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Like a sandblaster

Today we took a beautiful drive, but we also got sandblasted and ate at a place that sounds like an American all-you-can-eat buffet.

Having been regularly thwarted by clouds in our efforts to visit Table Mountain, today we decided to head south. First we had breakfast at the hotel–have I mentioned the view is Amazing?

Breakfast at Clarendon Bantry Bay

Anyway, after breakfast we began our journey down to the Cape of Good Hope. We were unwilling to rush, though, so we decided to head to the beach first.

The people at the Clarendon had warned us that, as the last day of summer holidays, the beaches were likely to be chock full of families and young people. Sub-optimal, right? Well we figured a way around that: nude beach! Well, kinda. We mostly went to Sandy Beach, just outside¬†Llandudno because it’s a 20 minute hike from the parking lot and therefore almost empty. And it was, in fact. There were maybe three dozen people on a huge beach, plus 4 or 5 surfers.. Yes, some of them were naked. We played it cool, but the water played it COLD. I’m really looking forward to Mauritius next week, where the water won’t make me think I’m suffering hypothermia the moment I touch it. Mostly we were at the beach to read, which we did. I finished one of the many LRBs in my backlog, and Andrew read a New Yorker.

The only downside was the winds. At times it felt like we were being sandblasted. And sand ended up in everything. The reading materials, my bags, my ears, my leg hairs. Swimming there didn’t do any good, and it’s taken two showers since I got back to the guest house to rinse off all the sand.

After about 3 hours on the beach we’d had enough. We packed it up and continued southwards. We stopped briefly in Hout Bay to get petrol, then drove the amazingly beautiful Chapman’s Peak Drive. We ended up in Noordhoek, which (thanks be to god) is a foodie haven. It was about 2.25, though, and last lunch seatings seemed to be at 2.30, so we made a snap decision to go to Foodbarn.

Now I know what you’re thinking: Foodbarn sounds like a chain of US buffet restaurants that charge people $12.99 to eat as much as they can from a trough. We thought so too. But the menu and the look of the clientele convinced us otherwise. I had a glass of viognier, amazing calamari, and ____. Andrew started with a cucumber & mint salad with fried halloumi and tallegio followed by _____.

We left very happy and ready to see some penguins. So we headed to Boulders Beach, where we got ice cream (yay!) and saw HUNDREDS of penguins. It was almost impossible for Andrew to tear me away from the beach, but then I saw a penguin with only one leg emerging from the water. It was one of the sweetest, saddest things I’ve ever seen, watching it hobble up the beach. Andrew pointed out that it’s obviously fully grown and it’s obviously not a new problem for it, so it’s surviving just fine, but it did slightly remind me of li’l brudder.

From thence we headed to the Cape of Good Hope. The sign in the parking lot said it would be a 90 minute hike, but it ended up being closer to 45 minutes. Are we fast? Are other people just really really slow? Did we take too direct a route? We may never know, but the view from the southernmost rocks was pretty amazing. And I was only a little bit scared of heights. We saw some wild ostrich type things, but no baboons (sad face). Then we began the long drive home.

Andrew finally got his chance to jump rope, and I read some stuff. Then we went back to Beefcakes for a goodbye hamburger. I had their vodka burger, which was delicious. Andrew had some other burger I can’t remember. Our waiter was shirtless and looked like he should have been on the cover of Men’s Health. Poor guy.

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