Yesterday, I rented a car. It's a Nissan Etios. That makes it sound easy that I rented a car, but it wasn't and I'll spare you the details and get on with the story of the day.
I had met a Czech/Italian lady name Zdenka the night before at an International House party. That's the language school where I did my course at but most people are just there to learn to speak English, not become teachers like me.
So I asked her if she wanted to come for a ride with me and she was delighted to escape her car-free existence in Sea Port. And she had GPS so we were a perfect match. Once we got the instructions set to English, not Italian, we were all set. Zdenka's English is not adequate to give me directions quickly while driving.
She'd been to the Cape Point and to see the penguins before but seemed happy to repeat the trip with me. She was a psychologist but had a terrible accident while being robbed then got cancer so she decided to fight that and travel the rest of her life. She started trying to learn English two years ago.
With such a late start after renting the car, we didn't get as far as the Cape but the small beach towns and the penguins on Boulders Beach were plenty for one day.
We drove out of Cape Town and south toward Simon's Town. We stopped for lunch in Kalk Bay which is on the Indian Ocean. I think I'd seen the Indian Ocean in Thailand a couple decades ago, but I was happy to get away from the cold Atlantic. It was turquoise and beautiful.
I was looking for a particular pair of sandals in a shop called Oh So Boho, but they didn't have my size. They have a store on Kloof Street here in town, and I'm hopeful they will have something. I included the name of the street - Kloof - to remind you that Cape Town was first settled by Dutch. Then the English took over. They both used it as a resupply farm for ships passing to and from India. They fought for centuries but the English won out and so now people here speak Afrikaans, which is a Dutch dialect, English and nine other official languages, including Xhosa and Zulu. It's a real listening treat when you are out and about in town. And French might as well be another official language because it's the lingua franca of all the Congolese who live here too.
So we had lunch in Kalk Bay, which reminded me greatly of Laguna Beach with shops, art galleries, cute restaurants, antique stores and a stunning ocean view.
Then we breezed through Simon's Town because the penguins were just ahead at Boulder's Beach. OH MY GOSH! There were so many penguins. Not many penguins live on a land mass that isn't Antarctica, so this is really special to find them right on a pretty beach with nice houses just above.
The area has been incorporated into part of Table Mountain National Park and it's been very well built up with boardwalks and viewing areas. A second part of the park has a beach that the penguins just pop up onto and walk right next to you. If you don't get out of their way, they start to lean forward to peck at your legs. I didn't need to be told that twice. I jumped out of the little guy's way in a hurry.
I didn't know penguins had a noise they made, except in Happy Feet. It's loud and not that nice to listen to. They used to be called Jackass Penguins because they sound like a donkey braying. I'll try to add some video to this post.
Here are some adorable penguin videos.