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The Best Day Ever

The Cape Town saga continues…

On Saturday we woke up and decided that today was a beach day.  So we ate a hearty breakfast of Lion Bar cereal and granola, packed a lunch and set off in search of adventure (via cab) to Fourth beach at Clifton Bay.  Tompaul decided to go on a walk, but only after making sure Lisa was settled into a “bed” (beach chair) and an umbrella.  Initially the beach was shrouded in mist, but after an hour (around 11am) this lifted.  Clifton Bay Beaches (First, Second, Third and Fourth) are separated by large rocks, but overall the beaches are nice and sandy for games, and the waves are excellent for body surfing.

Unfortunately the first tragedy of the day occurred (what’s the best day ever w/o some tragedy?).  Lisa fell asleep waiting for Tompaul to arrive, but Tompaul lost where Lisa was.  An hour passed and Lisa awoke with sunburned feet…so it goes. It’s the beach, right?  The water was frigid, as it is summer and the water is cooled by Antarctic currents from the south.  After lunch we decided to walk up along all of the beaches up to the lighthouse (about a 6-7 km walk).

This is a view from between First and Second Beach, looking back to Fourth Beach.

Cape Town has a lovely sidewalk system going along beach road, then you can transfer onto the 5km walkway which ends at the lighthouse.  The beaches become more rocky as you move toward the light house.  Clifton Beaches seem to mainly attract European tourists, as they have hotels attached, but there are many beaches to choose from.

A view from the sidewalk.  You can see Clifton Beach in the distance.

Rocky shore, as viewed from the sidewalk.  There were many fisherman dotting the coast.

We walked through some pretty posh hotel areas, with resturants, fancy condos, Bentleys and pharmacies.  Then we approached an area that had more of a “city park” feel.  Amazingly they had plenty of rubbish bins.

Nice view of the hotels dotting the coast.

The more “local” beaches were rocky some with big rocks to lay out on, and some areas were more pebbly.  Many of these beaches had pools constructed that would fill up daily with ocean water, but were calm enough to swim, float or take the kids in.

You can see one of these “pools” to the far right.  It was more of a kiddie pool.

This is the “municipal pool” that is overlooking the sea.  It is more traditional, and packed on this hot, hot, HOT day (the high was 40 C).

Speaking of hot, we saw a 7-11 and decided to stop in.  Granted this was a “fake” 7-11 as no slurpees were in sight.  We did buy much refreshment in the form of water and a grape juice spritzer.

Here are two boys standing on the wall of a pool, enjoying the waves filling the pool.

Then the second tragedy of the day occured (again what is a perfect day w/o a few tragedies).  We were almost at the lighthouse (our goal) when I was distracted by a beautiful wedding.  It was quite the large party.

 

We took a turn in the side walk, but the sidewalk had a part missing. Lisa’s Birk became caught and she tripped.  But she was wearing the backpack.  Let’s all revisit our days in middle school when tripping w/ a back pack.  It flies over your head and you just can’t regain your balance.  Lisa plunged face-first into the pavement (praying “God please don’t let me break my nose!).  The damage wasn’t bad (as she was protected by her sunglasses).  A scraped knee, shoulder, chin, lip, nose and eye.  Not too shabby.   

The offending sidewalk (see how a strip is missing?)                                      A bit of damage (look my travel bracelet!)

So we took a cab back to the hostel.  After a quick shower and change of clothes we ventured back out into the Company Gardens. These garden’s were planted in the 1650’s by the original settlers to grow fruit and vegetables.  It is an amazing, shady place to chill on a hot day.

This is an original plant.  It is the Saffron Pear, and is believed to have come from Holland.  It was thought to have died many years ago as the trunk fell over but these stems arose as “suckers”.  The tree is too heavy to stand so major surgery has been performed on the tree.  They hollowed out the trunks (see center stem) and have multiple props, keeping the tree up (on the right).

Wedding No 2.

Extreme, wonderful, delicious shade.

Well that almost brings us to the end of the perfect day.  We saw a South African movie that evening…but that is more tomorrow.

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