22. Oct, 2015

Cape of Good Hope

Link to photos of SA 2015 https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10208206989440560&type=1&l=eb2418376d

After asking several people about what to do before we left CT a clear winner was born - Cape Point. We booked a tour which would take in the main sights. The guide Rodney was an old skool. White South African in his early 60s who was so un PC it was funny; he never offended anyone, but came close! He had opinions on everything including Oscar pistoriois' imminent release. 'He has bipolar that one. I lost all respect for him when he came second in the Olympics and gave the winner he called him that Mexican) some grief. No one cares about him here,' he would say.  


Seal colony just off of Hout Bay was first up. A 45 minute smooth ride on the boat where the South African black skipper's key Chinese phrases came in handy when the Chinese were cavorting playfully around taking photos of each other whist completing ignoring the seals. They could have easily fallen overboard if it hadn't been for the skipper's knowledge of Mandarin! 


Back on the bus to take a tour of Cape Town's answer to the Amalfi Coast. Because South Africa has a good climate, a fantastic coastline and is relatively cheap it has become a hot spot for film makers using it as a location. We were told that the 'fake' Amalfi Coast was often used in shoots for this reason. I have to say the drivers and driving in South Africa was by far the safest we had encountered since leaving the UK. We went so slowly round those 45 degree coastal bends that cyclists overtook us! 


Rodney was a hoot and determined to beat the Chinese to the hotspots that our day was carefully  planned to the second. Woe betide anyone wanting the toilet outside of his schedule, you would receive the 'Rodney Bear' hard stare and that would be enough to clamp up your bladder! We did appreciate his knowledge and planning as well as his ad hoc opinionated commentary. 


We arrived at Cape Point, the most southerly point in Africa to take photos around the Cape of Good Hope and enjoy the sea, the cormorants, the rocky coast and beach and the sea breeze. It was a beautiful day and the roar of the sea made you glad to be alive. It was so easy to just enjoy the ambience, walk along the beach and look at the ever changing wave formations. Simple and beautiful. I love water as I have said before and there is no greater pleasure for me than to be near it. It was a joy. 


Onwards to Cape Point where we walked a steep hill to get some fantastic views over the bays and to see where the Indian Ocean greets the Atlantic Ocean warmly by the hand. Sharks, fish,  whales and all other marine life differ around the coast owing to the changing temperatures of the 2 oceans. 


Penguins and lunch were next. We loved the penguins and I mean loved. They stood in the sun catching some rays with their eyes closed while their friends and playmates frolicked in the ocean just off of Boulders Beach. They provided much entertainment as they swam precariously out to sea or meandered back in dodging the rocks and crashing waves. Their transition from swimming to walking and vice versa had me in stitches. I could have watched them for hours. The turquoise sea was also mesmerising, glistening in the sun with South Africa's famous mountain range in the background, again beautiful. 


My hair has been a frequent topic of conversation while on holiday. Locks on people were often seen as dirty. People nowadays no longer think that. Particularly as the majority of people look after them and they are just another hairstyle rather than a statement piece. Again I was asked how my hair was done and whether it was my own at the restaurant. I explained that not only was it my own but that I did it myself. The waiter's eyes widened at this confession. I said to him, 'yep, just watch how to do locks on YouTube.' 'Yes.' the waitress interjected. 'Watch it on YouTube then I can do it for you and you can pay me rather than your hairdresser.' 


I revealed my lock crochet hook from the depths of my bag which I carried around with me so that I could always do a quick tidy up as I travelled on the buses. I offered it to him explaining that he was welcome to have it as I had many spares. I had come prepared with 3 just in case they were confiscated at security at customs as a dangerous weapon, they never were, so I didn't mind giving one away as it was going to 'good use'.  He looked delighted  we high fived! I do believe he will at least investigate doing his hair and save himself some pennies. Whilst at the SA National Gallery I was also accosted by a curious female security guard who followed me around watching as I used my hook to tidy up the ends. 'You do your hair yourself? She enquired. 'Yes.' I replied. 'What, no salon?' She continued. 'Yep. No salon!" Her eyes were agog and her body stood in defiance with her hands on her hips as she counted the pennies she could save if she did her and her family's hair. Always being ready with a money saving tip was better than a money tip any day! Although I do appreciate that styling black hair is not about the money for most families it is a community event, a time to connect with each other, normally family members and neighbours, through  their rich heritage. Nevertheless if that man learns how to do his own hair imagine how many people he could connect with on a truly spiritual level even with his daughters. 


The sunshine continued to shine and it was about 4pm when we approached the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens where we to find forest walks, a touch, take and smell garden, stone sculptures, beautiful flora and fauna and just simple, but beautiful vistas at the foot of Table Mountain. 


Outside we met up again with Rodney's wife. 'Is this your wife?' One of the tour party enquired.' 'Yes, although she wouldn't have been if she hadn't told me she was pregnant!' He retorted playfully. 'She won't be for much longer either,' came an answer from a short and stout white woman wearing a yellow Safari hat leading her own tour party!