|Heading for Cape Point, Cape of Good Hope|
|New Cape Point lighthouse|
There's a sign adjacent to the lighthouse that points out distances for those who haven't yet completed their journeys. I learned that though I stood a distant 11,642 kilometers from Sydney and 6248 from the South Pole, I was only 6,055 kilometers from Rio de Janiero. Those three site are on my to-see list, for certain. To prove my hardiness, though, I walked down the winding path to the bottom.
On the trip out from Cape Town, our bus also stopped at Boulder Rock, where I visited the marvelous South African penguins. Because oft their bray, they sometimes are called jackass penguins. An endangered species, they are much smaller than the Antarctic Emperor birds you may have seen at a zoo. At full adulthood they range from just under five pounds to nearly eight, while the Emperors can reach nearly 70 pounds.
|Love birds at Boulders Beach|
Nelson Mandela. A bust of Nelson Mandela stands beside the pepper-bark tree (Warburgia salutaris) that Nelson Mandela planted on his visit to Kirstenbosch on 21 August 1996. The bust was sculpted by John Francis Gardner and donated to Kirstenbosch by the sculptor in January 2010. It portrays Nelson Mandela during the pivotal years of his presidency and captures his radiance and generosity of spirit the world has grown to love. Mandela's bust and tree can be found just inside the Visitors' Centre entrance to the Garden, at the bottom of the main lawn.
Extinction! Dinosaurs, and Cycads?
An exhibition featuring five life-sized, anatomically correct dinosaurs and a pterosaur, sculptured in tin, in amongst the cycads in the Cycad Amphitheatre. The sculptures are by David Huni. The exhibition draws attention to the fact that many of South Africa’s cycads are on the brink of extinction, and could soon face the same fate as the dinosaurs, but it is a crisis caused not by an asteroid impact but almost entirely by mankind. The aim of the exhibition is to raise awareness about the threats faced by cycads, and to increase public participation and support for cycad conservation and research. The exhibition will run until June 2017.
Table MountainNo trip to Cape Town would be complete without going to the top of Table Mountain. I went on a hot afternoon, and was grateful for the fans in the cafe above the cable car station and gift shop. While my companion gamboled over boulders to take photographs, I relaxed with a cold iced tea, and looked up from my Kindle now and then to stare at a mural that fascinated me, "The Invention of Walking Feathers."
The artist, Walter Battiss (6 January 1906 – 20 August 1982), Wikipedia tells me, "was generally considered to be the foremost South African abstract painter and known as the creator of the quirky Fook Island concept." In 1949, he became friendly with Picasso, who encouraged his style. Then in 1972, he visited Seychelles, which inspired his make-believe Fook Island.
Fook Island could be the subject of another whole blog. Check out its fascinating story here:
|A modern natural wonder|
|Cable car to the top|
|View of Table Mountain from below|
The Invention of Walking Feathers