Fish Hoek and Simon’s Town

FIsh Hoek and Simon's Town
I took this photo while heading from Simon's Town to Kalk Bay. The small town that you see closest in the photo is known as Fish Hoek, and the one in the distance, on the left, is Simon's Town.

This side of the peninsula is completely different to the Atlantic Seaboard (ie. the Sea Point / Camps Bay area), and in some way reminds me of a few of the small sea-side fishing towns that we visited in Brittany, France.

What power failures?

What power failures?
I can't recall the last time that we had a power failure. It's either been that long, or perhaps that my memory is failing. About a week back we noticed a brief flicker in the lights, almost like the last time Koeberg's one nuclear reactor shut itself down - but, the power remained, and we were happy.

Calm before the storm? I'm not sure. We had a bitterly cold winter, and we survived, so perhaps our supply of energy is under control.

Rainy days

Rain on road
After a few sunny days we woke this morning to rain poring from the skies as though someone had shifted our home from its sunny spot to a less-ideal location beneath a giant waterfall. Fortunately there wasn't much wind to speak of, so it's not been that bad, and I'm guessing our crops and dams could do with the odd bucket of rain. :)

On the rocks – Three Anchor Bay

On the rocks - Three Anchor Bay
It was low tide, so I took a walk out onto the rocks at Three Anchor Bay. The light had already fallen off a lot, it was almost dark already, so I had to expose the photo for quite some time to get it even this bright.

After spending 10 minutes out on the rocks, amidst the peaceful lapping of the waves, I realised that it was probably time to return to the promenade before the light disappeared completely and I ended up in trampling over rocks and though puddles on all-fours trying to find dry land.

Winter, though chilly, can be very beautiful in Cape Town.

Driving in the rain

Driving in the rain
There's something nostalgic about driving in the country when it's raining and the clouds are hanging low over the fields. It was freezing cold and the car's heater was on full-throttle; the windows were misting up, and the wipers lazily whooshed backwards and forwards across the drizzled windscreen. It was beautiful.

Wet ‘n soggy vineyards

Wet 'n soggy vineyards
The vineyards of Meerendal were particularly soggy and wet on Sunday. I jumped out of my car, into the cold wind and drizzle to take this photo. Once done, thoroughly cold and damp, I returned to a locked car containing three giggling occupants. Apparently I'd been locked out. Apparently it was funny. :)

Farmlands and hills

Farmlands and hills
These, dear friends, are the farmlands and hills outside of Durbanville, the little suburb in which we live. This specific photo was taken from the farmlands that (I believe) belong to Fair Cape dairies. Click on the photo to see the large version - isn't it pretty out there?

This map shows pretty much exactly where I was standing when taking this photo. :)

Our visit to Tulbagh begins

A dam, a jetty, and a pretty blue mountain
We live in one of the most beautiful places in the world yet we so seldom break away from work long enough to unwind and enjoy what the Cape Province has to offer.

So, on a whim, I scoured a few online accommodation sites and booked two nights away in Tulbagh, a small town that's a short 121 kilometers from the City (here's a route map).

I took this photo at the guest house where we stayed - a rural estate about 3 kilometers outside the town. Over the next few days I'll share with you more of what we saw in and around Tulbagh.

Table Mountain and the New 7 Wonders of Nature

Table Mountain and the New 7 Wonders of Nature
By now you may have heard that Table Mountain was voted to be one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. Even I (as a citizen of Cape Town) was surprised at the credentials that earned the mountain this title. Three of the many reasons that make Table Mountain deserving are that:

  • it is one of the oldest mountains on the planet - around 260 million years old!
  • it is the only terrestrial feature on our planet to have a constellation named after it. The Mensa constellation was given the name Mons Mensae (the Latin name for Table Mountain) by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille in 1754.
  • as part of the Cape Floral Region it was named a World Heritage Site in 2004 for being one of the smallest and richest of the six floral kingdoms of the world supporting about 8,200 rare and endangered plant species.

The Official New7Wonders of Nature was established to raise awareness of the diversity and beauty of nature in a hope to increase tourism and hence funding to preserve the natural beauty of landmarks like Table Mountain.

Walking the narrow path

Walking the narrow path
If you were to reflect on your life I'm sure that you'd easily think of dozens of times that you could have made different decision and left the path that you're now on to travel another.

Have you taken time to consider how different your life could have been if you, say, hadn't taken that job; or you'd grabbed that opportunity to travel abroad; or if you had stopped at that red traffic light? Wouldn't life be awfully interesting if when you reached the end of the road you had an opportunity to live it all over again?

