Friday, July 25, 2008

Caves, Penguins and the Southern Point

We have been so busy and as Bre has said, we have done a lot. Bungy jumping had to be done because it is the highest, ostriches riding because it is just too weird. Now I will tell you what else the week has offered.
Our next adventure after the ostriches was to the Kango Caves. I really have always loved caves and I have seen a lot of them. This one is the largest in Southern Africa (we have been to Mammoth Cave the world's largest in Kentucky). We decided to do the adventure tour because we always feel up to a challenge. This was great fun, with squeezing, sliding, belly-crawling, ducking, hunching and lots of contortion activity. Kees almost got stuck at one point but was able to suck in his chest " just a little more" and squeeze though. The cave was really pretty with plenty of stalactites and stalagmites to see as well as great passages for us to wiggle though.
Next I got to tick off another item from my to do list, this being, seeing penguins in their real home. Ever since I was in grade 3 and having read Mr Popper's Penguins I have wanted to see penguins. So we went off to see the African Penguins (or Jackass penguins, nicknamed for the sound they make) at Stony Point, Betty's Bay, SA. The penguins are just as adorable as i was hoping they would be. We walked along a small boardwalk right through the middle of their little colony of a couple thousand. We sat inches in front of a new mother and her two chicks and then were able to see the dad come in from fishing and change posts with the mom. She went off to sea while he feed the tiny chicks. It was really incredible to see. As cute as the parents are the young-uns are ugly. At sunset we watched the hordes of penguins coming in from the ocean, after a day of fishing. We also were able to watch a large seal capitalize on the homeward-bound penguins. It really was sad to think of the lonely spouses and offspring of the seal's meal waiting and waiting for their own dinner that would never arrive.. But this is nature! It isn't the south pole (even though it feels cold enough to be) but it's still a huge group of penguins outside of a zoo. We spent several hours just watching. Stoney Point really is beautiful. We also watched Southern Right Whales playing in the water just a couple hundred meters out; lots of tail waving and breaching to see. It happens to be the migration time which makes it perfect for seeing whales just off shore.
Finally we've made it to the Southern most point in Africa, Cape Agulhas, this is also where the Indian Ocean meets the Atlantic Ocean. Again it's a gorgeous spot to see the sun set. Now we can only head north!!
There really is a lot to see and do here in South Africa, but we really should have timed it better and come in the summer to fully enjoy it all because we are just trying to keep warm most of the time and missing the feel of its beauty.
Bre will tell you all about the shark cage dive.
Take care my friends,


At 9:09 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Maggie,
Sorry for the abscence, was out to see Dad and the rest for a week, and left I guess just when you guys got back on line.
The last parts of your trip have sounded magical. The whole experience has been amazing, and wild, but this last part reminds me somehow of your earlier experiences in the mountains of Tibet, there was a sense of wonder there, that you transmit here as well. The caves would have been amazing, if I could get my fat but through the spots. I can't believe... no actually I can believe you maniacs bungied off the bridge, Bre's blog was amazing on that one, and so very full of life.
Take good care of yourself, and get Brandon to give you a hug for me.
Love always, and Big Bear Hugs for each of you.
Love The Bear


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