Passing Through Simon’s Town

Next we made our way down to Simon’s Town. I should mention that we had a tour guide named Mario, who was not the greatest guide in the world. He was pretty much a neverending stream of bad jokes, commenting on how we weren’t laughing at his bad jokes, and some random trivia. Like Simon’s Town was the first place in the world where a dog was drafted into the Navy. True story, maybe. But he was a nice guy. Simon’s Town is a little picturesque town where rich folk vacation to feel rustic. It’s also home of Boulders Park, the best spot to spot African penguins. Known to some as little British guys in suits. As with the seals, penguins are generally fun to watch, and there were a ton of them. It started to rain on us, but pretty well stopped by the time we left Boulders.

A neat twist on the tour was that we were able to bike through a game reserve. So we hopped out of the van and cycled for a while across the Cape Peninsula. Mostly we just saw ostriches, but I did glimpse a baboon for a second in the distance. And we met another dassie, which are among my favorite animals in South Africa. It was a fun little ride, even if it rained for a portion of it. Biking and hiking made for a more interesting tour than just riding around in a van.

The Cape of Good Hope was pretty impressive. Our guide kept asking us if we could tell the difference between the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, which sadly I could not. But there were a lot of cliffs, beaches, a lighthouse, lots of old Japanese tourists and of course, the most South Western point in Africa. Unfortunately it’s been proven by satellite that it’s not the most Southern point in Africa, but I’m going to ignore that since there isn’t a nice sign to stand by at the actual most Southern point.

Since I was the only one with vision keen enough to spot the baboon, our guide was kind enough to bring us to a baboon area. He warned us to keep the windows closed, not to frighten the babies, and not to feed them. As we pulled up on a dozen or so of them, we watched them chase people that frightened the babies, tear apart cars that had food in them check every door and window to try to get into vehicles. It was awesome. Not for the other tourists, who had baboons all over their cars, tearing up their stuff, but for us who knew better. We did help a bit, distracting them, using a tire pump to annoy them etc. Don’t mess with baboons. They’ll mess you up.


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January 31, 2010

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