2021 SA CT High Peaks and Deep Bays
High Peaks, Long Beaches, Rolling Surf
The Deep Bays of the Atlantic coast
Slangkop Lighthouse is the tallest in South Africa, being at ground level it had to raise its lights somehow and in so doing it has a range of only 4 kms less than Cape Point. The long beach is so called and is very popular for galloping horses. To one end of it the rocky land rises dramatically to Chapman’s Peak so named after John Chapman, the pilot of an English ship, who was sent ashore from his becalmed ship in Hout Bay in 1607 to find provisions. The account doesn’t say whether he was successful.
The precipitous road around the peak with its superb views on a good day was hacked out of the soft sandstone at an elevation up to which there is a granite base. Work started in 1915 and the toll road was opened in 1922. It has been closed on a couple of occasions, once for a number of years after a German couple were killed by rockfall. Numerous engineering measures were put in place including the overhang you see and tough net fencing to catch falling rocks.
As we rounded the peak towards Hout Bay ourselves there was a sudden roar behind us and as you might imagine, with the dramatic nature of the drive, my nerves were already a little edgy and I thought something had happened to Brian’s car, but it was the little black monster you see pulled up behind us, hired out for the day, whose driver wanted everyone to know what a great time he was having.
We had had a great time too, rounded off with an evening with Brian’s family, Graziella his wife and Joujou his mother-in-law, both from Mauritius and their two Jack Russells; we sat in their garden all evening in the warmth from the air and wood burning braai (BBQ) and chatted over a lengthy and delicious home-cooked supper.