Two Capes make a ... Cloak?
It had been raining the previous day, so I didn't bother packing to leave in the rain, even though I didn't have to pack the tent, as I had been staying in a caravan. Why ride in the rain to go sightseeing if it wasn't necessary?
I took my leave of Chris (who has a BMW 1150GS) and his wife and Natalie, their worker, and set sail (pun!) for the Cape of Good Hope. The majority of people think that this Cape is the bottom, or southern most point, of the African continent, but it isn't. That "honour" goes to Cape Agulhas, a couple of hundred kms away to the south. But I decided to go to the CGH anyway, just for a look.
Fantastic twisting winding road to get up to the Table Mountain National Park (of 7750 hectares) entrance, where I paid the obligatory sum of R80, about A$11 and rode up still higher to the very commercial tourist trap area near the top. Here I got to park in the special motorcycle park between the rock stanchions onto the footpath, amidst many strange looks from all the visitors! Wow!
There are actually three Points here in the National Park: Cape Point, the "main" one; Cape of Good Hope; and Cape Maclear. There is nothing much about Cape Maclear, and not very much about CGH, either.
Above and Below: Views from Cape Point.
Above: These Chacma Baboon troops on the Cape Peninsular are the only protected population of this species in Africa. They subsist on fruits, roots, honey, bulbs, insects and scorpions, and during low tide they sometimes roam the beaches, looking for sand hoppers and shellfish, which is behaviour believed to be unusual in primates. (yep, copied all that interesting info for yas!!) The troops even have guards, as I found on both up and down journeys. The "keepers/guards" walk with the troop, making sure that the traffic slows down and keeps clear of the baboons, which roam all over the roads.
Bought a sticker for the bike, then headed off for a coffee at the cafe - NOT the licenced restaurant, which was pretty exxy.
I soon gained a little "friend". There were several of these birds around the outdoor cafe area, and they look stunning when they fly, with the bright copper of the under body, wings and tail flashing in the sunlight. You can see some of the copper feathers on the wing tips.
Above and Below: He got braver and braver, and eventually flew up onto the back of the chair beside me. He didn't mind when I got the camera out and took several photos of him. Then when I broke a piece off my muffin, he hopped first onto the far arm, had a few crumbs, then onto the arm closest to me, with a begging look in his eyes. How could I resist? Haha!
Above: Beside my coffee cup, after all the muffin crumbs had been scoffed straight from my fingers. He was a cutie.
Above and Below: I didn't fancy the walk to the top near the lighthouse, so wandered around taking photos of the area. Nor did I fancy a 1.5 hour walk to the CGH.
Above: A view of the inland or rear of the CGH, and the glorious blue of the ocean.
Above and Below: One doesn't normally associate the beach with ostriches, or ostriches with the beach! But here was a female right near the carpark at the beach level of the CGH. She was pretty cool about it all, except when some Asian tourists persisted in walking far too close, then she'd get uppity and walk a few steps away, with a scornful look in her eye. "Bloody tourists again!! " And yes, there were wildflowers everywhere here, too.
Above: Note the "South-western". Below: I think I'd change my name, somehow!!
Above: The rocky headland of CGH. Below: I was lucky to spot a small herd of six eland, well camoflaged in the terrain.
Below: And after seriously looking for him, I spotted the male ostrich about a km away from the female, on the opposite side of the road from where I'd seen him on my way to the point.
Above: Surf's up! It was crashing into the shore right along this area.
Above and Below: After slowly passing the baboons and their guards again on my way down the mountain, I finally saw somewhere to park to take photos back to the headlands, Cape Point in the far distance.
I ended up going back to Suzuki South, to give the guys koalas, as I'd forgotten to do so when I was there. And also because the damn GPS was being cantankerous yet again, refusing to take any command, obstinately staying on the map screen. Not much use when one wants to go somewhere definite and can't use the "Find" feature, is it? And I had a fair idea I'd need to go in that direction to get onto the main roads south.
Stewart at Suzuki helped me out, giving me the main roads and turning directions I needed to travel south-south-easterly towards Cape Agulhas, the real southernmost point of Africa. I didn't have any set plan as to where I'd stop for the night, just wherever I could find a caravan park along the way, preferably one without SAND!
Just coming on to dusk, saw a caravan park sign as I entered Kleinmond so turned off the highway, still on pavement. Another turn sign - 1.5kms to go! But still on pavement. This was looking good, so far, but it was right along the beach, so there would be sand, for sure. Got to the electronic gate. No-one around. Hmmmm, what to do? Finally decided to try my Go-Sim in the phone, and it worked. Bewdy! So I rang the oncall guy, (photo and number on a big board at the gate) who then appeared out of the house inside the fence.
I entered and paid, and was told to go wherever I wanted, basically. Yea!! All the park's roads were pavement, and the camping areas had grass! What a find, beachside. No dropping it this time! It was well off the main road, and had strict rules about noise etc, so I had a really peaceful night and a good sleep, for a change, as it was quite cool there by the beach.
Above: Camp, in the process of being dismantled next morning, gear spread everywhere.
Above and Below: Glorious yellow wildflowers covering some hills beside the road.
Above and Below: Eventually I arrived at the Cape Agulhas lighthouse and visitor centre, where I clarified the location of the actual cairn marking the confluence of the Indian and Atlantic oceans. And stupidly didn't ask if they had any stickers, for the bike.
Above and Below: After riding to the cairn carpark on gravel roads, there was only 150 more metres of gravel and boardwalk. Some interesting facts on these boards, under.
Above: I was there - the FOURTH and final extreme had been reached, at last! Fortunately, a young lad was there to take my photo, after I took his.
Above and Below: The cairn details.
Above and Below: OK, so I've been good up to now, not including TOO many flower pictures! Now that the extremes have been done, there may be more flowers and other stuff! These were all in the 150 metres from the carpark to the cairn.
Above and Below: Australia's out there - a long, long way away.
Above and Below: Views from the carpark.
On the way to the cape, I saw a few ostriches, and a mob of springboks, and then about 100 of the beautiful Blue (or Stanley) Cranes, the national bird of South Africa, in a ploughed paddock, probably scoffing all the planted seed! So on the way back, I stopped for photos. A few of them looked to be fighting, flying/bouncing up and down, wings spread. (And I think I can see some springbok in the background, too. Yes, verified that now.)
Above and Below: Just a few of them. The photo below was taken from further along the road, with the sun shining on them, instead of into the camera lens.
It had been an exciting, but very windy, day, reaching the last of the extremes. Now the book has to be written. Hahaha!
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