Whales penguins and survival of the fittest. scary

Trip Start Jun 14, 2011
Trip End Sep 21, 2011

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Flag of South Africa  , Western Cape,
Tuesday, September 13, 2011

No time to waste, these is so much we want to see here, 9 days will fly by!
Another wonderful home made breakfast and we were off....
Monday and the weather was decent and we wanted to see whales. Well needless to say we have come to the right place, there are so many bays around here where the whales gather in the hundreds. We drove following the scenic M6 highway and it is one steep cliff road that is so incredibly beautiful you almost (almost being the key word here) forget to be scared when you look down. We passed by the beautiful false bay and pulled over several times as we saw whales using their blow holes spouting water, breaching and tail breaching it was awesome. Where ever you looked there seemed to be a whale. We had planned a few stops along the way but we ended up stopping is so many more places following the so called garden route. We headed in to Simon's Town (simonstad in Afrikaans) which is located on the shores of false bay on the eastern side of the cape peninsula. It is an old naval base and is very historical with lots of victorian buildings and restaurants. Just a couple of km outside of town is the world famous Boulders Beach. This is a sandy white beach with the large boulders of cape granite. But what makes this place famous is that since 1985 a whole colony of African penguins decided to call this their home. This is even more remarkable as it was already a place utilized by humans when the penguins decided to make it their own. Thankfully this decision was respected by humans and the area is now protected. It was pretty awesome, there were penguins everywhere. The kids especially loved the baby penguins and their little fluffy feathers before they turn oily and smooth. There were also many Dessies, they are an animal almost like a very large fluffy hamster we saw some in the morning as well by the boulders of our place. We spent a lot of time here at boulder beach, not only where the penguins captivating but the whole scenery is what made it so perfect.
Our drive continued along the coast and our next stop was a surf town close to Hermanus (I cant remember the name it was M somethings) but it was Awesome. These people have no fear, the waves were HUGE and the Sharks plentiful. There are more great whites here than any other place in the world and there where so many surfers they all looked like a giant seal colony!!! And Mikael of course wanted to get right in there...that's my boy lol
We continued on passed through the wonderful wine regions of the Cape and one award winning winery after the next beckoned for a tasting. Interestingly enough they were nestled between large beautiful fields of wild flowers and the sea and large sand hills like a dessert in the middle of an oasis. Also every so often villages of shacks would pop up , they seemed to stretch on for miles and miles. These shacks were built almost one on top of the next and reached as far as you could see. There did appear to be electricity in these make shift homesteads as there were large electrical wires. One of the schacks that I got a closer look at really stuck me, there was a mother with a baby tied on her back with a large colorful wrap she had a water jug on her head and wild flowers in her hand. She was walking towards this metal "container" that was obviously her home it had a small opening as a window and in there was a half ripped towel that was tied up to the side with a little bow as to make a pretty curtain. It was her home and it was obvious that she was making the best of a very bad situation. Pay here is very low and the infrastructure of this post apartheid South Africa is slow at catching up. There are so many poor, black poor, there s an obvious division of color still here.
We drove to Hermanus and had lunch there at a great place overlooking the ocean . We just sat there and watched the whales for a long time. It is something else, these powerful creatures flipping around in the ocean 6 - 7 of them swimming side by side.
We checked out the town briefly before we were on our way again all the way to danger bay. ! the number one spot of whale watching around. We tried to find the perfect spot to stop and watch the sun set and see the whales and we thought we were following the gps map and there did appear to be a road. Well all of a sudden we were on a small sand road through the rocks and the grass and the sand...taking us further and further away. It was like we re 4 by 4'in in our sports edition Mercedes, not a great feeling. I tried to get out of the car to look around and see if I could see the end or the beginning of a real road anywhere, but all I could see was rock and sand and grass...we would not be able to turn around either as there was just a small path now and we had travelled several km in. What were we thinking? the bottom of the car kept scraping and hitting rocks and the bush was scraping against the windows and I was actually feeling frightened that we would be lost. I had my cell but no cell reception and the sun was getting ready to set. We were lost in there for almost an hour. We thought we spotted a big road further down and tired to reach it but once we did we realized it was completely blocked with cement blocks, and the there were several little shacks set up in the bush. Flipping great! so this is how it would all end then? Lost in the bush in Africa in our Mercedes...lol it was genuinely frightening. Jonas was a rockstar and somehow managed to maneuver the car in to a turn, crushing many bushes along the way, but hey it was survival of the fittest here, and we had to get out of this place before dark!. Now the problem was how to get up this huge hill that we had decided to brace coming down as we thought it would bring us to the big road. We skidded and put the pedal to the metal and went for it. We made it up the hill and continued backtracking and FINALLY made it to the road. What an adventure. Never a dull moment let me assure you.
We pulled over on the side of the road at a look out point by danger bay and watched the sun set as the whales danced in their haven of the ocean. It was spectacular!
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B on

You always manage to make me smile. B

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