After a comfortable but slightly noisy windy night, we awoke to welcome the freshness of the morning and of experiencing of a new location, Cape Town! Breakfast wasn’t included and it was just next door at the Awestruck Bistro that we found lovely breakfast.
Before leaving the hotel, we received a call from the guide who was supposed to meet us at our hotel at about 830am, dispersing the confusion that we had the previous night due to the delay in our flight. Our hotel was pretty close to the tourist information store, and there was a good amount of information in the form of brochures and a helpful personnel to advise. We had booked most of the stuff back in Singapore and thus was not willing to change unnecessarily. A skydiving trip was really enticing but we were told that it was unlikely since the bad weather was going to stay till after we left. Bad luck! Went back to the hotel to meet the guide, who obviously wasn’t really impressed with our lack of communication and he requiring to wait for us 2hrs in the airport but still, we agreed on some form of compensation and we were good to go.
As we embarked on our journey to first stop on the Peninsula Tour, we were greeted with scenic landscapes of the lovely Cape Town. The weather was fine and we were hopeful for an enjoyable tour since bad weather would really dull the photos.
After some 20mins of driving, we arrived at a jetty that we would be taking a small ferry out to seal colony. We were informed that it was going to be choppy and thus brought along all the warm clothing that we had for the trip, at least we should be protected from the winds.
Waited for a while as the ferry was still out from its earlier trip. There was a visit from one of the seals at the harbour and it seemed like it was used to visiting as it went pretty close to the deck and a local kid was feeding it.
We boarded the ferry and went to the front section where there were seats. Leaving the harbour was fine as the waters were still not that bad. Once out, the waves started crashing onto the stern and often water splashed inwards. At one point, the assistants had to make everyone move and take shelter at the back. It was really choppy and luckily we did not have a late heavy breakfast or we would have had Merlions on the ferry. Soon we arrived at location where we can see an island made of rocks and seals, some 50m away.
The trip out was not entirely interesting as we had previous experience of similar trips elsewhere. And it would have been definitely better if not for the choppy sea. The ferry left the dark clouds behind as we went back on land and continue towards Chapman’s peak.
Chapman’s peak presented to us a panoramic viewpoint of Hout’s bay, and coupled with that short period of good weather that was on offer, we took it all in, in awe.
After spending time enjoying the scenery, we moved along the scenic mountain side drive towards the boulders penguins. Along the way, we passed by nice little towns like Simon Town. It was an English town from days of past and evident in the Victorian architecture in the some buildings design.
Moving along the main road and then into a side road to the home of the Boulders’ penguins some 15 mins later. The guide dropped us, provided us a time of return and instructions to get to the penguins entrance, walked some 200m, paid the entrance fees and went in to one of the most beautiful places there was! A sanctuary for both penguins and penguins lovers!
This place provided a natural habitat of the birds to live, close to the ocean where they feed. There were elevated wooden pathways slightly above the ground for humans to walk on by, yet so close to observe these birds in the habitat. And these birds have the most awesome of views for their living space, envy!
As usual, we took longer than planned and went to meet up at the Seaforth Restaurant, walking distance from Boulder’s entrance and had our lunch there. Typically crowded since it was the nearest restaurant, with a nice sea view while you dine. Food was ok, tad bit slow due to crowds but no drama.
Proceeded to the Cape of Good Hope. It was about an hour’s drive from the penguins. After some driving, we reached the famous sign that indicated the Cape of Good Hope location. Of course, I got the touristy photo of it. There were some tourists, but we arrived early and so only one tour bus was around. Queued and got a good shot of the sign.
On the way towards the sign, we saw some wild ostriches. And shot a picture of a ostrich feeding beside the ocean, one of the few chances to see something like that.
After the sign photo taking, we moved on to more awesome panoramic landscapes by going to the old lighthouse atop a mountain. Took the funicular up to a station and continued to climb some steps until we reached the lighthouse location. Breathtaking, in terms of the exercise and the views. But thoroughly enjoyed it. Again, time was given to meet up and we took too long, snapping photos of the landscape and the lighthouse and also spent some time shopping at the souvenir shop.
It was a 2hrs drive back to Cape town. Though it was still early, we were keeping to the time of the guide, since he was paid for that day tour only. This was something I did not really appreciate but I understood it anyway. Through this trip, I knew I could do probably do a self drive, and Cape Town really gave a different feel in terms of safety as compared to Joburg. Cape Town was really doable in terms of getting around in a car. I would have more flexibility in spending time if I had chose to drive.
At about half past 5pm, we were back at the hotel. Informed about the time for meetup the next day and the guide left. Didn’t have the opportunity to look around and so we did that. The hotel had the oldest vine in its garden and we had a look at it. There was a rooftop jacuzzi but the weather was freezing cold to be enjoying it there. Retired to our room for a short rest.
From our room, we can barely see the Table mountain. So I went out onto the streets to see if I could capture a better view. At that time, I wasn’t really comfortable with the security of the streets, so I moved quickly and all the time with my camera hidden underneath my windbreaker. After moving several streets away from the hotel and trying to get a clear shot of Table mountain, I gave up and took a shot. There were just too many buildings along the way and there was the cloud table cloth that shroud the mountain.
At night, we requested the hotel to get us a cab to V&A waterfront. Wanted to go for dinner and V&A seemed like the place to go. This is a previous dockyard converted into a shopping arcade. It seemed like the biggest shopping area in Cape Town but was nothing impressive if you come from a shopping city like Singapore where even mega malls were sometimes boring. Searched around for a restaurant that sold seafood as we were looking for a butterfish that someone recommended in the Safari that we should try in Cape Town, but to no avail. Settled for seafood platter instead. It was so-so.
It was a drizzling night and it was cold. We did not venture outside for fear of our lives (so we thought) and nothing much in the mall either. Took a cab after the dinner and back to the hotel we went. Slept in hope for better weather, but the shuttling window panes reminded us otherwise.