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Sj visit 2017   

   Wednesday July 19 To the lighthouse


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Slangkop lighthouse.

Off to Slangkop lighthouse in Kommetje to meet up with the rest of the family. Tw had originally hoped to join us for the day but alas was unable to get away from work so he just dropped off ra and cj and headed back into town.

Tw particularly sad to be missing out on the light house as it was one of his favorite places in Cape Town so all eager to explore it. Paid our entry fee and started up. Cj and js all right with it but both sj and ra having second thoughts by the time we reached the first landing. Let the guys go on ahead and sat and chatted while we waited for them.


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sj and ra having second thoughts.

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Original clockwork rotating mechanism and the weight used to run it on the floor below.

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The modern electric drive for the light.

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Looking up into the lantern.

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Out onto the top balcony.

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The hazy view from the top.

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The Fresnell lens.

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Lamp.

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Cj had wondered how you ship a whole lighthouse from the UK

Cj had wondered how you ship a whole lighthouse from the UK, well the answer is that you ship it in bits! The whole thing is made from cast iron sections, bolted together on site.


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Cast iron sections, bolted together on site.

Cj quick to report that the light was every bit as good as tw had said though as it was hazy we hadn't missed out too much on the view.

Tw had recommended a pub at the end of the street so popped in there to get some lunch. The ts had assured us that it was hard to get a bad meal in South Africa, but we certainly managed it. Nobody happy with their meal and all still feeling it hours later.

Next stop Cape Point national park, the South Western most tip of Africa. Lots of signs everywhere in the park warning us about the dangers of the baboons but not a single baboon anywhere to be seen. As we'd not only spent the entire previous day seeing warning signs about baboons but had also been warned by our hostess at the hotel the night before quite disappointed to find them nowhere in existence.

Headed to Cape Point first and took the funicular up to the top of the hill to the first (old) lighthouse. Said lighthouse not actually all that old but apparently it was too high up on the cliff and it was only after it was built that it was discovered that ships couldn't actually see it through the low lying fog. As such a second (newer) lighthouse had been constructed, further down and closer to the tip of the Cape. Following two suggestions to avoid the heavily touristed area around the old light house we took the light house keeper's path towards the new one.

Said path clung to the side of the cliff face in much the same way some of the roads we'd driven the day before did. A nice walk though it didn't actually go to the new lighthouse, stopping instead just above it. Horrified to see the behavior of the tourists on the cliff above us, sitting with legs hanging out over the safety railings and clambering on rocks that dropped directly down for thousands of feet. Wow, people are stupid!


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The new lighthouse on the point.

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The Cape of Good Hope the most south westerly point of the continent and somewhere out there the Antarctic.

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Swirling seas and a Cape cormorant Cape cormorant

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Cape cormorant Cape cormorant on the cliffs.

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we took the light house keeper's path towards the new lighthouse.

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Selfie and False Bay.

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Red winged starling - Red winged starling, tw's 'corridor bird'

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False Bay

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Looking back towards the original lighthouse.

Honor satisfied we headed next to the Cape of Good Hope, which seemed sadly anticlimactic. No doubt rounding the 'Cape of storms' and the mixing of the warm and cold water currents is more remarkable on a ship at sea. And likely to be a bit more dangerous.
Found that there was a 500 rand fine for loitering in the park too long and not making it out by a set time, willing to bet that's a good money maker.


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Js heads to put his hand in the sea. Nothing between here and Anarctica.



Headed next towards Simon's town to visit Boulders Beach, an area of sandy beach famous for its penguin - penguin colony. Arrived with 11 minutes to spare before they closed, this just perfect for us as that seemed about the right about of time one would want to spend with penguins. Despite the time restriction we seemed able to take lots of photographs, clearly we liked them more than we were letting on.

Very impressed by the noises they were making, particularly the deep trumpeting noises that were coming from the thicket that covered part of the beach. One would imagine that a sailor landing on this beach for the first time with no knowledge of the area might be forgiven for thinking the beach populated by monsters.

Lots of signs warning you not to try to touch the penguins, not only did they bite, you'd also be fined for the pleasure, but a group of kids still determined to do so anyway. Cj not realizing until later that evening that he should have held up his missing finger and gestured with it while suggesting that maybe they might not want to do that. Such an opportunity lost!


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Boulders Beach

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Sandy beach famous for its penguin - penguin colony.

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This kelp gull - kelp gull was acting very furtively, clearly up to no good and hard to photograph for the same reason.

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Nests on the beach.

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Sitting on an egg. Quite an attraction for a gull.

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Juveniles.

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Nests.

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Lots of signs warning you not to try to touch the penguins.

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Very impressed by the noises they were making.

Our original plan had been to meet the ts for dinner at a local restaurant but text to say that they were still frantically grading and wouldn't be able to join us. Made our way to the harbour restaurant, one that had actually been recommended to us by our hotel the night before as well. Said restaurant was by the commercial fishing docks so as we were early and they weren't yet open took a walk along the docks, after first dodging the sleeping seals that would have no doubt murdered us without a second thought had we woken them, and watched the fishing boats coming in.


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First dodging the sleeping seals.

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We watched the fishing boats coming in.

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Then dodging the seals on the way back...sj safe!

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ra safe!

The Harbour View Restaurant itself turned out to be really nice, special board was actually a board that required quite detailed explanation. Fresh line fish for everyone though sj chose to eat hers as sushi. So excited to see that yellowtail was the cheap local "linefish", not at all a fish one gets to eat in such an abundance in the USA.

Headed back to the ts place when we were done eating. Tw had just finished the last of his grading so perfectly timed. Sat around the fire for a bit then off to bed.


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Fresh line fish for everyone though sj chose to eat hers as sushi.




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