After three adventurous but very tiring weeks digging with the Fourth Expedition to Lachish, and a hard day and a half of travel to South Africa, Susan and I were due a little R & R before heading to Durban for the Baptist World Congress, so we had planned to take a break in Cape Town, one of my all-time favorite cities.
I had hoped to visit a church and pastor I know in one of the townships, but a steady rain the past few days made the muddy roads leading to it impassable, so we decided to hire a taxi and driver for the day (surprisingly reasonable) and do a loop around the southern Cape.
Care to come along? We started down the eastern side of the Cape, skirting Table Mountain and stopping briefly at an overlook above Muizenberg beach, where shark spotters keep trained eyes on the water. Great white sharks are common in the area, attracted by a large population of seals, but also by surfers. The shark spotter sounds an alarm when large dark shapes are seen moving beneath the surface.
From there we drove through the charming town of Fish Hoek to Simon’s Town, where we stopped for a quick view of the harbor before proceeding to Boulders Beach, where a colony of penguins is so at home that we saw two of them climb the stairs to a restaurant.
After a gorgeous drive along the coast, we turned inland to the entrance of Cape Point National Park. From the lighthouse, you can see different shades of water as the cold Atlantic current and a warmer current from the Indian Ocean meet and mingle.
Just down from Cape Point — where the lighthouse is — is the Cape of Good Hope, the southwestern-most point on the continent of Africa. Driving back up the eastern side of the Cape, we spotted ostriches feeding near the shore and a trio of springboks (or their relatives) being trailed by a troop of baboons.
a stunning drive that took us to Hout Bay, where we had lunch (finally) at Mariner’s Wharf. As we dined on the best kingclip I’ve ever tasted and freshly caught hake prepared as fish & chips, we watched a local man tempt a seal onto a dock for tourists to admire (and to leave a tip).
More majestic scenery brought us up through the southwestern suburbs of Cape Town to relax at the end of a very good day with a lovely sunset at 6:00 p.m. (it’s winter here). With a visit built around Good Hope, how else could it be?
Professor of Old Testament at Campbell University Divinity School in Buies Creek, North Carolina, and the Contributing Editor and Curriculum Writer at Good Faith Media.