Between the mountains and the deep blue sea

Noordhoek pano

Noordhoek Beach. This is the view that always surprises visitors as they round the last curve of Chapman’s Peak Drive.

I don’t know if I could live anywhere that doesn’t have mountains or ocean.  I have both so I’ve been spoilt. I don’t climb the mountains often (does it count that I use the cable car to the top of Table Mountain quite often?) and I seldom swim in the icy waters of the ocean these days,  but I want to be able to see them, every day if possible. Luckily, showing it off to clients allows me to do this very regularly. My favourite tour in Cape Town is the round trip of the peninsula – I never get bored with it.

Lions Head

Lion’s Head from the top of Table Mountain. A national park surrounded by a city.

This narrow strip of land surrounded by water on 3 sides that we call the Cape Peninsula consists of the Table Mountain National Park extending from the city all the way down to Cape Point and the mythical Cape of Good Hope and covers 25,000 hectares. Because of the urban development, the park is broken into several different areas some of which are pay points but most of it is free and open, which makes it the most visited park of all South Africa’s 21 national parks. Click here to learn more about all the parks – that website should keep you very distracted for several hours.

Wherever you are on the peninsula, you are no more than a few minutes away from a walking trail, a rock-climbing cliff, a mountain bike trail, a beach, a tidal pool, a rocky coastal stroll, or just a stunning view.  The mountain range is also a wonderful landmark. I never stress if I realise I’ve taken a wrong turning, even in the dodgiest areas, because all I have to do is use the mountains to get back on track. Put me down in Johannesburg or any other South African city and I’m hopelessly lost without GPS. I still don’t understand why I have to drive for miles and miles through built-up suburbs from the national road to reach the beach in Port Elizabeth when the map shows it’s right there!

I’m not too sure what this blog entry is about except to say that I’m glad I live near the mountain and the sea. And I like the corny title, very much.

Scarborough pano

Witsand near Scarborough. Deep south of the peninsula, on what I call the Turquoise Route because of the colour of the water.


About Francoise Armour

I run a small touring company (Tours du Cap) at the bottom of Africa, to show visitors the beauty and vibrant culture of the country I have lived in since my parents brought me here from France as a child. I enjoy taking photos and wish I had learnt to do it properly. I enjoy writing but don't do enough of it. I enjoy walking in the mountains that surround me and I marvel over the views and the flowers and the amazing rock formations. I have a small, cute, clever, black dog of indeterminable breed, named Vida, who reminds me regularly that walking and getting out is not only for when tourists want it.

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A note to all accidental visitors:

I am not a photographer and do not claim to have any particular skills whatsoever in that department. I have enormous respect for those who can see the potential in a scene and can create a great photo. Good photography is an art, in my opinion.

I am just a happy snapper, I have no special lenses or accessories, my camera is very simple and it's usually best to leave the setting on auto.

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