Cape Town/Fish Hoek, South Africa
Monday, September 15th
Rainy Days and Mondays
We made it to Cape Town safely and the weather was cold and rainy.We got our rental car and headed to Fish Hoek, about 20 minutes from Cape Town. Brent adapted quickly to driving on the left side of the road and shifting gears with his left hand.I was impressed.We arrived at our house to find that central heating was not part of the deal.I was freezing of course and just started layering.The kids quickly adapted.The next day was cold and rainy and we stayed at home getting caught up on our sleep, journals, etc.We are working on the kids school stuff, but we have found that mom and dad need schooling to learn how to school.The kids are learning a lot though, they both have mastered shuffling cards and their whistling has improved quite a bit, is that on the TAKS?
Simon's town, SA
Wednesday, September 17th
Boulder's Beach -A Dr. Doolittle Day
The bad weather passed and the day was cool and sunny.We didn't waste any time getting out and we headed south to Boulders Beach in Simon's town to see African penguins.There we some on the beach, but many of them burrow in the brushy area up from the beach.The African penguins have black spots on their chest and help distinguish them form other types of penguins.There were a few babies around, very cute, with grey feathers.The kids loved it and so did we.We started heading to the Cape of Good Hope after that, a little further south, along the coast.We looked out at the water and had to pull over.Whales!We were so excited.They never breached, but we were able to see their fins and parts of their bodies.We weren't exactly what kind of whales they were, but most likely they were Southern Right Whales, very common in this area.We got back in the car and kept heading south and had to pull over again.This time for a large family of baboons that were hogging the road.A large male was just sitting there, letting it all hang out.Babies were playing on the cliffs and the rest were just walking around eating the flora around. It didn't even phase them that we were there.The baboons are Chacma Baboons, and can be aggressive, so we enjoyed them from the car with the windows up.We made it to the Cape of Good Hope and it was closed for the day, we need to plan for those unexpected stops next time.We made it to the cape another day.We took the wrong road, but it eventually looped back to Fish Hoek and we discovered a quaint little farm that had a restaurant and a beautiful view of the bay.We were too late for some of the activities, but they had camel and horse rides, chocolate factory, herb and vegetable garden, cheese store, and Henna painting.It was pretty charming, too bad we didn't get to check it all out, but we did have a good dinner.We ordered 4 adult entrees, two glasses of wine, two beers and dessert and it was equivalent to $40, not too shabby.
Cape Town, SA
Friday, September 19th
We took a gondola (funicular) to the top of Table Mountain.It was freeeezing cold!The view was absolutely breathtaking and words can't properly describe the view.We started feeling rain and then realized it was snowing.From what we understand, that doesn't happen very often.We saw one of the native fauna, a little beaver looking animal referred to as "dassie".We ran around to warm up and took in as much of the view as we could.Robben Island, where Mandela was imprisoned, can be seen from the mountain.The rest of the day we shopped a little to get a few needed supplies and then took two tired kids to the Green Dolphin on the waterfront area.Brent had fond memories of this restaurant that he visited back in 2001 with Nathan Horne and Chris Alexander.
Saturday, September 20
Cape of Good Hope
Saturday was a beautiful day and this time we made it to Cape Point before it closed.The Cape of Good Hope is the point where the Indian Ocean meets the Atlantic.We walked up to a lighthouse on the cape and looked out to see the two oceans and again saw an amazing view.We decided to start walking over to another area that had a view from another vantage point.Along the way, we saw more baboons.They were used to the tourist and didn't bother us and we didn't bother them either.Apparently, they are very common to see in Africa.As we were walking we discovered a path down to the beach.We decided to take this route.We had to slide on our butts part of the way on the sand to get down to the beach, pretty fun.I'm not sure what I enjoyed more, the view from cape point or this beach.No one was out there and the beach was flanked by two mountain points, one being Cape Point.It looked like a scene from From Here to Eternity.We ran around there for a while, climbing on rocks and analyzing the different sea life that had washed up on the beach.As we left the park we spotted a small herd of what we think were Eland, a type of antelope.While poverty and politics are a hot topic and source of contention here, the absolute beauty of this area is a stark juxtaposition to the many years of conflict this country has seen.We will be here for a couple of months and are trying to educate ourselves on some of the not so pleasant facts about South Africa. With over a hundred recognized languages here, it is evident there is a rich diversity to the native people who inhabit it.As we catch up on our blogging, we hope to report more on the life of the people and culture.Right now, since we are a little behind, we want to get up on the basic facts of our trip so far.