“Did you see the dolphins this morning?”, the question of the guy from the surf store in Muizenberg was still reechoing in my ears. I confidently reassured my girlfriend that although we didn’t see them, we were going to. So heading south towards the western side of False Bay I was hoping I wouldn’t disappoint her.
We passed the small towns of St. James and Kalk Bay but despite their charming morning mood we continued to the far more inattractive Fish Hoek. As we had already been in the area, we knew the latter looked a bit dodgy and not worth stopping at all. But some black fins in the ocean together with a family staying on the dunes overlooking the ocean changed our minds immediately. We stopped at the very first possible place which turned out to be the local police station. So happy to choose the best possible car parking, we didn’t lose any second and hurried to reach the dunes – the sacred viewpoint of the German family.
The black stains in the water were back fins of dolphins. These beautiful creatures of joy were just in the middle of their morning surfing session and it didn’t seem they were going to skip a wave. We stayed smiling and silent for long time. I can’t remember how long that was. But I know none of us regret any given second of that period and my girlfriend didn’t even take her camera out of its bag. Otherwise it could have gotten wet out of her tears of happiness. Sometimes nature is just to be part of and to be enjoyed.
After this special moment, we were ready and kind of recharged to continue our long day around Cape Peninsula. Just to remind you, this one had started long time ago with the early morning lights of Muizenberg beach.
Our animal world rendezvous didn’t end up with the dolphins. While driving direction Cape Point Nature Reserve and taking one of the next big curves, we encountered a whole pride of baboons. I was just about to stop the car but my girl said “drive slowly but don’t stop no matter what”. They were of so many different sizes and obviously ages but especially the youngest one was so adorable that I barely forgot to further step on the gas pedal. Short but memorable meeting it was.
Finally we’ve entered the nature reserve of Cape Point. I had to drive few more miles to reach the parking lot. But before that there were many reasons to stop and enjoy the views.
Lying on the tip of Cape Peninsula, Cape Point Nature Reserve is a part of Table Mountain National Park and hosting the world famous Cape of Good Hope. All these capital letters in one place, came to show there was something to do and see here. We passed the beaten track as fastest as possible like the old lighthouse for instance and took the very first trail where no people headed to.
We have never been real hikers before our South African trip. I actually had bought my real mountain trekking shoes the year before and for a second I considered packing them for this trip. I never did. But all the uplands and sceneries of this fantastic country opened our mind for more and more great outdoor walks. And we never got enough as you would see in the next trip sessions.
Our curiosity and passion to explore made us better hikers than we had ever expected and led us to hidden pleasures as those pristine beaches where we laid on the sand listening to the ocean and enjoying being alone with nature.
Honestly, I’ve always imagined Cape of Good Hope as a remote rock somewhere on the other side of the world that could be reached only by the ancient ship of Bartolomeu Dias. After some uphills and downhills we got to “the cape” by foot and were not surprised at all that the place was full of tourists who came by buses or cars. I can’t say I was disappointed but I am pretty sure this place deserves efforts for being really appreciated. So after explaining to some Chinese tourists they are not alone at the sign, we managed to take our reward for making our first hiking to Cape of Good Hope – having a photo of the sign empty, only for us.
And because we had been very good boy and girl and had listened carefully to the old guy – the whale watcher from the Rolling Wood surf store, our reward didn’t come alone. On our way back to the parking lot we had the very rare chance in this season to see a whale far away to the horizon, splashing as giving us a salute … from the mother nature.
We left the park tired and smiling to all those creatures who made our day so great.
photo credits: Polina Ilieva Photography