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Hiking at Cape Point

6th October 2009 – 12:30 pm

Last Friday (2 October) we had a most enjoyable day of hiking in the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve (also know as Cape Point).  Two American clients and I headed to the reserve early in the morning and were almost the second people to enter the control gate.  Great  – Cape Point to ourselves!
We first made our way upwards to the lighthouse in blustery conditions admiring the ocean views and rough seas.  No whales obliged with an appearance but one’s thoughts do drift back to past times and the voyages of Diaz and da Gama as they rounded this world renowned promontory.
Returning to the car park we next headed off to the Cape of Good Hope and along the amazing cliff path with specacular views of surf and sea and the dramatic Dias beach.   We were lucky to spot a lone dassie who was soon startled by a rock kestrel hovering overhead.  Our next port of call was the Buffelsfontein visitors centre for a short break before hiking the two hour circular walk to Kanonkop.  This hike affords you great views over the reserve, a huge variety of fynbos to admire as well as the False Bay coastline and all the way across the bay to Cape Hangklip.  Puzzled as to how they managed to get the cannon to this peak we then dropped down to the old lime kiln.  We spotted an angulate tortoise  and next an enormous brightly covered grasshopper crossed our path while a sunbird kindly perched on top of bush posing for a photo before flitting off.
We decided not to run the gauntlet of the baboons at Buffels Bay and had our lunch at the centre where we also had shelter from the strong south easter.  Our last walk of the day was the shipwreck trail to remind ourselves just how treacherous this coastline is.  Starting from Oiliphantsbos the walk initally leads you across the beach and then to the Thomas T Tucker (or what remains of it from the 1940s) and next to the Nolloth whose cargo of whisky quickly disappeared after it was beached!  The return trip is inland through fynbos and with lots of interesting rock formations to admire.  No trip to Cape Point is complete without seeing the chacma baboons and they did oblige on the ridge above us making their strange barking noises.
Somewhat tired after a long day we could not pass Boulders Beach on our way back without a quick stop to view the adorable African penguin colony.  One our later back in the city it was definitely time to relax, enjoy a glass of South African wine and head out for dinner before collapsing into bed!

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