The Penguins of the Cape

View from the Bike

Cape Point

Bursting a bubble


CAPE POINT..........It was spectacular to drive along the peninsula.  I absolutely had to find the Cape of Good Hope.  There were several ways that this could be done, I guess, but I opted to take a tour.  And, any tour guide worth his rand threw in much more than just a visit to the Cape of Good Hope. 

One stop included a penguin nesting area.  These little critters were so very photogenic.  Easily, more than half the photos I took on my first trip to South Africa were of penguins. 

Finally, we did reach the Cape Point Nature Reserve, which was what everyone on the tour most wanted to see.  The main purpose of this park was to preserve the natural vegetation of the area.  There were not very many animals - but we did see ostrich and bontebok.  (I learned that bok was the word for antelope in Afrikaans.)  There may have been more animals to see, but some times I was not too observant.  I didn't even see the trailer of bicycles that we had been hauling from Capetown.  But, I'm glad we had them.  The weather cleared up, the sun came out, and we took advantage of the moment to bicycle near the point in between the occasional showers.

When I was in school, I'd learned that the Cape of Good Hope was the southernmost point of the African continent.  Well, sorry to burst any bubble, but that wasn't true.  The actual southernmost point was a ways on down the coast.  It obviously wasn't a place with good advertising.  I didn't remember its name and never made it there.  But, I did make it to Cape Point, the very tip of the peninsula, and to the Cape of Good Hope, the southwestern most tip of Africa. 

There was a lighthouse on the mountain at Cape Point which overlooked the very tip of the peninsula.  Of course, along with the lighthouse were all of the tourist amenities including restaurant, cable car ride up the mountain, and souvenir shops.  We had the clearest moment of the day while up on the mountaintop.  And then, we probably had the coldest moment of the day at the Cape of Good Hope.  It was a definite "been there, done that" kind of moment.  I got my picture and rushed back to the relative warmth of the van, barely beating the rains.  

Copyright 2000 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.