Penguins, Wine and The Cape Of Good Hope!

Mike and Liz Downing
Wed 1 Jan 2014 20:13
Not a new recipe, just too many photos for the server to cope with! So photos of the penguin colony, our wine tasting and Cape of Good Hope adventures are below.
The penguins beach! There are people beaches either side and houses pretty close.
The colony is just 15-20 minutes walk down the road from the marina. The main beach area and the bush behind it are all cordoned off so the penguins have it to themselves. A
fenced boardwalk has been built through it so you can get close without disturbing them.  Peering down on them, they don't appear to be bothered at all. They used to be known as Jackass penguins as they sound remarkably like a donkey when they call out, but their proper name is South African penguins.
How many do you reckon then? While quite a lot are standing still, just as many are not
and it's quite difficult to count them.
Groups took turns to go for a swim. They didn't appear to be going out to feed, but just to
keep cool and for the enjoyment of it, often surfing in on the waves.
That's it - your turn! The next batch comes in on a wave and waddles up the beach.
They happily come up to and waddle under the boardwalk, so ............
.............. close-ups are not difficult to get!
A sculpture outside the Tokara winery. The leaves are actually letters of the alphabet.
The wine growing area around Stellenbosch is in the mountain valleys. Unfortunately the only rain we've had since arriving in Simon's Town was on the day of the tour and the mountains were all covered in cloud. It did look dramatic, but it was not good for photos. The rain did stop after midday and the sun did eventually come out, which was good as the late lunch was planned as a picnic!  
The wine tasters around the board table! The tapestry on the wall was impressive.
It was made by an Egyptian and depicts the wine-making process.
Wines in the temperature-controlled cellars.
The guys and ...............
............ girls. No, they didn't allow us to take the big bottle away with us!
Another winery, Boschendal, in a beautiful setting, leading to .............
.................. this lovingly maintained Dutch building.
The mountains begin to clear. The construction on the lawn is one of the sculptures in
the grounds of the winery.
Eucalyptus flowering in the grounds. Salmon-pink is quite unusual.
Just a 30 minute drive south of Simon's Town takes you to the end of the Cape Peninsula. This has two main promontories sticking out into the Atlantic, Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope. The latter is the one that everyone knows about, but the highest of the two by some way is Cape Point and from a navigational point of view it's the important one as that's where the lighthouse is. The Cape of Good Hope gained it's importance as once past it, ships heading east would be able to turn and start heading more east than south. We drove down to see both a week or so before Christmas. (We're sharing a hire car with 2 other boats here.) As said before, the Cape of Good Hope is not the most southern point of Africa, Cape Agulhas is.  
Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope are at virtually the same latitude, but Cape
Point is just over a mile further east.
A long climb up to see the old lighthouse on the top of Cape Point. It looks worse than
it was.
Looking out from the old lighthouse to the newer one on the end of the cliffs and quite
a bit lower down. They found that the old lighthouse on top (249 metres above sea level)
was often covered by cloud and after a liner was wrecked in 1911 they built the
current lighthouse which is only 87 metres above sea level.
Looking down on the Cape of Good Hope (the furthest promontory) from Cape Point.
The shapes in the centre are paths to go down to get different views along the cliffs
and out to sea.
A close up of the Cape of Good Hope.
Looking back north - the Atlantic Ocean to the left and False Bay to the right.
The obligatory photo! Standing at the base of the Cape of Good Hope.
More stairs! Starting the climb to the top of the Cape of Good Hope.
The wooden stairs have run out and steps have been cut into the rock.
The summit of the Cape of Good Hope!
Looking up to Cape Point from the Cape of Good Hope.
A potential Christmas Dinner - one would easily replace 4 turkeys! A pair of wild Ostriches
with 3 chicks roamed not far from the Cape of Good Hope.  
They were right on the waters edge and were not bothered at all by cars stopping to
take photos. There were a lot of signs saying beware of the baboons that also run wild
in this area, but we didn't see any.