Race the Wild Coast (South Africa) 2016, Rider - Sarah

Cape Town Diaries, Part 2

When I last left you, I was gearing up for our cage dive adventure.  Unfortunately, that never happened!  We were up at the crack of dawn (which is beautiful from that great room we had) and we hit the road to head into the Cape Town Waterfront, as the tour wouldn’t pick up so far out of the city.  Then we hit a sea of red tail lights, and the clock kept ticking.  I made several calls back and forth with the tour operator and it became clear our case was hopeless.  THankfully she was kind enough to reschedule us to Sunday (tomorrow).

Might I mention, last time I was in cape town, I had booked a shark dive which got cancelled due to poor weather… third times the charm?

So what were we to do?

We followed the GPS to the V&A waterfront, where we were originally supposed to meet anyway, and decided to go out for coffee and then decide what to do.  Funny part was, the restaurant we ended up at didn’t have their coffee on yet, we were still that early!


After getting properly caffeinated, we were ready to start considering our options, so we started to wander to look for inspiration.  We ended up with the most touristy option, a pass on the hop-on-hop-off bus.  Believe it or not, I have never actually been on one of these, so we had a good time feeling a bit silly like a hollywood star-spotter on the deck of a big red double decker bus.


We got off downtown for some breakfast and shopping, but a lot of the crafts are either similar to what I brought home on my last trip, or just the same as we have seen in every other market.  It helped keep our weight light for the next stop: Table Mountain.

It was a hot and very clear day, I understand this is pretty rare for Table Mountain, so we will take it that everything (including bad traffic) happens for a reason.  Even just the road up to Table Mountain offered incredible views, but we weren’t about to stop there… up the cable car we went!

My plan before I got here was to climb table mountain, but still not 100% healthy since being sick (and wearing a bikini as underpants and casual shoes expecting I would be in water most of the day) I was ok with taking the easy way up.


We got to the top and the views were striking, enough to take your breath away.  But then I saw it, a dead animal. I bit back tears for this poor furry groundhog like critter, but then Lee said “Look closer.”  It was VERY hard to tell, but the thing was breathing, merely sunning itself and sleeping like the dead. Not actually dead.  What a relief.

I seemed to only take videos of the Dassis (groundhogs) because I loved them THAT much, so here is a lizard instead (and I will get to the Dassi later)
I seemed to only take videos of the Dassis (groundhogs) because I loved them THAT much, so here is a lizard instead (and I will get to the Dassi later)


These critters made my day.  I seriously loved them.  They were so lazy, simply falling over and napping anywhere.  They also had the ugliest faces but they were clearly trying to puppy face mooch for snacks.  They tried SO HARD, but their dark beady eyes and buck teeth were just not cute.  At one point I heard a girl taunting them with a popsicle “I would sure hate to be you!” she said.  It was amazing.

There were 3 walking loops on the top of the mountain which eventually led us to a gorge.  Coming up the gorge were some pretty tired, sweaty hikers.  Felt a bit less bad about wimping out of the hike.

I walked a few dozen meters down the gorge and stopped for a photo before we returned back, stopping to eye some lizards before returning down the cable car and hopping back on the bus. We stayed on the bus for the remainder of the tour and enjoyed the coastal drive back to the city.


When we got back to the V&A  waterfront, we toured around a bit and saw seals following some of the tourist boats, and sunning themselves on the docks.  They are HUGE and they smell SO BAD.  Definitely cuter in the water when they are playing.  If you come across one on the dock… maybe find another path.


It was already 4pm so we decided to hit the road back to Muizenberg, but instead we hit traffic again.  Guess it was an early rush hour!  So the drive home was very slow and when we got back, we cleaned up, and went over to the Striped Horse Pub across the street – something we had promised ourselves we would do because Striped Horse Beer is sponsoring Race the Wild Coast! The beer and food were amazing, Lee even licked the sauce up from his plate.

This morning, we had a surf lesson booked, but due to the live band at the hostel last night, plans had to change again.  We were leaving African Soul Surfer and headed to Camps Bay, so we took the opportunity to leave early and visit Simon’s Town, where we heard… there would be PENGUINS.

Yes please!

Simon’s town is so quaint.  The buildings are incredible and the naval base and sail boats make it feel very much like our Maritimes, you really forget you are in Africa. It just seems to almost exist in its own bubble.

Simons Town
Simons Town

Slightly past the town, we found Boulder Beach signs, parked, and followed a narrow path down to the beach.  “There are the penguins!” Lee pointed to the far side of the beach where a few people were gathered.  We walked over and enjoyed getting close to the penguins hiding in some rocks, and others hanging out on a large rock by the water (maybe about 1 dozen total).  We enjoyed watching them jumping in and out of the water and shaking their tails.  We were pretty happy with that, but I was HUNGRY.


We went back to the car where Lee was ready to get in and go home, but I demanded to be fed.  Lets  just walk down this street over here and see whats close.  There was quite a large crowd walking down the road despite it not being a main street.  Perhaps thats where the food is?  Lets follow them.  Lee wasn’t convinced  we would find food, but I was sure so many people weren’t just wandering around by coincidence.

Turns out, we were both right, because just down the road… HUNDREDS OF PENGUINS!


There was a nice boardwalk where they had fenced off the ocean side to keep people out of the penguin’s habitat.  Despite the fence, these ARE wild penguins.  We were the ones in the cages 🙂  They were so close and it seemed to be breeding season, as there were a lot on nests of fuzzy babies.  Some were more curious than others, one penguin even mimicked my movements, it was adorable.


After that, we went for lunch on the water with some delicious fish and chips.  Best I have ever had, so fresh.

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The afternoon was less exciting to write about.  We moved into our guest house in Camps Bay which has an amazing view of the Twelve Apostles Mountain Range AND a sunset view of the water.  We have been up and down to the lower end of town where the beach is a few times, first to go shopping, then to tour around.  Its very busy and hard to find parking.  Thankfully, all these beach towns have what Lee is calling “South African Back up Cameras”, entrepreneurial bums who will point you to a parking spot and keep watch on your car for a tip of merely your pocket change.

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So again, I will sign off with the expectation of shark diving tomorrow.  Gonna knock on some wood.




1 thought on “Cape Town Diaries, Part 2”

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