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Cape Town Part 2: The Cape Peninsula

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         The Cape of Good Hope is the most south-westerly tip of the African continent and juts out into the Atlantic Ocean as a thin and mountainous peninsula. We dabbled with the idea of renting a car for our six days in Cape Town but without being too sure about the safety in certain areas and without a map, we decided to take the easy option and join Roger from BazBus for a day to explore the peninsula. The area has a fascinating naval and military history thanks to its strategic position and having been successively attacked and colonised by different nations including the British. (Where didn’t the British colonise?)

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           We spent the day in awe of the dramatic coastline created by the mountain range, visiting Hout Bay (where you can take a boat out to an island of seals if you wish) and then onto Simon’s Town, where to my immense pleasure we saw a colony of African penguins! I have a special affinity to penguins and although these ones were quite small, it was the first time I’d seen in the wild rather than in a zoo. Next up on the long list of animals we spotted was a whale! It’s possible to take a boat to go whale watching but we were fortunate to see one close to the shore by chance.

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          After a 5km cycle ride through part of the Nature Reserve we lunched and then pressed on towards the cape itself. Once you climb a few steps towards the lighthouse you’ll reach a rocky outcrop with a sudden cliff drop to sea level below, where crystal clear waves crash down onto unreachable rocks and a colony of birds swoop from rock to rock.

           It was actually quite a mesmerising sight and held me captivated for quite a while, just watching nature go about its business as it has done for centuries and centuries, regardless of what impact we humans might make. In a similar fashion to Table Mountain, the beauty of it stuns you into a deep calm and that emotion is something that you can’t catch on camera, that you must experience there and then in person.

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           The Cape of Good Hope is known to be home to hundreds of sneaky baboons and even the odd ostrich too. After a long day we ambled our way back to Cape Town and all fell into a deep sleep in the van, as has happened pretty much every other time we’ve taken a tour!

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