"Sealed" With A Kiss

Trip Start Aug 15, 2011
Trip End Sep 02, 2011

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Flag of South Africa  , Western Cape,
Friday, August 19, 2011

Today's travelogue follows our intrepid adventure girls as they follow in the footsteps of other great explorers like Vasco de Gama and traverse the Cape Peninsula to find the Cape of Good Hope and other exciting discoveries! Our day began rather ominously as it was cold (42 degrees), rainy and quite overcast -- hardly ideal conditions for embarking on one of the most scenic drives in the world. So we set off in our lovely 45 seat coach bus to gaze through the iced and fogged up windows at a very gray and uninspiring view as we head south of Cape Town onto the Peninsula. Bits of blue began peeking through the sky so we optimistically began to hope it would clear off.

We arrived at Hout Bay, one of the premier fishing ports in South Africa, just as the rain appeared to have stopped. MR and I immediately headed down to the port to start taking photos and a deluge begins again. We were about to give up and head back to the shops when MR slipped and fell (not to worry -- she is fine, just a temporary bruised ego!). However, the nicest older fisherman came to our aid and came to help get her up. We then spotted a seal in the water doing flips and went to take pictures of it while the fisherman started to cut up fish to feed it. The next thing you know the fisherman, Hasbar, has motioned to us to come watch him feed the seal.

It turns out the seal, Sammy, has been coming for eight years to be fed here and the two of them have quite the rapport including Hasbar putting raw fish in his mouth for Sammy to come take from him which makes it look like they are kissing! The seal is quite a ham and then proceeds to come out of the water and onto the pier to flirt with MR and I. :-). It is now pouring and MR is not feeling the seal love, but I gamely take some raw fish to hand to Sammy. He now is up on the pier fully and is HUGE! Easily 1000 lbs and quite fishy smelling . . . However, he wants to play and before you know it I am sitting on the back of a wet seal in the rain scratching his neck and feeding him raw fish -- all while holding an umbrella! We had to go then, but not before Sammy gave me a wet kiss on the face and went back into the water to wave goodbye. Definitely a first for this adventure girl!

At Cape Point the rain finally seems to have stopped so we can climb to the top of the point to the Roman Rock lighthouse at the top which has been keeping sailors from crashing into the rocks since 1846. Cape Point is considered to be the most southern point of Africa and is where the Indian Ocean and Atlantic Ocean meet. It truly is where East meets West. We start off on the long and steep climb to the top with the weather and visibility changing about every 5 minutes. 45 minutes and 800 plus steps later we reach the lighthouse to see phenomenal views in every direction before a torrential downpour begins so we head down the steep incline trying not to fall or attacked by the ever present wild baboons. Wet, smelling like seal, and a little sore we now head to sea level to see the actual Cape of Good Hope which is the tip of Africa which all great explorers have gone around on their quest fir new discoveries! We were thrilled as it had stopped raining so we took pictures by the Bay of Good Hope and went to get our picture taken by the official Cape of Good Hope sign. It then promptly began pouring the moment we got to the sign so our photo by the sign makes us appear as extremely wet and bedraggled explorers!

One last stop before heading back to dry land, dry clothes and a hot shower which is Boulders Beach, home of the African Penguin. 3000 penguins to be exact all of whom live an idyllic tropical life on this beach thanks to two penguins who mated here back in 1986 and now have a prodigious amount of offspring! Their original name was Jackass Penguin as they sound like a donkey when they are "getting busy in the bushes" as our guide put it. We heard quite a lot of noise while there so the population seems very safe for the moment! They are quite comical and were hilarious to watch waddle around on the beach while enjoying the ocean breeze in addition to the sun which had finally made an appearance. Our day was then made even more perfect by a sighting on the way back to Cape Town of a Southern Right whale. All in all a most excellent adventure day and a definite check the biz moment for me since I have been wanting to visit the Cape Peninsula since I read about it in 4th Grade!

Off to wine country tomorrow so more from there! Your all weather travel correspondent
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jstonenyc@gmail.com on

Sammy the seal is my favorite character to date. Kim, you & Mary must be having a blast. Thanks for sharing your adventure. As always, the photos are a real treat.

Sandie on

Hey KB - your photos brought back sweet memories - as I am working on my scrapbook from my trip. Just keep me posted with the pics and your thoughts...................

Sandie on

PS - I will be courious to get your take of the wine country tour????

Sandie on

Hey KB - it is me again. Is that Jeremy Poole your guide??? Sure looked like him to me in one of your photos. If so please tell him I said "Hi from me here in Las Vegas!"

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