A perfect blend

Last day of the holiday. Squeezed every last bit of it. Found a good place for coffee to start a day in which a long journey back home awaits. It was an amazing holiday, it almost feels as if the beginning of a lifetime. Or even a holiday honeymooners would do.

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[animalOfTheDay] – African Penguin

A naturally social animal that fishes and nests together. The African Penguin used to be called Jackass Penguin because of the noise it makes. It swims in an average speed of 7 kms and can dive down to 130 meter depth.
African penguins moult once a year for 21 days. This means they change their feathers hence they are confined to land. During this time, as they cannot fish for squid or anchovies (their main diet), they starve.

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The colony in Foxy Beach had only 2 breeding pairs in 1982. They were heavily endangered. It has grown to 2 200.

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Two capes

The Cape of Good Hope is the south-western most point of Africa; where the cold Benguela current and the warm Agulhas current meet (and not the oceans). The road actually continues to Cape Point which is where the ships used to get wrecked. The cliffs are more than 200 meters above the sea.

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[animalOfTheDay] – Seals

One of the reasons why the Great White is so often found in South Africa is due to the large quantity of seals around. Seals often seen “sunbathing” with their flippers in the air to regulate their body temperature. Seals are fans of eating penguins and small fish.

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A dare to the devil

On the journey to Robben Island (where political anti-apartheid prisoners served their sentences) there is a spectacular glimpse of Table Mountain and Cape Town. Due to the great weather, the “table cloth” is barely existent. One of the many legends says that Captain Van Hunks used to dare the Devil to a smoking contest forming the smoke cloud above the mountain. However because the Captain suffered from pneumonia this only happens during the summer. This legend is how Devil’s peak got its name.

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[animalOfTheDay] – The Great White

The great white shark has the sharpest bite of all predators. It can maintain its temperature at 25 degrees regardless of the water temperature and thus can swim to up to 40km/hr. As all sharks they attack from underneath the prey; it only attacks surfers because they look like seals from deep below, but leaves them wounded (and hence they bleed to death) once it realises its mistake. It is a macro-predator, meaning it eats anything smaller and up to its own size, in this particular case up to 4 meters.

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[animalOfTheDay] – Whales

Southern right whales received this name because they were the right ones to hunt being slow and big. They migrate up from Antarctica to spend the winter in SA. They can grow up to the equivalent of 13 male african elephants.

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Sometimes is better to turn back

We wandered off trying to find a beach to see the whales just off Hermanus (correctly pronounced Hermaaaanus). We ended up very lost in a road that led to a beach where only all terrain vehicles have the luxury of being able to reach.

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Getting lost can be very positive if you are traveling with snacks for the growling belly. You can find amazing places for lunch and random encounters with creatures.

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Bit scary when you later find out what the creature is…

The (no) dolphin coast

Sheffield beach, on the dolphin coast, made a great picnic spot after a 200 kms road trip that totaled 4 AUD. Called the Dolphin Coast as there are lots of bottle-nose dolphins pods going up and down the coast. Often spotted from the beach but not today.

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