February 12, 2006

Travel Report: Simon's Town day 1

Follow-up to Travel Report: Boulders Beach in close up from Transversality - Robert O'Toole

For my first morning in Simon's Town, I revisited the penguin colony. It promised to be a fine hot day, perfect for swimming, and perhaps a boat trip into the bay. Some good photographs were taken…


penguins 2

I walked along to the National Parks Board information centre, which offers exhibitions and a shop, as well as a screen showing a movie about the invasion of the penguins. I sat down for half an hour to watch the show, revealing just how far the penguins have gone in taking over the town.

Once the show was over, I walked out of the TV room and back into the sunlight…sunlight?...confusion! Within thirty minutes a heavy sea fog had engulfed the bay. The land was wet, and the sky dark. As it wasn't actually raining, I decided to continue my walk into town. The mist cleared a little, but by the time I reached the restaurants, I was quite damp.


I sat down overlooking the harbour, and ordered a cape malay line fish curry – "line" referring to the method of capture. This is a common feature of Cape menus, and usually indicates that the meal comprises of whatever fish had been brought in that morning, In this case it was angel fish, with delicate but substantial white flesh. The cape malay curry, in this case slightly hot, is a traditional sauce with a degree of sweetness typical of cape cooking.


Looking out across Simon's Bay, I could see vessels of the South African navy, docked in their home port. Almost 190 years ago, the same anchorage would have been occupied by the wooden sail boats of the Royal Navy's South Atlantic squadron, charged with the task of keeping the French and Dutch out and, more importantly after the fall of Napolean, of putting an end to the slave trade.


By the time that I had walked back to my rondavel, the weather had started to clear and the sun had broken through the clouds.

Simons Bay

Part 10, Simons Town and Cape Point

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