Sunday, April 5, 2009


FRIDAY, APRIL 3, 2009 – 85/59 – CAPE TOWN

The plan for today is to drive down to the Cape of Good Hope. After a nice breakfast, we gather the cameras and head out. We had asked at the hotel if there was any problem along the drive and were told that there was none. Our plan is to head south along Camps Bayto Hout Bay then over Chapman’s Peak and on to the park, then come out and head along the coast up to Simons Town seeing the penguins and have a late lunch at Harbor House. Well, best laid plans and all that. We get to the peak road and it is closed. Someone at the closing barrio with a ID badge gives us directions and blatantly asks for a tip for helping us! We don’t really follow what we are being told and, of course, the map is no help.

So off we go, backtracking quite a bit, then driving through Constantia. This seems to be a very pretty area and is known for its vineyards. Traffic is heavy and we encounter more road closures so we don’t really enjoy this part of the drive. The road along the east side is under construction also and down to one way traffic …… so we miss the turn for the penguins and bypass the Harbor House lunch because it is too early to eat.

The traffic finally thins out and we enter the Park. This area is very rugged and dry. We were surprised actually at the appearance. We drive out to the Cape and do the picture thing then over to the lighthouse for a picture. There are several big tour buses parked at both places with more on the road. The tourists off the busses are South Africans speaking Afrikaans. At the lighthouse you can look down on Cape Point.There are signs warning us not to feed the baboons and one or two of them are brazenly sitting on cars in the parking lots. We assume they are going to force the owners to throw food to obtain access to their cars.
There are some nice small beach areas that are ideal for picnicing and shelling so, of course, Carolyn has to check it out.
We stop at the park’s visitor center and look at the exhibits on early life in the area. One sign says that the Stone Age, in this area, lasted until 350 years ago.

We head back up the coast through Misty Cliffs a neat little sea side area. There are surfers out in the mist.But we soon wind up at the other end of the closed Chapman’s Peak road. By the way, we learn later that Chapman's Peak Road has been closed for over two years and no one knows when it will reopen! Looking for a different route back to the hotel, we explore several roads but the closed road over Chapman’s Peak is a major problem and we are funneled back to the east side of the peninsula. However, we do manage to stay up on the ridgeline and out of the one-way traffic along the coast. We finally make it back, clean up and head to the V&A Wharf area to find some dinner. We settle on Balthazar, which is air conditioned (our first priority), where we have shrimp Ritz, a great avacoda and shrimp combo, salad, baked potato, and a steak along with a bottle of wine. The total bill is $75US including the tip. Food is cheap in Cape Town.

No comments: