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Wine, Whales, &  Capes

We all learned about the Cape of Good Hope in school.  Well, it is not actually the southernmost point in Africa or where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet.  It is, however, one of the windiest places we’ve ever encountered.  When we visited, the wind was so strong it was hard to stand in one place!  Sunny, stark and rocky, we took our pictures  but we did not hang around.  Cape Point is the most southwestern point in South Africa so we stopped there too for good measure - also rocky and windy but not quite as much.  The final point we saw was Cape Agulhas – this is in fact where the Atlantic and the Indian oceans meet. 

 

Mark stuck his toe in the Indian Ocean for posterity.  The lighthouse located there was built some time in the 1800s.  It  is supposed to be modeled after an Egyptian lighthouse on its ocean-facing side with it’s strange angled windows.  We climbed the ladders – 4 of them to get to the top for a spectacular view.  While driving around in the area, we added to our wildlife list.  Several wild ostriches wandered by along with a few zebras, springboks and an eland (a kind of antelope)

First stop – Simon’s Town, a small town that is home to the South African navy and a whole lot of penguins.  Small operations compared to what we’re used to but good to see.  Just past the naval base was Boulders Beach and  a large colony of South African penguins. 

 

This was our first encounter with wild and unique animals! These adorable birds freely wander the beach, boardwalks and bushes allowing for some great shots.  The parking lots have signs to ‘Check Under Your Car For Penguins’ so apparently they are pretty free ranging! 

 

We also encountered our first rock hyraxes – about the size and shape of a football with a guinea pig-like face. They’re kind of cute and it turns out they’re everywhere.  We’ve seen them on the rocks every day since.