Tuesday, 27 September 2011

South African Calling - 26/09/2011

Wedged between the Indian Ocean and sharply rising mountainous , Kalk Bay is a beautiful coastal fishing village about 45 minutes from Cape Town . 

Legend has it that the village of Kalk Bay was established by a small community of lime-burners in the 17th century who used to extract lime from the sea shell deposits , for use in the construction of buildings.Today Kalk Bay is a major tourist attraction . It's railway line running a few meters away from the ocean adding to it's quaint charm .

Our plan was to stop in Kalk Bay , browse through the famed antique shops ( quite avoidable ! ) and after an early lunch , head to Cape point - the western southern most point of South Africa . 

While walking on Kalk Bay's single main street by the side of the Ocean we spotted a whale in the water ( where else ? ). Heading as far as we could toward the edge of the rocks overlooking the ocean we were mesmerised watching a southern right whale and her calf swim in circles , almost performing for us . This show went on for a good hour and was spectacular . Coming up , diving …gliding through the water . I have seen anything like this so close . It made our day.

Lunch was at a outdoor restaurant called Wild Olive . We ate an avocado and prawn salad - superb along with a portion of grilled fish with potato wedges . Again superb . 

Thank God for all the walking ! After lunch we headed off to Cape Point .

rocks and sheer cliffs towering more than 200 metres above the sea and cutting deep into the ocean provide a spectacular background for the Parks’ rich bio-diversity.

Cape Point also boasts of the oldest and most powerful lighthouse in South Africa to which a funicular takes tourists all the way up - 238 meters above sea level . Unfortunately it wasnt working and we had to trudge all the way up the cliff -I think I could have avoided this visit !
Ironically  because of its high position, clouds and fog often obscured the lighthouse. In fact, for an alarming 900 hours per year on average, its light was invisible to ships at sea at a certain angle !

The Cape of Good Hope is the legendary home of The Flying Dutchman .At the tip of the Cape Peninsula 60 km south-west of Cape Town, lies Cape Point, a nature reserve also a declared Natural World Heritage 

We headed back home and later had dinner at Mr Chan. Good food - superb Chinese including vegetables all served with a mean smoked red chili paste to suit our Indian taste buds  !

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