I put the fun in funicular
Trip Start May 12, 2009
13Trip End May 24, 2009
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Kristenbosch Botanical Gardens. Guess we weren't far enough south yet as the rains started to really come down. This was unfortunate as almost all of the gardens were outside. We were the only people in the entire place and walked around for about an hour checking out all the plants and flowers (for a bunch of pictures show all thumbnails above). I was hoping to get some colorful pics, but the gardens were mostly just green being that we were in Cape Town during their winter months.
Groot Constantia which is supposed to be the nicest winery. We were seasoned pros at wine tasting by this point, so we knew exactly which wines to choose (once again 5 selections out of the 10 or so choices available). The wines were good, but I already reached my 4 bottle limit for the trip. The weather was clearing up now as we traveled further south and it was around 11:00.
Kalk Bay for some lunch. The South African Frommer's guide (which Amy was proudly using to direct us along the drive) recommended a deli in Kalk Bay. We drove around for a while looking for it, but perhaps we had an old edition of the book and the restaurant had closed. Another recommended restaurant was Kalky's which was right on the water and supposedly has the best fish and chips south of the equator (I just made this up). You knew this place was good as it was a total locals hangout. All walks of life were dining in this shack, and the lady working the counter was putting on a show. There were numerous fishes to choose from, but the hake was the most popular (and at $3 for the meal it is hard to go wrong).
boulders beach. Yet another tourist trap, boulders beach is a rocky area where hundreds of penguins live. The people who live in the area are upset with the penguins, as their beach is now gone, but at least they get to charge 5 rand to every tourist that wants to look at some penguins. These penguins are called African penguins, but are also known as jackass penguins (I have now met my quota for the use of the word "penguins" in a paragraph). It started to rain again, so we did not stay too long before continuing on.
Cape Point (which is different than the Cape of Good Hope). Cape Point is the tip of South Africa where the lighthouse is located. It has quite a high elevation, so we took the funicular to the top. There are 2 signs on the glass window of the funicular. One says no smoking, which I guess is understandable. But if you can't wait the 2 minute ride to enjoy a fag (and by that I mean the British word for cigarette), then you have bigger problems. The other sign was no ice cream. Now I am not sure if this is a problem that Cape Point often has. Do people really try to sneak ice cream onto the funicular? Aren't there other foods that are more harmful? Anyway, for those reading this who plan to visit South Africa, please do not bring ice cream on the funicular to the top of Cape Point.
Cape of Good Hope which had a much lower elevation right on the water. Down the road we spotted our first wild animal of the trip (not including those jackass penguins). Finally a baboon. Just eating on the side of the road, we stopped for some pics. But as we continued along he decided to chase us running at speeds up to 25 kmph. He finally stopped when we reached a group of ostriches. At this point JB decided to stop the car and exclaimed "I am going to ride one of them." Lindsey screamed, but I jumped out of the car in order to get a video of his death. He didn't quite reach the ostrich, but it was good fun nonetheless.
Chapman's Peak in the dark. Chapman's Peak is a scenic drive on the cliff of a mountain. JB seemed quite confident though considering he has successfully driven the Amalfi Coast, the Hana Highway, and the cliffs in Greece, but as we approached, the weather had worsened and with the darkness, Chapman's Peak road was closed. There was no other way to get to Hout Bay except going all the way around back to Costantia and then take the road over to Hout Bay.
restaurant is known for the best calamari in the world, Lindsey, JB, and Amy certainly agreed. I decided to have some soup since I was cold and wet from the day. It was tom yum soup which was good although there were no other thai food items on the menu. I also got the piri piri chicken which was great. Piri piri is a pepper which they make a sauce out of in Mozambique. We are very tempted at this point to book a hotel room and stay for the night as we are exhausted from the day's drive, but we headed back to our hotel in Cape Town. Close to the hotel, there are a few speed bumps (or speed humps as they are known there). Throughout the trip, I would say "hump" whenever we approached one for fair warning. However, as I said hump this time, JB was not slowing down. I tried to say hump a few more times, but tired from the day, JB starts to increase speed a little. Of course Amy is sleeping, and Lindsey is popping some cipro, so no one else noticed as we hit the hump at full speed. I think Charlene might have gotten a few inches off the ground. It woke us all up long enough to make it back to the hotel and call it a night.
Where I stayed