Cape Peninsula Tour, South Africa

Day 14

Up at 7:15, Lisa and I had an hour and 15 minutes to get ready, eat breakfast and meet our guide at the main entrance of the lobby of the hotel.

Lisa and I got up at 7:15, I went immediately to the wash room after a having a sore stomach all night and then jumped into the shower. Lisa got ready and by the time I got out of the shower Lisa was almost ready.

I quickly got myself ready; Lisa and I headed down for breakfast in the dining area of the hotel.

We were running a little behind so I quickly grabbed some sausage, bacon and hash browns; I didn’t have time to wait for the cook to make eggs. Lisa had some yogurt and toast.

We quickly ate our breakfast and then headed to the hotel entrance to meet our guide.

Looking back on Cape Town during our Cape Town Peninsula Tour

Looking back on Cape Town during our Cape Town Peninsula Tour

There was a Thompson’s bus already parked outside and I assumed it was our tour bus; I was waiting for Lisa and told the bus driver to hold on. When Lisa arrived we went to get onto the bus and learned it was the wrong bus.

There was another Thompson’s guide was walking in as we were walking back in, so I showed him our documents, he then directed us to another guide that was already in the hotel, we headed over and he introduced himself as Grant.

Grant led us outside to the tour bus that was already 2/3 full. We got on the bus and took off on our Cape Peninsula tour. The tour pretty much consisted of driving through all the different neighbourhoods of Cape Town and then driving down to the most southern tip of Africa.

Our first stop during the trip was at scenic lookout point which over looked one of the Cape Town neighbourhoods.

Seal Colony, Cape Town Peninsula Tour

Seal Colony, Cape Town Peninsula Tour

We got out and took a bunch of photographs. We then hopped onto the bus and headed for our next stop which was at (name of stop) where we bought our tickets for a seal colony boast cruise. We got on the boat and headed out into the ocean to see the thousands of seals on the rocks just outside the bay.

As we climbed on the boat we spotted seals in the bay even before we took off, they were all over the marina. Lisa was a little hesitant to get on the boat because she gets motion sickness quite easily but the tour guide said it’s relatively calm. The bay was calm, but as soon as we left the bay into the open water the ocean swells got quite large and Lisa began to feel quite sick.

I had to grab a barf bag from the crew members. The ride was no more than 15 minutes but it was quick enough for Lisa to get sick. Fortunate enough the seal colony was not to far outside the bay and Lisa didn’t have to suffer to long. We watched the seals for 10 – 15 minutes and then turned back around and headed back to the harbour. I was feeling a little thirsty so I grabbed a beer for the ride back.

South Africa Coast Line while on the Cape Peninsula Tour

South Africa Coast Line while on the Cape Peninsula Tour

By the time we got back Lisa was feeling a little better as the ride back wasn’t quite as bad as the ride there but she still needed to get off the boat quickly.

Back on shore Lisa wanted some Ginger Ale or 7up to calm her stomach, so I ran over to the little store front restaurant and asked for the Ginger Ale which they didn’t have and got the sprite instead.

When I got back over to Lisa our guide Grant said that she should have Ginger Beer instead, so I ran back to the stand and got a can of Ginger Beer. Lisa was already feeling much better with the cool breeze blowing in her face and not being on the boat.

We got back on the bus and Lisa drank the Ginger Beer which she thinks helped out quite a bit. We traveled up and down the side of Table Top Mountain and through the different areas of the city.

Our next stop was cape point national park. The park is quite large and covers a large portion of the south western tip of Africa. The park has a few animals but is mostly for indigenous plants and flowers. We stopped at the park entrance and Grant got out to pay for our entrance.

Cape Point, South Africa

Cape Point, South Africa

He got back into the tour van and we drove for another 20 minutes into the park before coming to the parking lot of Cape Point.

At Cape Point we were let out of the van and given an hour to climb to the top of the cliff where the old lighthouse was located. Then to lookout over the Atlantic Ocean from the 2nd most south western point of Africa. Cape Point was quite busy with all the tour buses but it wasn’t nearly as bad as the crowds we had experienced the previous week at the temples in Luxor, Egypt.

Lisa and I opted to walk the path to the top of the cliff but we could have opted for a trolley ride to the top. It took maybe 15 or 20 minutes to get to the top and when we got there it was quite a spectacular scene.

The cliff was quite high which allowed us a great view of the surrounding cliffs and of False Bay. Lisa and I stood at the top for a while and took in the surrounding views and took a few photos. We then made our way back down the same path we came up. At the bottom there was a gift shop and a restaurant.

We had some time to kill so Lisa and I went to the little snack shop beside the restaurant and got some chips and drink. In the snack shop we found a bunch of different chip flavours that we had never seen before, so Lisa and I grabbed a bag of Thai Sweet Chilli, Caribbean Onion and Balsamic Vinegar. Both were good but I liked the Caribbean Onion and Balsamic Vinegar and Lisa liked the Thai Sweet Chilli. By the time we were finished our snacks it was time to get back on the bus.

