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Report 2042: Early Summer in the Western Cape, South Africa

By Panda from UK, Summer 2012

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Page 2 of 12: Penguins at Boulders Bay

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Penguins on the beach !

Checking out the vital visibility forecast for Table Mountain, we decided this was not going to be the right day to take the cable car ride to the top, so headed south down the Cape Peninsula on the False Bay side, through the plush residential southern suburbs and past the Constantia Wine area. We had a brief visit to Simon’s Town (a naval and historical shipping base) then on to Boulders Beach to see the penguin colony. From the car park, a trail leads either to a small and pretty cove or, further up, to a pathway along to the main beach. There were several penguins in the bushes at the side of the path – all very tame, and not at all perturbed by the excited visitors with their cameras. Admission is charged at the main beach (payable there or at the kiosk near the car park) and then fenced pathways lead to the main colony on the beach, where the penguins happily play in the waves and wander about on the sand.

Having been held up by road works at Fish Hoek on the way down, we took a different route back over the spine of the peninsula to the west coast towards Noordhoek, a beautiful empty stretch of white sand beach, which was used for filming parts of the 1970 Irish set film, Ryan’s Daughter – the Noordhoek beach standing in for the Dingle Coast due to bad weather in Ireland. Heading north, we entered the dramatic coastal route up to (and down from!) Chapman’s Peak (toll road, R22 for cars, payable at the northern Hout Bay end). It’s a stunning drive and has been used in many car advertisements. This drive back took us through the expensive beach suburbs of Clifton and Camps Bay, with glossy apartments at the cliff edge and ‘see and be seen’ restaurants and bars.

That evening we dined in the Mezbaan restaurant in the hotel which serves Indian food and seemed to attract a number of local Indian descent customers, which we took to be a good indication of quality – we had the inclusive buffet option, which provided a wide range of food, though curiously under-spiced.

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