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Saturday, 01 May 2021

Cape & Town, South Africa - Page 2

Written by Richard Taylor
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The next morning, I signed on for the Cape Point half-day tour and shook hands with Danny, our driver and guide. The seascape route featured stunning views, several determined cyclists and a series of nets, bridges and overhangs, quite cannily designed.

Its for the rock falls,said Danny. The government brought in Swiss engineers to build it. 

We stopped to photograph The Rhinoceros, a small island with a rocky upward crag for a horn. Further down the coast were seventeen jagged peaks known as the Twelve Apostles(the other five peaks were presumably apostates) backstopping a seaside village. This was followed by a lovely stretch of sand called Blue Beach.

Its been judged officially clean,Danny told us.

We took a breather at False Bay, named for the frequent mists that disguise the sea completely. Then the road curved inland, slicing through a soft roll of bush and heather and ostrich farms, the latter providing eggs, meat and the second most expensive leather in the country.


At the Cape Point Lighthouse, the mists were still gathering, so that only the mountain peaks were visible. The path to the lighthouse was a steep grade braced by rocks and flowers and warning signs about baboons and why we shouldnt feed them. We found one at the summit, gorging on his ill-gotten swag of sandwiches and fruit. As we aimed our cameras, he presented himself in a rude way. Baboons are always exhibitionists.

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By noon we finally hit bottom. The Cape of Good Hope, Africas southwestern extreme, was rocky and foggy and mysterious, for it was impossible to tell beyond the mists if the cape’s famously roiling seas were stormy or calm.


Then it was back the other way. Danny drove through Simons Town, where we stopped to inspect the penguin rookery. Unlike their South America cousins in Tierra del Fuego who move with the seasons, the African penguin is a permanent resident. Theyre a smaller species, with less of the characteristic waddle, seemingly content to dig holes in the sand and listen to the surf.

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We switched guides (the full day tourists carried on with Danny) and the new driver was kind enough to drop me by the Table Mountain entrance gate. The cable car ascended rapidly and the views were splendid: Robben Island, Lions Head Peak and the 2010 World Cup stadium, where they blew those funny horns. The summit itself is a lovely stroll, the placards listing a wealth of flora comprising what is surely one of the largest rock gardens on earth.



Cape Towns double decker tour bus can be boarded at several points and I found one waiting near the cable car exit. I took a seat, plugged in the earphones and let the taped narration carry me off. The bus pulled away from Table Mountain and rumbled far beyond the city outskirts, then the driver reversed finally, sweeping back along a posh coast of beach palms and volleyball and parasailing and nude bodies toweling themselves off by the pool decks and white-splashed balconies. Matt Damon and Charlize Theron were among the beautiful people who frequented this ritzy stripbut the audio feed advised me not to bother them.

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Last modified on Saturday, 01 May 2021

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