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After a hectic summer roaming the European Alps the time has arrived to witness the second spring of the year. Pink Lips being a Polar Bear is not too keen on Africa so she volunteered to stay behind and look after our home in the Alps. So RISKKO and I jumped into a plane and aimed south towards the tip of Africa.
However, before departing it was necessary to extricate some batteries from RISKKO’s undercarriage. These normally power my faithful guard dog’s rather loud laugh. This infectious laugh got me into trouble earlier in the year when RISKKO, who was carefully packed in my rucksack, started to laugh as he passed through the X-ray machine in Düsseldorf airport.
There was almost a major security incident due to the laughing sound emanating from the inside of the baggage checking machine. Upon searching my bags a rather serious German security guard enquired as to why a senior oil company executive was travelling around with a laughing dog in his rucksack. He looked very carefully at my visas for Russia, China and Azerbaijan and asked if the dog was one of my professional ‘tools’?
His face became even more stern as I tried to explain that I like taking photographs with the dog and publishing them on the internet. I offered to make him a star by taking a photograph of him inspecting RISKKO with his baton. This did not improve the situation! Fortunately a nice police lady came to our rescue by pointing out that clearly there were no weapons of mass destruction hidden in RISKKOs underpants or shoes because he was not wearing any. He was certainly far too cute to be a spy and she gave him a cuddle. At which point his laughing mechanism went off again. We moved on quickly before they called in psychiatric support.
On the day after our arrival in Cape Town RISKKO and I trekked from our rooftop apartment on Sunset Rocks to the local beach known as Llandudno. We are fortunate enough to have two beaches within walking distance: Llandudno is a 15 minute walk to the North and Sandy Bay, is a 15 minute walk to the South. I will describe our exciting adventures on Sandy Bay in a future article.
Llandudno was named after the traditional sea-side resort in the North of Wales because it has also has similar outcrops of rocks at both ends of the beach.
There are two ways to walk from ‘our’ outcrop of rocks, known as Sunset Rocks, to Llandudno beach. One is over the rather narrow and sometimes challenging cliff side path. This path can be rather difficult but when we do go this way there are some interesting caves on the way. These have openings which allowed me to take some rather unusual pictures of Llandudno beach. The one below shows the outcrop of rocks at the opposite end of the beach.
For hundreds of years the caves around this coast-line were inhabited by natives known as the Khoikhoi. The outcrop of rocks in the photograph above overlooks another smaller bay next to Llandudno beach known as Logies Bay. There is a very large cave on this outcrop where remains of the Khoikhoi inhabitants have been excavated.
An alternative and easier route follows the only road which runs between Sunset Rocks (and the path from Sandy Bay beach) to Llandudno. This is higher up and provides a nice aerial view of the beach and village. This road takes you through LLandudno village all the way to the beach. Actually the word village may give a misleading impression – there is not a single shop or restaurant in Llandudno. This area, including the whole of Sunset Rocks, comprises mainly luxury villas. Some of the most expensive real estate in Cape Town can be found here.
Whenever I take the path down to Llandudno beach I am always stunned by the beautiful purple flowers at the side of the path (see the photograph below).
We are normally among the first people to arrive on the beach (there has to be an upside to getting up at 04:30 a.m.). The beach is very popular during the day time but it is absolutely majestic first thing in the morning as the sun rises over the 12 Apostles Mountain.
Usually the only thing we have for company are some of the local birds looking for morsels which have been washed up by the tide. It is not unusual to catch these birds skinny dipping in the very cold, but refreshing, sea.
OK so we like pretty birds!
If you walk over to the rocks on the north side of the beach (either along the beach when the tide is out or using a road which runs parallel to it) you can get some fantastic views of the Little Lions Head and the Karbonkelberg Mountains.
Occasionally if you are ever the first person on the beach you might also be lucky enough to find some interesting beach sculptures like these. We found these close to the caves above Logies Bay – perhaps they were left by the cave dwellers to remind us that they are still here (in spirit if not in body!).
Here is an early morning picture of the 12 Apostles Range which directly overlooks Llandudno beach.
It is impossible to be in South Africa in spring and not to notice the fantastic flowers. Here are a couple of shots of RISKKO enjoying the flowers. If you like flowers I can promise you some real treats in future articles.
I took the next couple of shots of flowers as we walked back over the mountain road to Sunset Rocks for a well-earned breakfast.
These flowers are just a sampler. There are a lot more which I hope to share with you soon. You can find more photographs in my gallery – the Cape Town pages can be found here. If you would like to learn more about some of the gems from the Cape Town region, especially those which are not necessarily in the brochures, please visit this site again.
Now prepare for an uplifting experience!