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South Africa: Changes in Perception

Photo by Marilynn Windust

Driving a rental car on the left side of the road, behind a steering wheel on the right makes me feel like a dyslexic postal carrier. “Left! Left!” Mare continually reminds. South Africa continues to stretch our brains.

Photo by Marilynn Windust

Keep Doors Locked!

Outside of Cape Town, narrow roads twist around mountains where baboon warning signs replace city mileage posts. Reports of baboons opening unlocked car doors, while the owner is off taking photos of scruffy foliage and turquoise bays, are on the rise.

Photo by Marilynn Windust

The Penguins at Boulders Beach

Stop at Boulders Beach and stroll the boardwalk down to a Penguin Colony, one of only two on the mainland. Groups of penguins nest in the sand, while others gather on the shore and contemplate joining their comrades hunting in the frigid water…all of this under the brutal hot African sun.

Photo by Marilynn Windust

Protecting their eggs in the hot African sun

Drive onward to the Old Lighthouse in the Cape of Good Hope section of Table Mountain National Park. Look down at the treacherous rocks and waters around the Cape, once believed to be Africa’s most southern point.

Photo by Marilynn Windust

Looking down from the base of the Old Lighthouse on the Cape of Good Hope

We take a photo at the marker of the Cape of Good Hope before moving on, with future plans to visit the actual southernmost point on this continent, Cape Agulhas.

Photo by nice stranger

Had to do it!

On the road again, still processing the depth perception of driving on the left and steering from the right, we twist around Chapman’s Peak. Considered one of the world’s best ocean drives, this 6 miles of this road contains 114 sharp curves, leaving little time for the driver to sneak views of blue bays and bizarre rock formations below. Arriving in Hout Bay, we look for lodging.

Photo by Marilynn Windust

Scenic drive around Chapman’s Peak

Backpackers Hostel has no vacancy. Neither do two other places. Time for a beer. Over some raw oysters and grilled tubes of squid, our kind waitress telephones the few remaining lodges in town. She finds us a room. Luckily it had a private bathroom…one of those oysters was bad (hey, it happens sometimes).

Photo by Marilynn Windust

Hout Bay

Just like back in Cape Town, our actual experience with the people has been friendly and hospitable. We have not felt threatened in any way. Every country has dangerous areas and desperate people. While we continue to be diligent, South Africa continues to stretch our brains.



20 Comments Post a comment
  1. Connie Oliver #

    Ron I love to follow you and Marilyn while you travel! I am able to visit places through you that I might never see! Have a great time and hope to come visit soon. Also let me know how your Alaska plans are going!

    January 14, 2015
    • Connie, thanks for coming along. Hope that you can visit if/when we get back to Alaska!

      January 14, 2015
  2. Oh those cute penguins! South Africa looks amazing. Great post as usual, safe travels!

    January 14, 2015
  3. Sue Stodola #

    Ron and Marilyn: Your pictures are absolutely breathtaking and your description of the places you have visited make me want to be there! It’s just beautiful!

    January 14, 2015
    • Sue, as you know it’s more dramatic than photos and words can describe. We can’t wait to see what’s around the next corner!

      January 14, 2015
  4. Hi Ron and Marilyn. I really enjoyed this post! It took me back to when I was visiting these places! All the the penguins are just amazing, right? They are everywhere. It was something I did not expect before going.
    It looks like you are having a memorable time. Fantastic photos as well! I look forward to read more about your trip!

    January 14, 2015
    • Hello Hanne. I love your travel blog and am still trying to wrap my head around your post about racism in South Africa, now that were here. Yes, I was under the mistaken impression that penguins needed ice…mind blowing to see them on a hot beach with people practically walking among them!

      January 14, 2015
  5. Colleen Puderbaugh #

    Ron/Marilyn……what an amazing journey. I love traveling where it bends the “western” brain; it takes courage. Good for you guys! Love seeing all the pictures and your blog.

    January 14, 2015
    • Thanks, Colleen. My brain is quite small, so there’s plenty of room for stretching!

      January 14, 2015
  6. Penguins in Africa?! Are they indigenous?

    January 14, 2015
  7. Carla #

    Enjoying every minute of your travels!!! Continued good fortune on meeting good people!!!

    January 14, 2015
  8. martiwrites #

    Gotta say … we don’t have the fancy wildlife, but some of these shots DO look like Hawaii… 😉

    January 14, 2015
    • Aloha! We’re going to crash in on you one of these days.

      January 14, 2015
      • martiwrites #

        I’ll have a lei ready.

        (note spelling of the word, lest you think I’ve lost my mind, lol)

        January 17, 2015
  9. I left Cape Town close to 40 years ago. Too much water under the bridge to miss it. It is by far the most beautiful city in the world.

    January 17, 2015

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