As Paul and Penny were off to work and the kids were off to school/University early, we said a fond farewell and then set off up the road. We have had a terrific couple of days and once again have to offer our heartfelt thanks to a lovely family who have shown us great hospitality.
Today, as it turned out, was never going to be the most picturesque of days. Leaving the majority of the traffic behind after the first 5km, we first headed through a rough looking area that we had been warned to be careful in. In typical fashion the back of my bike started to wiggle about beneath me and I looked down to discover a puncture. Great, it couldn't have happened in a better place! With no choice but to fix it, I got down to repairing the puncture as quick as possible.
To make matters a little more worrying, a van then swung round and stopped in front of us. Without all the warnings we probably wouldn't have been remotely concerned, but we couldn't help feeling a little paranoid. Fortunately it was a couple of guys who were making a film in the area. They had seen us as they passed and thought that they had better stop to make sure we were alright. We were once again told that we were in a very bad area and really shouldn't be stopped. With help from the two guys, I soon got the inner tube replaced and we were ready to get back under-way. In the meantime another car pulled up to make sure we were alright as well. This was clearly not the best place to have a puncture! Thanking our good Samaritans, we set off once again passing an enormous township along the road.
Breathing a sigh of relief when we were past the supposedly bad area, we then had to contend with a headwind and a narrow, hard shoulder-less road. By now we were riding along the coast, but the dirty looking beaches and myriad of dead things that lined the road assaulted both our eyes and our noses. Things took a turn for the better after we turned south towards the cape. Even if the coastline didn't seem that special, the cape with its backdrop of mountains is stunning. The pretty towns that we passed through, added a bit of much needed variety as well.
Having made really good time we stopped for a coffee and second breakfast/lunch in the attractive town of Kalk Bay. While waiting for our breakfast, Debs bought a wire and bead bicycle from a street vendor. We hope that we will succeed in keeping this one in one piece. Toad's wooden one is in a few bits and will require some glueing on our return!
From Kalk Bay it was a short ride to Simon's Town and the backpackers. To save a bit of money we are staying in a four person dorm. So far we are the only occupants, so fingers crossed it remains that way.
As we arrived in good time, we settled in and then wandered down to the Boulder's Beach penguin colony. The area is home to several thousand African penguins, which are the only penguin to breed in South Africa. At the time we visited, it also seemed to be home to several thousand Chinese tourists. When they had finished taking pictures of each other using ridiculously expensive cameras (yes I am jealous) they fortuitously for us, had to leave to board their respective buses. At last we had the place almost to ourselves, so we got to watch the penguins in relative quiet.
With the lack of a decent supermarket in Simon's Town, we eventually had a nice meal in a nearby restaurant. I say eventually, because our waiter somehow managed to get our order 100% wrong, which is quite an achievement! The error was kindly corrected by the kitchen staff and made up for by two free beers.
It has been another good day and as we are still the only occupants of the dorm, it should be a restful night.