Tuesday, February 14, 2012

South Africa 2012 - Day Five

Day 5 - Penguins and Pizza

I finally got to sleep until a normalish time and woke up at 7 a.m. I went down stairs, read my bible and had a cup of coffee. Over the next couple of hours there was a slow trickle of people emerging from their rooms. After breakfast a caravan of 5 cars left for Simon’s Town and then onto Boulders to see the penguins. The drive took us over Chapman’s

Pass which was truly a beautiful drive. There are a ton of cyclists over here and usually they are not a problem but when they start to pick up speed down the large hills they become a problem. They are not going fast enough to sit behind but they are going too slow not to try and pass. But tied into this is the fact that they never look quite stable enough to overtake. We had one guy who, every time he peddled, looked like he was about to go head over the handle bars and I could see myself running over him.

After about an hour’s drive we arrived at Boulders and walked down the beach front accompanied by a load of penguins. I don’t know why but I never associated Africa with penguins. When I asked I found out these are African penguins - well I guess

that explains it. Hunter thought he would go over close to one and was summarily

reprimanded by the guard. Funnily enough as you work further down the beach front the penguins are right there by the path and then the path goes down into the penguins so I am not sure why they are so strict by the car park. We came up on a small beach that was pretty secluded and most of us ventured into the water only if up to our knees. Even though this was the warmer Indian Ocean it was still pretty cold. Unfortunately the penguins didn’t join us for the swim, in fact they just kind of looked at you like you were some kind of annoying disturbance to their otherwise peaceful existence. Miles had at least seen the penguins he wanted to see on the safari.

From the penguins it was back into Simon’s Town for lunch at Bertha’s. We also spent a while haggling with the local merchants for the little trinkets they make. We really felt good about the price we got for a giraffe made of wood. As we walked away feeling chuffed about our haggling ability we then realized we had bought a 4 foot tall giraffe that somehow we had to get back to the US. With my luck of packing things in suitcases I think this is going to have to be carried onto the plane. Just another

complication for our 4-flight journey home.

We also ventured into the stores in Simon’s Town and I noticed one strange phenomenon. I was wearing a T-Shirt with Philippians 4:8 on it and as we looked to buy a couple of things the music was changed from secular to Christian. I am not sure about the psychology of it all but I ended up buying 3 things.

Today was Valentine’s Day and with all of the Britton boys being true romantics we decided to treat our wives for dinner. The pizza was very tasty and didn’t take long to order. We also did let anyone, if they didn’t want pizza, to cook their own meal. It is hard to imagine how much romanticism can exist in one family. After dinner, which in hindsight probably wasn’t the best time, we had the weigh in for sky diving. Mark was surprisingly heavy for how he looked coming in at 15 and a half stone, Julian and Guy were both surprisingly light for how they looked both coming in around the 16 stone mark. I had obviously eaten way too much pizza (and noodles and french fries etc.) and managed to slip in at about 17 stone. I am not convinced that weight was completely accurate as the needle on the scale seemed to get stuck on the high end. Not sure sky diving will work for me unless my tandem partner is a small child.

I do have one more chance which is to carry the scales up to the top of Table Mountain which we will climb tomorrow. Hopefully at the high altitude I will be lighter.

Philippians 4:8 - “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”

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