Weekend Adventures Part 3: A Journey to the Tip of the World… AND PENGUINS

Easter is a BIG holiday here. So big, in fact, that we were given a 4 day weekend with which to explore. By we, I mean myself and the 4 new CFHI students who joined me last week. We are now an eclectic group of me, the lone med student, two PA students from New York, and two pre-clinical students from Oregon. For our first adventure together, we took the scenic route down the coast to Cape Point – the southwestern most point of Africa. It is a beautiful national park with the Atlantic Ocean on one side of the peninsula and False Bay on the other. It boasts a very old lighthouse that was previously used to help guide ships around its treacherous rocky point. I wish I had means to upload my photos along with these posts – words are not doing justice to the feeling of looking out over the ocean and knowing that the only thing out there is Antarctica for goodness sakes. Our drive back up the  coast took us through some quaint coastal towns that I’d love to vacation in someday. It also took us to Boulder Beach, a sanctuary for African Penguins. Seeing penguins waddling about on sandy beaches didn’t really fit my idea that they only live on icebergs, but they were super cute nonetheless! It was fun to see them swim and ride the waves onto the beach. They almost look like ducks when they’re in the water. On Saturday the ladies among our group spent a leisurely day touring wineries in the winelands outside of Cape Town. Apparently there is a rich history of wine making in this country, all of which I’ve promptly forgotten. South Africa is famous for its Pinotage grape/wine, which is quite tasty I’d like to add. I’ll be on the lookout for SA wines once I’m back in the states… Back to adventuring on Sunday, however, with a hike up Lion’s Head, a mountain with great views of the famous Table Mountain. I’ve decided that they have different definitions of ‘easy hike’ here than I’m used to. Either that or I’m ridiculously out of shape these days! Rock scrambling isn’t as easy as it used to be… To round off the weekend, we took a trip to the historic Robben Island, which houses the prison where Nelson Mandela and many other political and criminal prisoners were held during the apartheid era. I do wish there had been a bit more history taught on the tour. I suppose I’ll have to break out the biography when I get home and do a bit of self-study. I prefer spoon fed knowledge! The boat ride was beautiful across the bay, complete with a sunset view on the trip home. It would be nice to be a tourist here with ample time to peruse the many sights and neighborhoods throughout the city. We’ve already come to the point of crossroads between “I want to go back there” and “we have all these other things to see!”

Although our weekend adventures were fabulous, I did miss the annual Easter celebration with my family. I hope you all had fun! Someone PLEASE buy me some Reese’s Eggs… apparently they don’t exist here.

Ciao for now,

Ray

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