Penguins and the Point

Elize, the guest house proprietor, arranged a guided tour to Cape Point for us. It had poured most of the previous night, and the forecast was rain throughout the day, so we were the only guests in the van. With limited time we needed to make the most of our stay in Cape Town and that day worked best for us to take the three-hour drive to the point.

As promised, it rained most of day; sometimes a light mist swirled around us, causing more curls to appear on my head, other times it poured and I pulled my hood tight around my face. Our guide, Cabella (hope I’m spelling it correctly), drove us along the coast past Camp’s Bay and Hout’s Bay, talked into a microphone, making it easy to hear about the history of his country.

We stopped at Boulder’s Beach, home to the African Penguin. Dropping us off, Cabella suggested we take the boardwalk to the end before we took any pictures. I understood why he told us that as we walked along the boardwalk. Penguins were everywhere. We watched clusters of them waddle along in the tall grass.

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The grassy area gave way to a sandy beach where hordes of penguins congregated. Some floated in the water, bobbing up and down with the waves until the ocean got tired of carrying them and spit them onto shore. The penguins, about 60 centimeters tall, would stagger on to the beach and shake themselves dry, vibrating from head to tail.

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After our allotted time with the tuxedoed birds we met Cabella, made a quick stop for lattes at a cafe on the way back to the van, and continued our trip to Cape Point. As we passed through the entrance of the national park and drove toward the point we saw zebras and ostrich. I was on the lookout for baboons but they must have been staying out of the rain.

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At the Cape of Good Hope Bill and I waited in line for our turn for a photo. We climbed over the rocky terrain and posed for Cabella. We walked further out toward the water’s edge. Dark clouds hung low over the ocean, creating a menacing and dramatic vibe. Bill was happy we were there during inclement weather, imagined the first settlers landing there in the same type of weather. The wind blew and waves crashed on the rocks.

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Our next stop was Cape Point. It was pouring but we wanted to walk up to the lighthouse, Cabella gave us raincoats to keep us dry. We followed the path to the original lighthouse, careful not to trip on the long poncho. More dramatic views from our perch at the top.

Back on flat land we were ready for a late lunch; so was everyone else who was there. We huddled under the only restaurant’s awning, waiting for a table. To our surprise and delight, Mark and Linda, a couple we met on the safari, were waiting outside the restaurant, too. Cabella arranged for the four of us to eat lunch together. What a treat to see a familiar face in an unfamiliar place. We compared notes, caught each other up on what we’d been doing since last seeing the other, three days before. Lunch over, email addresses exchanged, goodbyes said we started the journey back to the house via a few more drive-by detours. Back home, my stomach slightly upset, I took a nap, intending to go out for dinner later. When I woke up it was still raining and I was quite comfortable nestled under a quilt; needless to say, we never went back out.

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49 replies

    • Thanks, Autumn. This was the first lighthouse built on top of the rocks. They realized it was too high to be seen by the boats in the fog and built a 2nd one at a lower elevation. Despite the rain we got a mini cardio workout hiking up to the top.

  1. Great pictures! Had no idea had penguins there. What a treat to see the different landscapes. Great adventure, great memories. Thank you! Xo Mom

  2. Ohhhh, you got some amazing photos. I think that the rain gave you the opportunity to see some amazing sky and sea. And you not going back out in the rain, and staying cozy in your hotel sounds absolutely ideal to me. I’m sure it was wonderful.
    My Aspie son is really into penguins right now. I’m going to have to show him your post so that he can see African penguins. He’ll love it.
    Have a great weekend Geralyn. As for me, I’m traveling yet again tomorrow and will only return Monday evening. Long weekend here in Brazil.
    🙂

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