dating back to 1743 and has now been turned into a place to come to enjoy the farm animals and enjoy lunch at the Blue Water CafĂ©. We still had to wait quite a while to be served but the beautiful view of the mountains was spectacular and helped to allay our hunger. From here we drove the Chapman’s Peak Drive to Hout Bay. This is billed as one of the most spectacular marine drives in the world and we would agree. The mountains tower above you and the sheer drops to the sea below are quite dramatic. Piet Hein and Tory had to take something to a friend’s home in Hout Bay, so that was our next stop. Jan and Suzanne Vilmering circumnavigated the world in their 65-foot Adrena. On the way, they fell in love with Cape Town and when they completed their circumnavigation they returned and have built a beautiful home on a mountainside overlooking Hout Bay. The final event of the day was to visit Piet Hein and Tory’s lovely home in Newlands where Tory whipped up a very quick and delicious dinner for us. Then they drove us back to Simons Town and the end of the day, we are feeling very spoiled and very grateful to our good friends.

Last night at 9 pm we made a planned Skype video call to my nephew Tommy’s home in Charlotte, North Carolina. My sister and her husband and my sister-in-law were there along with all of Tommy and Marilou’s children and my sister’s daughter Jennifer and her family. We were having the greatest time talking to everyone when Skype gave us a “time’s up” message. So that was the end of that call and the end of being connected to the internet for us until we can get somewhere and buy more time. We had just topped up in Mossel Bay and can’t figure out why we are out of time. So we might not be able to send this log tonight. We’re not sure we will be able to get out via HAM radio since we are sitting right next to the South African naval base. Here’s hoping.

101227 Day 64 South Africa–Cape of Good Hope and Chapman's Peak