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A day at the Cape of Good Hope

7 August 2020
Bobotie – South African casserole
3 August 2020
Magical Table Mountain
8 August 2020
 

You meet your friends in poverty or on the bus ... When I was returning home from Warsaw to Wroclaw (Polish cities) four years ago, like every weekend, I did not know that there was a person sitting next to me with whom I would experience many amazing moments.🥰

Malwina spoke in English on the phone almost all the way, and I was delighted with her perfect accent. On the other end was Andrea, whose boyfriend lives in Italy. When she finished the conversation, she asked something, and so our acquaintance began, and that acquaintance soon turned into friendship. Three years later, Andrea shared with me the idea of organizing Malwina's 30th birthday in Cape Town. I was so happy. The week's trip was kept strictly secret until Christmas, and two months later we had a crazy week together.

February 25 was very intense. We were planning the Cape of Good Hope. While visiting Cape Town, you cannot miss this place and its attractions.

We left early in the morning. I lived in South Africa for only five months back then and I didn't feel brave enough to drive a car (left-hand traffic and a demanding route), so we used the help of our guide Marta. It was a great idea because we learned more about South Africa that way. We listened with bated breath to the stories about the chief Shaka (Shaka), who in the nineteenth century created the power of the Zulu tribe.

 

We drove through Chapmans Peak at first. This is an amazing route located between Noordhoek and Hout Bay. It is 9 km long with 114 bends. Construction took seven years and was completed on 6 May 1922. An unusual event occurred along this path in 1988. Christopher White was coming home, fell asleep behind the wheel of his Mercedes, fell off a 100-meter cliff and ... luckily survived the accident. Two years later, Mercedes used the story in an advertisement, giving two reasons why he survived, the first because he was wearing a seat belt and the second because he was driving a car of this particular brand.

You can see the 1990 ad here. Mercedes, rival BMW did not leave it unanswered and launched its own ad with the message that if whites were driving their brand of car, the accident would not have happened at all.

But is there more to the story? 30 years later, Mercedes launched the new S-class Intelligent Drive model. It used the accident again and invited the victim himself to appear in the ad. In the ad Christopher White recalls the moments before the event and faces his own fear and emotions by being driven by a Mercedes with the possibility of autonomous driving. You can see the ad here.

Time was running out. The views of the ocean, mountains, beaches and coastal towns were impressive, but we still had a lot to see so we couldn't stay there. Especially due to the fact that ...ostriches were waiting for us.

 

Ostrich farming in South Africa accounts for up to 75% of the world's production of products such as meat, feathers, leather goods and leather accessories. Ostrich meat is low in fat and high in iron. Although it is classified as poultry, it is red in colour and tastes more like venison or beef. It is worth a try!

 

The visit to Cape Point Ostrich Farm was an interesting experience. For the experience, you can buy ostrich food in a local shop and try to feed them, which is not so simple. The video below shows the professional, without fear and blinking an eye (Andrea), and the amateur, when you are afraid that an ostrich will bite off your hand (me).😁



As planned, we arrived at the Cape of Good Hope. We were a little hungry already. We took with us a bottle of wine, some fruit, Dorritos crisps (of course, blue one), planning that in such a setting of beautiful nature we would have a little picnic. The idea was really great, unfortunately not feasible due to the prowling baboons (baboons). My last visit to the Park ended with a fight for a backpack. Were it not for the fact that someone threw a bottle of water at the monkey, I would have had to said goodbye to my phone and wallet forever. Baboons can be dangerous and you need to watch out for them. First of all, do not look them in the eyes, do not irritate them, for instance, by eating a banana strangely! You should also not leave windows in the car open, unless you want to have uninvited guests.

The weather was perfect. Blue sky, gentle breeze and a calm surface of the Atlantic Ocean and the bay (False Bay), it's hard to believe that this beautiful corner can be tricky. Over the centuries, when changing weather, violent storms and fog came, this place was the last haven for many ships and their crews. This is confirmed by 26 wrecks and the earlier name "Cape of Storm" given to this place by the discoverer Bartolomeo Diaz. The Portuguese were the first, in 1488, to circumnavigate the Peninsula and paved the way, and ten years later, Vasco Da Gama sailed even further along Africa, thus opening an important page in world history. Trade between Europe and India has become real and most importantly available not only to explorers and daredevils but to everyone else, and thus the name was changed to the Cape of Good Hope.

The obligatory point is the old lighthouse, located at an altitude of 238 m above sea level which can be reached on foot or by using a comfortable cable car that runs every three minutes. We chose "climbing". The video shows a shortened version of our walk and these are the views at the top. (Video below).



We said goodbye to Cape, to finally spend time with African penguins in the Boulders Reserve. The reserve consists of three beaches with huge granite boulders (very similar to those found in the Seychelles). Wooden paths were built so as not to destroy the breeding sites. Penguins are just cute, especially when they come out of the water with a whole flock or bury their eggs. Some of them keep order. One of them stood with an open beak at the entrance and we left it in the same position when we left, so it was nicknamed "supevisor"

We joked that the penguins are so cute we could take one with us in our purse. In fact, we would have to adopt the other as well, because these animals mate for life and it would be a shame to separate the lovers. We gave up the idea of abduction, but found another option; legal adoption of an egg or a penguin ☺ Penguins are under strict protection, and their number has dropped dramatically in 50 years. The SANCCOB organisation helps save this amazing species thanks to such initiatives. More information can be found here.

We regretfully left our little African friends, as we had to go back. The dinner at The Pot Luck Club, which had been planned for a long time, could not wait, and in the late hour and traffic jams in the city, we thought for a moment that we would not make it. Fortunately, we did! You will read the restaurant review soon.

This was my second visit to the Cape. It delighted me as much as the first time. There is also a lack of satisfaction, because there are more beautiful places here and you cannot see everything in one day. I will definitely come back to discover the remaining gems and feel the smell of the ocean at the western tip of Africa once again.

 
Some useful information:

  • If we have limited time to explore Cape Town and its surroundings, some attractions are worth seeing with a local guide. The Cape can be reached by a red double-decker bus, which works very well, for example, when visiting the city, but in the case of further trips, the whole fun is stopping in places that we like. For safety reasons, the red bus does not pass the Chapmans Peak route and there are many viewpoints there and it would be a shame not to see them.
  • A trip to the Cape is a whole day of sightseeing. In addition, Cape Town is very crowded, so it is worth leaving as early as possible, for example, 7 am. You can also take advantage of group tours.
  • Chapmans Peak - entrance is paid (50 ZAR). The route is constantly monitored for safety. There have been fatal accidents due to falling stones, which are now held in place with special nets. The road also closes in rainy weather, and several hours after it rains, until it is judged safe.
  • More information about the reserve:https://capepoint.co.za/visitor-info
  • Near the penguin beach there is a shop with natural products from South African aloe. Worth a look:https://aloeunique.co.za/outlet/simons-town-aloe-shop
  • And the last tip ... wear something red so that you don't regret that you could look better in the pictures ...😃

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