Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas! Mine was spent with family, and now Hubby and I are at our Central Coast place, awaiting the New Year.
But we’re not quite done with South Africa just yet. This time, we’re heading east of Cape Town to the Eastern Cape city of Port Elizabeth. With a population of 1.1 million, it is the manufacturing centre of South Africa since the beginning of the 20th Century. This accounts for the size of the old power plant.
Historically, this area was first developed by the English in the 1820’s. This accounted for the many English-style buildings in the city centre.
Looks a lot like the buildings in the cities of Australia, doesn’t it? Probably because they all date back to the same period.
We finally made it to Cape Point, the most south-westerly point of Africa. But there was still some walking to do up to the lighthouse.
Many people cheated and took the Flying Dutchman Funicular instead, but that would take away from the sense of accomplishment at reaching the top, I thought.
And a chance to catch my breath along the way while taking in more of the marvelous views.
At the lighthouse, there was the obligatory direction post. We’d travelled a long way from Sydney, that’s for sure.
That’s the end of our Cape Point adventure. But I’m not done with South Africa just yet.
Aside from the animals, there were plenty of floral attractions on our way to Cape Point. The coastal flora was very reminiscent of those found on the Australian coast, I thought.
And of course, there was the wonderful wind-blown scenery. From rocky hills.
To foamy ocean.
And glorious peaks.
The last photo is of Buffels Bay (Buffelsbaai, or Buffalo Bay in Afrikaans). It’s a well-known braai spot (barbecue and picnic spot) very close to Cape Point. Wouldn’t mind a barbecue if the temperature was warmer and the wind calmer, but I’m guessing that wouldn’t happen all that often on the windy Cape!
There were a few more animal diversions on the way to Cape Point. Ostriches were common-place in the park. We saw this guy by the roadside.
And this guy was in a very beautiful picnic spot. In the distance, you can also see the lighthouse on Cape Point, our destination.
At Cape Point itself, there were many reminders of baboons, although none were actually in sight that day.
However, we saw this guy (lady?) by the roadside and stayed well-clear.
And from big things to small – this hungry caterpillar was looking for its next meal, but none in sight on this rock.
At Simon’s Town, on the Indian Ocean side of the Cape Peninsula and 27km south-east of Hout Bay, we visited some more animal attractions – penguins!
These African penguins live on Boulders Beach in the midst of a residential area as you can see. They’re a bit larger than fairy penguins, which are common to South East Australia. And unlike fairy penguins who generally come onshore only at dusk, these penguins were conveniently onshore all day.
They’re pretty happy to be amongst humans, and having access to a great food source that is the Indian Ocean, they’re so happy that the colony has grown from 4 penguins in 1982 to 3,000! Consequently, a reserve was created for them and now it’s a very established tourist attraction.
They’re very funny to observe, waddling, swimming, playing, fighting, grooming.
I could watch them all day, but we had other things to do and to see, so I had to say goodbye.
We leave Hout Bay via Chapmans Peak Drive and continued our journey to Cape Point.
This two-laned road hugs the mountain-side and hence was spectacular, if a little freaky, what with convoys of tour buses going along it.
The pass road was hacked out by hand in the early 20th Century, and was regarded as a feat of engineering at the time.
Half-way through we could look back across Hout Bay to the town.
There’s still a long way to go to Cape Point though. Next, more animal attractions.
After braving a few waves, the rocky outcrop that was Duiker Island came into sight.
And on it were hundreds of mostly male Cape fur seals. They are closely related to the Australian fur seals found in Victoria and Tasmania.
What a slothful bunch they were. We saw some frolicking in the water, but most were having their extended nap, away from the sights of the great white shark, whose waters they inhabit.
They certainly weren’t too perturbed by the gale force winds, swell and rain, that was for sure. What a life.
After taking a few shots, it was time to brave the Atlantic once more.
Look at those ominous waves. They’ll never make a sailor out of me!