South Africa - Spring 2006 travel blog

coastal town



hands across the waters

the bottom of Africa


Jackass Penguin

chilling on the rocky beach

one of us

driving into town

Since we are well trained from our working days to rise and be out of the house 25 minutes later, it was no surprise that we were the first to hit the road. In Mexico we never made a move without being in a procession of 24 RV's, but here the roads are so well marked and with a road atlas and the helpful hints from the road log prepared by our touring company, we felt confident to be on our own. Of course, this still meant that Ken had to drive on the left, shifting with his left hand as he made right hand turns into the other lane. He did a great job and most of the roads also had wide shoulders, so the drive was pleasant. A number of our fellow RV'ers have suffered from fairly serious breakdowns already. We are accompanied by a mechanic, who quickly puts things right or gets them a replacement pair of wheels. Our RV's look well maintained, but doubtless suffer from the lack of skill of drivers used to automatic transmissions.

The scenery on our drive was outstanding. There were many spots to pull off the road and we took advantage of almost every one of them. It was very hard to select the photos included with today's blog entry. A special stop was the African penguin colony. We are conditioned to think that penguins live in severe cold in the Antarctic, but these birds were sunbathing and hanging out on the rocks with hardly a worry. A few were nestled out of the sun under low slung bushes, and a careful observer could see that eggs were tucked under the bird's glossy, black feathers. These are called Jackass Penguins because of their charming voices, but today we heard nothing; the birds appeared to be in a very relaxed, but untalkative mode.

Our final destination was L'Algulhas, the southernmost point in Africa, where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet. We are camped within walking distance of this spot, and a stroll to the sign marking the spot and the nearby lighthouse, felt great. The climate and terrain reminds us of southern California and with all the English spoken here, we easily forget how far away from home we are. Once a few lions and elephants cross our paths, I'm sure that feeling will change.

We were on our own for dinner tonight, so we prepared sort of a spaghetti from the raw materials purchased at our first grocery stop. It was a reminder how spoiled we have become. I was feeling badly that I hadn't planned a more ambitious meal, but it was all I could do to get pasta and a salad on the "table" with our two burner stove and six inches of counter space. We perform a minuet every time the two of us are trying to do things in our RV at the same time. Luckily the weather remains outstanding and we can live out of the RV's much of the time.

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