It’s not every day that you get to wake up to large green Knysna Turaco birds squawking and interacting outside your tent, but that’s how our Tuesday started (I'm going to try to add photos to yesterday's post after this).
After a fairly relaxing morning and a swim in the pool (kids only) we left the Treetop resort and drove out of the mountains and back to the coast. We had a one night stay planned at Mossel Bay, but like everywhere else we’d been in South Africa, we wished we’d booked more time.
The coast was so windy that our lunches could easily have blown right into the ocean had the plates not been so heavy. We enjoyed a walk along the beach and tried to go in swimming, but the kids were more interested in squabbling with one another than they were in compromising on where to swim so it was a bit of a frustrating outing. Oh well, I’m sure they’ll get another chance to swim in the Indian Ocean one day!!!
Mossel Bay is a pretty place with a gorgeous natural harbour and plenty of tourists. It’s very different than Jeffreys Bays’ surfer attitude as this place was a more upscale. I preferred J-Bay, but this was pretty amazing too. We had a fun dinner out at the harbour eating way too much barbecued meat and fire roasted bread. Molly had a hair wrap put in while we waited for our food, which she is delighted about.
Our hotel for the night was a huge 2 bedroom unit on a corner that overlooked the ocean. The windows fully opened to let the air blow right through. It was gorgeous to sit facing the water and listen to the waves.
We left in a haze this morning - environmentally, not mentally - and started our 350km drive to Gordon’s Bay, which is our last stop before Cape Town. The drive started out with familiar terrain, but it quickly diversified and we started seeing vast farmland on the mountain foothills, ostrich farms, potentially beautiful farm land (a little dry this year), vineyards and more. We broke off the main highway close to our destination in order to drive along a coastal road on a peninsula.
Our first stop was a small ocean-side town where everyone was swimming, picnicking, and enjoying the Dec. 16 holiday. It’s a day to remember reconciliation after the Boer War, but everyone we asked about the holiday didn’t know why Dec. 16 was important. When we arrived out our accommodation, our host looked it up for us. People like the holiday even if they don’t know what it’s for.
Our next stop was to see the African penguins who live in Betty’s Bay. These small penguins were charming to watch in the wild as they swam, climbed an old whale fishing ramp and fussed with one another like kids in a school yard. We didn’t stay long as we wanted to continue our drive along the Atlantic, up the coast and into False Bay. The scenery was spectacular with rough mountains on one side and the rolling Atlantic on the other (we crossed the Indian Ocean border and entered Atlantic coasts around noon - looks the same to me). It was gorgeous to round a corner into the bay and see the Cape of Good Hope mountains in the distance. The cape has always seemed like such an exotic place that I can almost imagine 400 year old ships rounding the corner in hopes of being off to the west Indies. The drive along the west side of the bay was much like Hwy 1 on American’s coast. At one point we could see a whale’s blowhole in the distance but not much of the whale could be seen. Southern Right Whales are most common here.
We arrived in Gordon’s Bay, checked into the hostel and returned to the waterfront for dinner. I found it rather thrilling to watch the sun set on the Cape of Good Hope. I’m surprised by what I emotionally respond to sometime. It was a great way to end an exciting day.