03.11.2009 - 03.11.2009
And so, in a moment of strange Deja-vu which I realised was from Imogen, Early one morning I picked up another hire car, this one named Ruth for reasons I never knew and would never understand anyway, filled her with the requisite 3beautiful blonde Scandinavian girls, and set off on the road again.
Ruth. Picked up with about 180km on he clock, taken back with over 3500. She was an more than adequate companion to us for 11days, if uninspiring (especially on faster corners) and for a small lightweight 1.6, strangely underpowered
We didn't get far.
First there were cakes to be eaten, even at this hugely advanced time of 9am. A kind of friend of a friend of one of the Danish girls works in a cake shop in Cape Town. And not just any cake shop. It is reasonably unique. There are not, for example, many shops anywhere in the world which look more like they have come from a Hansel and Gretel fairytale as opposed to an architects drawing, and even fewer that are in obscure neighborhoods of homes and offices.
This shop is so famous that Oprah is a fairly regular visitor. And whilst I can't comment on the cakes – I have no sweet tooth, so rarely eat such things – the place looked fantastic, the pies and pasties and coffee were both superb, and the cakes were amazing looking. And huge in size. Maaret and Camilla both had a brownie, and neither managed to finish them. These are serious cakes.
And with the cakes out of the way, it was time for the day's serious business. Penguins. And not chocolate ones. Real penguins. And Africa is the obvious place for them.
We drove along the wonderful Chapman's Peak Drive down the West coast of the Cape Peninsula, eventually cutting inland and across to Simonstown, a major naval port with the look and feel of an old English seaside resort, before dropping down to a penguin sanctuary to view the strange sight of (small) but lovely penguins enjoying themselves on a sandy beach in scorching temperatures: It was probably the hottest day we had had in South Africa.
And damned, they are cute little things.
From there, we took a leisurely drive around the peninsula before heading back to the city, and dropping the Danes to do their chores before their morning flight to New Zealand. For Maaret and I, we headed over to Camps Bay to find Adrian. Adrian has probably appeared briefly in these pages way back in Namibia where I first met him. He is a South African, who at that point was nearing the end of a long cycle trip which had started in Sri Lanka and taken in large chunks of Asia and Africa. Maaret (and Hanna, who was also with us at that time) had already bumped into him a couple of times in Malawi and Zambia, and stayed in touch. We had originally planned to head and stay with him in Stellenbosch, but had randomly bumped into him in Cape Town the previous day, and discovered he was now living in Cape Town. Lucky to know. So instead, we headed to his and spent a couple of extra days in Cape Town, happily catching up and doing day trips instead. He still looks like Jesus.