I took this photo at the Majik Forest in Durbanville.

On the lawn at DeHugenot Estate

On the lawn at DeHugenot Estate
Besides for the formal inside restaurant, DeHugenot Estate, mentioned in my previous post, has an outside lawn area where one's able to get just that little bit closer to the splendor of nature.

What's awesome about the experience is that (as you can see) the tables are spread fairly far apart so that you're able to enjoy the company of those at your table without the intrusion of other guests in close proximity.

Green ponds and lilypads

Green ponds and lilypads
I wrote, in my previous post, about the Meulwater Wild Flower Reserve (map) just above the town of Paarl.

This is the little pond that leads into the small wild-flower garden. The actual flower reserve stretches out far beyond the formal garden, but we decided that since it looked as though it could rain any minute that we'd stick around in the garden - not too far away from the shelter of our car. :)

Isn't the reflection on the water beautiful, and isn't this the perfect vista just waiting to be painted in watercolours?

Overlooking Paarl

Overlooking Paarl
Paarl, a town of 200,000 inhabitants in the Cape Winelands, is the third oldest European settlement in South Africa. It's located about 60 kilometers from Cape Town and is known mostly for its fruit (and especially grape and wine) production.

Another thing that the town will always be remembered for is that it hosts the old Victor Verster Correctional Centre - the prison where Nelson Mandela was held before his release in 1992.

I remember the day that he was release - it was the day that our family was returning from our holiday in Wellington (a nearby town). I vividly remember how the national highway was lined with thousands of ANC supporters - awaiting the release of their beloved Madiba. I remember it being both exiting and scary to be in the midst of the thronging crowds. I won't forget that day.

Summer in Camps Bay

Summer in Camps Bay
It's still winter in South Africa - but based on this photo of the Camps Bay area, nobody would say so.

I took this shot from Kloof Road, just below where the famous Round House restaurant does business. This whole area has a huge number of short hiking trails that would be perfect as an early morning walk. I really wish that I could live in this area - besides for it being a beautiful area there would then be no excuse not to get regular exercise in the outdoors!

A field of pylons

Electricity pylons
Even though most would complain that the electricity pylons obscure and even ruin the beauty of this field - yet still I find something beautiful about their form. I guess one would call it an industrial beauty.

Before taking up photography I probably wouldn't have considered the possibility that electricity pylons, a symbol of the destruction of nature, could in some way be beautiful.

Green power (how much electricity do you use?)

Green power
Our household of four consists of two adults (Kerry-Anne and I) and two children (cats, Elizabeth and William). I think we're pretty conservative in terms of energy consumption and use about 700kWh's of electricity at a cost of about 700 ZAR per month.

I don't think we use that much energy, but wouldn't it be great if regular households could be completely self-sufficient in terms of energy? Perhaps some day hey?

How much electricity do you use each month, and how much do you pay for it. I'd be especially keen to know what you use and how much you pay for it - especially if you're from another country.

Cat’s eyes on the road

Cat's eyes on the road
I find it awesome that a simple invention like this has saved so many lives. The concept of a reflective road stud being used to help guide drivers at night was invented by Percy Shaw in 1934 - and even though it's design has been improved on over the years, essentially it the same device.

Church and steeple

Church and steeple
I wasn't going to post this photo of the church in Riebeek Kasteel - but Kerry-Anne liked it so much that I decided that perhaps you would also.

I'm not completely sure, but normally churches like this are of the Dutch Reformed variety - there really is at least one in every town, and they normally stand out like a sore thumb with their tall steeples. When I lived with my parents I remember often waking up on a Sunday morning and hearing the church bells ring, calling the congregation to their gathering.

Farm houses

Farm houses
I know that we're not the only country that has such a beautiful countryside - but flip, the Cape can really be pretty and perfectly serene at times.

Please see my apology for the delay in daily photos, and my speedy catch-up posts in my previous post.

The Cape countryside

The Cape countryside
Apologies for delaying your daily photo from the Cape of Good Hope. Cape Town Daily Photo is my sideline hobby, so when my real job demands attention - I get behind on posting photos. For some reason my employer just doesn't understand that I have a photo to post! :)

To be honest though - they don't really make me work long hours - it's perfectly by choice. I believe my previous manager once referred to me as Captain Underpants. He meant it in a nice way. I think. ;)

A long country road

A long country road
One of our readers, a Capetonian and ship's Captain stationed in South East Asia mailed me to say how much he enjoys seeing the photos that remind him of home. He also mentioned that he'd have preferred my previous photo without the Mini Cooper spoiling the view.

I'm curious to know which photo you prefer - this one, or my previous one?