Saturday, February 25, 2012

South Africa 2012 - Day Fourteen

Day 14 - Nothing between us and Antarctica but water

Today was one day I was really looking forward to. I love going to places that are so unique you may only go there once in your life. Today some of us were going to go the Cape of Good Hope, the most southerly point in Africa. Some of our group wanted to go to the beach and shop and so we split up again. For those of us going to the Cape we decided to take the scenic route driving over Chapman’s Peak, around the coast through Nordhoek, Kommitje, and Scarborough. This was a beautiful drive along one of the most dramatic coast lines I have been to. When we turned one corner we so miles of crashing waves coming in and the mist of the sea water seemed to cover the town nestled in the cliffs. When we entered the town it was apparent that what we saw was the normal state as the town was called Misty Cliffs. After going along the coast we cut across the peninsula heading for the Cape. At one point we came across

our first close encounter with baboons. Although I knew they were dangerous I could not help but see them as soft cuddly animals. One of them was obviously a mother as she had a small baby having a piggy back as she walked. When she stopped the baby climbed off their mother’s back and slid around to the front to snuggle up to the mother’s belly as the mother instinctively embraced her baby in her arms.

A little while later we entered Cape Point national park and drove down to Cape Point. We were only going to stay for about an hour to climb to the top of Cape Point to the lighthouse and then come back down, however, the views were so spectacular we decided to have lunch there as well and then drive around to the Cape of Good Hope. Although the lighthouse is much higher and seems to be the southern most point it is in fact the Cape of Good Hope that is the southern most point. We didn’t really feel like climbing up to the high point on the Cape of Good Hope but Hunter, Rory and Savannah found a path that led them round the cliff face. I have to believe where they were there wasn’t any body who had been further south, on that day, on the continent of Africa and still be on dry land than they were. I must admit I was a little nervous because down below them the Indian and Atlantic oceans met and the waves really did crash in to the cliff face and if they had fallen there was not much anyone could do. However, this would be another experience they would not easily forget.

There are so many other walks and things to explore on this southernmost tip of Africa but we had to head back up to Boulders Beach where the others were waiting for us. After meeting up we spent a little time on the beach. Max, Matt, Hunter and Savannah obviously propelled along by Hunter, Savannah and Rory’s cliff climb experience earlier in the day decided to try their hand at cliff diving. The tide had come in quite significantly and there was a huge rock you could climb up. Having tried this it was time to head for dinner.

After a short shopping spree in Simon’s Town we headed back up to Nordhoek back to the Red Herring which we had found earlier in our trip. Tonight there was live music and also David and Kath from Constantia Lodge joined us we sat and had found and drinks looking out over the sunsetting over the mountains and ocean. This restaurant was a real gem and even despite some food ordering mix-ups I just felt able to relax and enjoy my family and surroundings.

If I haven’t already put in a plug for Constantia Lodge let me do so now. The house is absolutely beautiful and is set nestled up in the mountains. But the location is only a part of it. David and Kath who are originally from the Midlands are a wonderful couple who truly go out of their way to make your stay enjoyable. Having them join us for dinner was really nice because they have become more like our friends than the people who run our accommodation.

There are only 3 more days left of our trip but there seems so much we still want to do.

Romans 8:38-39 - For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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