Penguines on the beach - Penguin Reserve, Cape Town Peninsula Tour

Penguines on the beach - Penguin Reserve, Cape Town Peninsula Tour

Just as we exited the park and started driving up the highway we came upon a pack of baboons sitting on the side of the road, so our driver Alan pulled over so that we could take a few shots from within the van; Lisa was in love because there were a few baby baboons. We stopped for a few minutes and then continued on our way.

Our next stop on the tour was (boulders) the African Penguin Sanctuary. Our driver Alan opened the door before Grant was finished talking so Lisa and I jumped out. I assumed that Grant wasn’t coming with us down to the beach so Lisa and I started walking down the street in the direction our guide had pointed out.

Lisa and I were well ahead of the tour group when we came to a fork in the path, the one that went into the penguin sanctuary which cost money to enter and the other was a boardwalk that continued straight into a bush. Grant hadn’t mentioned anything about paying for the entrance so Lisa and I continued walking straight and we started to see the penguins right away.

Peguin Under the Steps - Penguin Reserve, Cape Peninsula Tour

Peguin Under the Steps - Penguin Reserve, Cape Peninsula Tour

So we thought we were on the right trail but after walking a few hundred meters along the boardwalk we didn’t see any of our group behind us, so Lisa and I turned around and walked back to the fork in the path and sure enough our tour guide Grant was on the other side of paid entrance gate.

I got his attention and he came over and paid for us to get through. There were two different boardwalks we could take inside the reserve. A longer one that went down close to the water and the other that followed the beach shore line. Lisa and I walked the one that went closer to the water first and saw a lot of penguins.

I was amazed at how close they were to the boardwalk, if you wanted to you could just reach down and touch them, but there were a lot of signs that warned that penguins can bite.

Shark Patrol, Cape Peninsula Tour

Shark Patrol, Cape Peninsula Tour

We still had lots of time after we had finished the first boardwalk so we decided to do the second boardwalk. The second boardwalk had a lot of uneven sections which meant we were walking up and down stairs quite a bit. Again the penguins were quite close in a lot of places and in fact at one point Lisa and I were coming down a set of stairs and we heard a penguin squawk.

I then a felt a stab on the back of my foot, Lisa and I quickly got off the stairs and when we looked back, sure enough there was a penguin under the stairs and he had nipped at my foot as we were stepping down.

For the rest of the walk Lisa and I were quite cautious whenever we came to a set of stairs and tried to avoid any penguins, so checked if there were any near the steps in the board walk.

After the second boardwalk we headed back to the van and continued on our tour.

One of the other stops we made along the way was at a lookout point where there was a shark lookout person. This person’s job was to stand and watch for sharks along the beach below, I asked him how often he sees a shark and he told me once a month. His job was to stand and watch the beach below and call down to the life guards if he spotted any sharks. Our guide let us know that False Bay, one of the many bays that surround Cape Town was the world’s most popular area for great white sharks to hang out.

Lisa's Supper at the Hotel, Cape Town

Lisa's Supper at the Hotel, Cape Town

We spent a few minutes at the shark lookout point and took some photos of the longest beach in South Africa, 36 kilometres of white sandy beach.

Our tour ended up taking most of the day and we got back to our hotel at 4:30. Lisa and I where the last drop off of the group, so we spent some time talking to Grant and Alan our tour drivers.

We got into a discussion about the costs of living and the costs of real estate in the area and they got into passionate discussion about how people get paid very little in Cape Town but the costs of living are really high.

Grant went on to say that a young educated couple were lucky if they brought in 5,000 rand each a month or close to 900 Canadian a month and that the most basic living expense was probably 9,000 rand a month. So it’s nearly impossible for any new couples in the city to move out and do things on their own. We ended up talking to grant and Alan for a good 20 minutes after the tour had ended.

Danny's Supper at the Hotel, Cape Town

Danny's Supper at the Hotel, Cape Town

After our talk with Alan and Grant we headed back up to our hotel room to try and decide what we were going to do for supper. We ended up turning the TV on and just relaxing and caught the last half of the Bourne Identity 2 (MOVIE NAME). After the movie, Lisa and I headed down to the dining room of the hotel to check out the menu, we thought it might just be better to eat at the hotel and save ourselves the 30 dollars in cab fare to get to another restaurant in the area.

In the end the hotel menu looked pretty good, so Lisa and I had supper there. We had the choice of the buffet for 30 dollars each or ordering off the menu. Neither of us was really that hungry so we decided that the buffet would probably be a waste; although the buffet looked pretty good and was quite extensive.

Lisa had the rack of lamb and I had the chicken and prawn curry dish, we also had a bottle of red wine with supper as well. I was expecting typical hotel food but was quite impressed with the dishes when they arrived at the table. I was even more impressed when I actually tasted the food, it was quite impressive.

Lisa was also impressed with her dish and ended up eating pretty much all of it. For someone that said they had not been all that hungry before supper, she ate quite a bit.

Lisa and I sat and enjoyed the supper and wine but we were getting pretty tired by the end of the meal we headed back to our hotel room.

Lisa took a shower when we got back in the room and I turned on the TV and started watching a movie (name of movie) we had once watched without subtitles. I was writing the travel journal as well. When I was finished writing the travel journal, which was about when the movie ended I called it a night.

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