Tag Archives: mountains

Paul Cluver – wide open space

Paul Cluver - wide open space
Wide open space like this on the Paul Cluver estate in Elgin can feel really creepy. At least in Cape Town we have plenty of mountains to break the horizon - I can't imagine how strange it would feel if there were none; if the fields, like the ocean, tapered off on the horizon.

The green grass of Maiden’s Cove

The green grass of Maiden's Cove
I don't think I've ever wandered down to Maiden's Cove... I never even realised that they have this green lawn and beautiful view of the Twelve Apostles and Camps Bay. Isn't it spectacular? Unfortunately, I have an idea that this grassy lawn is overrun with picnic-goers during the summer months - so it's probably not quite idyllic before 18h45 (when I took this photo).

Pig’s Snout Kloof – Stanford to Hermanus

Pig's Snout Kloof - Stanford to Hermanus
While driving from Stanford to Hermanus friends pointed out Pig's Snout Kloof - a formation that I'd actually never heard of previously.

Can you see the pig lying down, with the front of it's snout facing the camera? Do you see it's two eyes? If you click on the image to enlarge you'll perhaps even be able to make out the two waterfalls, one running from each nostril. Kinda gross, but there you have it. :)

Here's a map, with Google StreetView showing the location, and an extra photo, zoomed out a little.

Enchanting clouds

Enchanting clouds
There was no wind and the air was warm - it had been a perfect beach day - and it was hard to imagine that it was freezing cold up on Table Mountain and the Twelve Apostles mountain range.

If you visit Cape Town, and if the weather's right, you'll see a similar blanket of cloud covering the mountain. The weird and enchanting thing about the clouds is that they continuously descend from the mountain towards the earth but never seem to reach it. They billow over, almost like you'd imagine a witch's cauldron would. It's quite enchanting.

Snow on our mountains

Snow on our mountains
It's recently been really cold in Cape Town - and here's the evidence. Over the past couple of weekends dozens - nay - hundreds of families have made their way though to Ceres and other locations to play in the Matroosberg mountain snow. Take a look at the pictures on the Matroosberg website, and remember, this is Africa folks!

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.

Surrounded by mountains

Surrounded by mountains

Most of the Tulbagh area's beauty comes from its terrain. While there's a great deal of wide open space (which is good for clearing one's mind), the area is completely surrounded by mountains - which are in some way very comforting. I, like all Capetonians, get a bit weirded-out if all I'm able to see is barren flatness with no mountains in sight. It's difficult to explain really. :)

Take a few moments to browse this satellite image - you'll see what I mean by surrounded!

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.

A distant Simon’s Town

A distant Simon's Town
At the foot of the distant blue mountains, right in the center of the photo, is the well-known Simon's Town. Simon's Town is most prominent in my mind for our navy's annual naval festival, and Boulder's Beach - one of the major tourist spots in Cape Town.

Hit the beach early!

Hit the beach early!
Camps Bay's busy season is in full swing. The beaches fill up quickly, the roads get congested early, and parking becomes about as scarce as friendly supermarket cashiers at Christmas time.

You may agree that these are great reasons to get to the beach super early - like before 9am! While the reasons I mention are good ones the best reason of all is that it's a good idea to get your naked skin out of the sun between 11am and 4pm.

It's easy to forget that our sun is more harsh these days than it was 10 or 15 years ago. I remember as a kid not having to pay as much attention to the sun's ravaging rays; I guess the scientists who made such a big thing of the depletion of the atmosphere's ozone layer had a point. :(

I'm not partial to leathery skin, I don't relish the thought of skin cancer, and I kinda like the look of untanned skin - which is why I always use SPF30+ sunscreen when spending time outdoors. If you don't already, it's probably a good idea for you to do the same. :)

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.

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!

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.

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?

A beautiful landscape

A beautiful landscape
I wrote about the Royal Hotel in Riebeek West yesterday, and before that I showed you a photo of a pastel-blue building from that same town. This photo of the little town is taken from just outside its borders. If you've visited Riebeek West before, you'd immediately recognise the large church building.

Colourful vineyards, green fields, blue mountains, and billowing clouds. The late afternoon sun makes this such a beautiful landscape. I wonder if people living here ever become jaded towards its beauty.

Sky, mountain, grass

Sky, mountain, grass
This time of the year is probably the best time to travel the Cape province's inland countryside. Around time we'll often have cool, yet bright and sunny, windless days - whereas during summer our inland countryside is terribly hot and often windy.

The only problem with visiting Cape Town from abroad during winter is that the weather is so unpredictable - your visit could co-inside with superb weather like this, or with two weeks of rain, often accompanied by wind. Sorry about that. :)