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Strand Day 10, Cape Point

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My tenth day in Strand. And no walking at the beach yet again! Today we went to the Cape Point instead. It’s not the southernmost point of Africa, but it’s still considered to be the place where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet. I’ve been there quite a few times before but it’s always worth another trip. To get there, we first went to Muizenberg and then along the coast of the Indian ocean through many little maritime villages with their beaches. In many places the road runs right along the coast, with just the railway being closer at the water.

Photo of Sign saying 'Please look under your vehicles for penguins'

Our first stop was at Boulders, a tiny national park right at the coast whose attraction are penguins. Small penguins, of course as this is Africa. Not as pretty as the larger ones, but penguins nonetheless. After a short lunch break (nice salad with avocado and bacon, a bit too coarsely cut, perhaps) I went in there to see them.

Penguins laying in sand

From there we went on to the Cape Point (and Cape of Good Hope) which is in its own national park that covers a surprisingly large area before it. The whole park is grown with Fynbos which are a collection of (certain) dry-looking green plants. It doesn’t look excessively exciting but it’s very typical for the region. The national park takes you right down to Cape Point with just a short walk remaining. There you climb a hill and can see the Cape Point with its lighthouse. And you can see both oceans of course.

Looking north from Cape Point, seeing both oceans

… looking north, or, looking south at the Cape Point itself:

Looking at Cape Point

After leaving the national park, we stopped at a crafts market where we found a Malawi chair that I was asked to bring to Germany (let’s hope I won’t run into too many luggage troubles because of that). While those chairs were easy to get ten years ago they seem to have become unpopular by now. We had only seen a couple of not so nice ones before this time. But at that market there were three stalls with chairs. And even some reasonably nice ones. After some negotiations we even got a good price… And once we had started buying things, I also got myself a little table, and my dad got himself a wooden baboon figure.

I suspect that these things are more or less mass produced these days but most of them still look quite nice. So it’s not a problem. The couple whom we bought the stuff with were from Congo and they claimed things were produced in South Africa rather than imported because taxes would be too high then… Um, whatever, quite international though.

We continued our way, following the road up the coast of the Atlantic Ocean then. With the time of sunset approaching, this gave really good light and there were nice waves as well. On the way be passed the small and charming (favourite Scone café…) Hout Bay and its harbour as well as driving the Chapman’s Peak drive where the road runs at the very edge of the mountain which is surprisingly high for being right at the sea.

Table Mountain, Atlantic 'back' side

Eventually this brought us to Cape Town where there was supposed to be some open air music tonight. That did happen, but later on and without us as we went for dinner first. We tried out Belthazar’s, the ‘steak house’ offspring of Balducci’s. As expected they had nice furniture (wide and heavy chairs) and were booked out, so there was a short wait for a table at the bar. There I had a blackberry daiquiri (nice!) and we learned that they claimed to have the longest wine list (wherever… many people claim that). Once our table was ready things weren’t quite perfect, though. The table was outside and it started to be windy. While they even had gas heating for the outside, there wasn’t sufficient protection from the wind, surprising blows of which destroyed a few glasses around us during our dinner.

I started my meal with a salad that included roasted butternut and avocados. It was nice but too much. Just the feta tasted very strange. Then I had a steak. Their menu has a note stating that they don’t take any responsibility for steaks ordered ‘well done’, which I found sympathetic. The steak wasn’t bad, but I didn’t think it was better than the one I get at Spur’s (which is much cheaper). It looked like it was perfectly made, but I thought it was a bit dry on the outside. They also have a fried onion as a side order. This looks very cool, being a whole onion that’s cut open so there are lots of little stripes of onion. But I thought the taste of the spices on it were too strong. So this one wasn’t a total winner either.

Altogether this was fine but not entirely convincing. While the setting of the restaurant itself is nice, this was cancelled by the wind. And the food wasn’t bad at all but it wasn’t as convincing as I had expected it to be.

March 11, 2005, 23:45

Tagged as country:za, south africa, travel.

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