This morning, inspired by our spontaneous excursion yesterday and by another day of fabulous weather, we headed off to the South Peninsula.
We stopped at the always hustling-and-bustling town of Fish Hoek with its loooong white beach. It took a while to find the right road down to the parking lot next to the southernmost end of the beach – they really ought to signpost it better for visitors!
It was amazing to smell the sea again. The tide must have been out, because the beach was gi-normous – the handful of swimmers (with wetsuits) and body-boarders who were brave enough to dip into what must have been fairly cold water, were still able to stand faaaar out. Right at the north end of the beach was a vibrantly colourful clustering of catamarans. As we watched, they were pushed into the water one after another, heading out into the deeper waters. I love watching that.
When we walked past the restaurant at the pavilion, with its pleasant kiddies playground out front, and looked into the dining room with its neat table-settings, it reminded us both of the Strand Hotel in Swakop, where I grew up. It was so nice to share a bit of nostalgia… and I got quite homesick.
As the wind coming from the front was quite chilly, we walked briskly along the catwalk right to the end. This is officially known as the Jager Walk. The sign, which was affixed to a huge boulder (and which I photographed, of course 🙂 ), said it was:
“Named in honour of Herman Scott Jager, First Freeman of the Town and Chairman and Mayor; twelve times he proposed the construction of this walk in 1931.”
Well, it’s a darn good thing Mr Jager was so persistent!!
It’s a sturdily built cement walk that edges right along the shoreline, sandwiched between the railwayline on the one side, and the big boulders of the bay of Fish Hoek on the other. The surface is a bit rough and eroded in places, probably because the sea floods over it at high tide, and occasionally there is a protective railing next to particularly steep drops.
And all along it are brightly painted cement benches and rustic wooden benches, each of which has at least one, and sometimes two plaques, commemorating a particular person or family who must have donated money to have this walk built and maintained. We were surprised to see how many elderly people were strolling along here – it was exactly like walking along the Mole in Swakop, meet-and-greeting the grey-hair and walking stick brigade. Oh, I badly miss my hometown… And when we passed a couple who had sensibly brought along a thermos flask and something tasty to nibble, we sighed with longing … and made a mental note to plan ahead next time.
Definitely peckish from all that fresh sea air, we returned to our car and drove further south to Simon’s Town… which has a special place in my heart because it is the home of the SA Navy and its smart-looking white-clad seamen.
We strolled along the Main Road with its quaint old-fashioned houses until we saw this coffee shop:
It was very small inside, so we were deeply disappointed to see that all the tables were occupied. But just as we were about to leave, the waitress called to us that there was a table free upstairs. Ooooh! I love upstairs! 🙂 We had capuccinos, a zingy piece of lemon cheesecake, and a very nice fluffy scone with jam. How civilised!
After that calories-and-sugar bomb, however, we felt obliged to walk it off before ‘it’ settled. So when we saw a sign “Scenic Walk” pointing up a steeeeeeep set of steps, we started to climb, and climb, and climb… The town fathers have clearly not taken much care in signposting the rest of the “scenic walk”, though, or perhaps they assume that you’ve picked up the map at the tourism office. Anyhow, we got lost, although it didn’t bother us at all because the view was terrific. I’m quite sure we walked across some private properties on the way back to the car, but fortunately nobody saw us… or perhaps they’re used to tourists with puzzled expressions gazing around their backyards.
What an awesome day!
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