Sunday, December 5, 2010

Garden Coast and Betty's Bay

For the past few days we have been driving west thru the beautiful Garden Coast of South Africa. This is the stretch of coast between Port Elizabeth and Cape Town. Its a world apart from the Africa that I have been in for the past 2 1/2 months. It almost has a little Europe feel to it. The landscapes are breathtaking with steep green mountains on one side and beautiful bays and beaches on the other. It is a perfect place for someone adventurous. The biggest bungee jump in the world is here, the surf is world renown, hiking, shark cage diving, abseiling, mntn biking, sky diving, you name it.
But there is also a slower vibe here as well. You can spend a day walking thru botanical gardens or sifting thru shells on the beach, or stopping in at one of the many B&B's along the way. It is an easy place to lose yourself for a few weeks.
Another can't miss opportunity while on the garden coast route is to stop in at one of the African Penguin colonies. These penguins, also called jackass penguins due to their donkey-like call, mass in the thousands and provide endless fun watching them interact. They playfully get thrown around in the surf and little chicks take food right out of their parents throat. You would be hard pressed not to smile when spending time at a penguin colony.
These penguin pictures I took at a place called Betty's Bay. It is a very sleepy, picturesque town about 20 km from Hermanus. Mountains rise up behind the town and waves crash onto the beach on the other side. There are a couple of places to get food and a community managed penguin area with a nice boardwalk that takes you thru the colony. After alot of adrenaline and driving its nice to have a calm morning with a cup of coffee and a walk thru some gardens.
The picture below is typical to what you wake up and see out of your garden coast bedroom

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