Good Hope

On my final day in South Africa I travelled down the peninsula to the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point, the south-western edge of the African continent where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet.

First up: a quick stop at Camps Bay, a beachside suburb.
 
The mountain peaks behind are called The Twelves Apostles… although apparently there are seventeen. On the highest peak, at the far left, you can see the cable car station at the top of Table Mountain.

Then on to Hout Bay and a boat trip to Seal Island.
    

A quick stop at an ostrich farm…

…then into Table Mountain National Park…

…where there were wild ostriches! Dad and his teenage daughters.

I stood on the Cape of Good Hope, which felt suitably iconic, then climbed to the lighthouse at Cape Point, walking through patches of drifting cloud.

I have never in my life experienced as windy a place as the lighthouse on Cape Point. Crazy people were posing for pictures on rocky outcrops on the way up. At the top, even they were hanging onto the walls for dear life. It was exhilarating.


Behind me you can see white waves breaking over the rocks that sank the S.S. Lusitania in 1911. After that they built another lighthouse lower down, where it wouldn’t be hidden by clouds.



Far below, the blue-green water of the Atlantic.

The stunning view across to the Cape of Good Hope.

On the other side, False Bay is filled with the warm waters of the Indian Ocean (and great white sharks).

As the moist air rushes in off the sea, it hits the mountain and condenses into a massive, billowing blanket of cloud. Heart-stoppingly dramatic.

We drove on to Boulders to see penguins. I’m used to Australian fairy penguins that toddle coyly up the beach at sunset and then hide in the dunes. In South Africa, they just hang out on the beach all day and pose for photos.

Penguins.

Seriously, lots of penguins.

Apart from the Cape, the other thing I’d been dying to see was the famous Kirstenbosch Botanic Gardens. That was next