The drive down the Cape and back proved to be one of the highlights of our three weeks in South Africa. The landscape and scenery were dramatic. Bechtel compares it to Cloud City only because, despite two visits to Bloemfontein, he has not read Lord of the Rings.
After Cape Point we made the short drive to the actual Cape of Good Hope, which contrary to popular wisdom is not the southernmost tip of Africa nor the place where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet, that honor being reserved for Cape Agulhas, about 100 miles further east. But this locale is much more scenic and closer to Cape Town and so attracts a crowd. In fact, to have your picture snapped at the marker requires you to wait in line, or occasionally jump the line and be photographed with a Chinese man.
We’d seen an ostrich farm on the way to the Cape and took many snaps, which turned out to have been premature when we encountered live ostriches, presumably not soon to be made into nasty sausage, on the road back.
After the penguins at Boulders Beach we passed through Simon’s Town and its famed naval base, which dates to the days of Britain’s takeover of the Cape in 1806 and figures prominently in The Mauritius Command, the fourth book of the Aubrey/Maturin series. Despite all that, shockingly, I could not convince my traveling companions to stop even for a moment. You may be interested to know that in those days Simon’s Town was the more significant settlement; Cape Town was a dusty backwater. Or you may not. The Boy did snap a shot of what looked to be a guided missile frigate as we drove by.
We did Chapman’s Peak drive on the way back and were rewarded with the views that had eluded us in the morning.
And we even got one decent picture of the Boy and his old man, the only one during three weeks worth of photography.