After a lovely night out on the town with the guys, we woke up quite early to head out to do some sight-seeing outside of Cape Town. We all piled into the van and began driving towards Cape Point (aka the Cape of Good Hope, aka the most south westerly point of Africa). En route, we stopped at Boulders Beach to check out the African (Jackass*) Penguins.
I can’t even begin to describe how cute they were!!! Although wild, the little fellows were pretty fearless and would walk right up to us, even crossing under the boardwalk to get up the beach. Their nesting site was actually very close to the end of the boardwalk and many of the chicks had hatched only recently, so we were able to see lots of little checks snuggling with their parents in the sand. Some of them had dug little nests into the beach and one penguin had actually burrowed itself pretty far down into the sand. It looked quite pleased with itself, especially given how much the wind was blowing. By chance, we even stumbled upon two penguins mating as we were walking back to the car!!!
Then it was down to Cape Point. Words fail (again, pictures shall be forthcoming). We hiked up to the top of the Cape, where there was a lovely historic lighthouse as well as the more modern beacon used today. Then we walked all the way down to the end of the point. It felt like being at the end of the earth–we had walked until we could walk no farther and found a rugged tip of land constantly beaten by both wind and waves. We were surrounded by ocean for miles, and the clouds formed from the sea mists sat so low on the water as to be confused with distant land. We’ve been tremendously lucky with the weather here in Cape Town, particularly given that it’s winter and normally this area is wracked with storms now.
We got down from the lighthouse early enough to head over to Groot Constantia (the oldest winery in South Africa) for some wine-tasting and history. Then it was back to Cape Town to shower, rest, and dine. All in all, a successful day. 🙂
*NOTE: They’re called “jackass” penguins because their call sounds surprisingly like the braying of a donkey, not because of any crazy stunts they do. We were all a little bummed when we figured that out.