There are a number of ways to revisit days gone by in the Mother City, from heritage sites to museums. Another way is to catch a steam locamotive pulling vintage coaches, which runs between Cape Town and Simonstown roughly twice a month.
The route is incredibly scenic, as Atlantic Rail’s Jenny, built in 1949, chuggs along the rugged False Bay coastline, passing several picturesque coves and beaches and through the ecclectic fishing village of Kalk Bay, then Fish Hoek and Glencairn, coming to a stop in the naval town of Simonstown. Commuters spend the day in Simonstown before hopping back on board for the return journey.
After a week of heavy rain and plummeting temperatures, the sun came out amost as if spring had returned. I headed out to Boulders Beach, a thriving African Penguin breeding colony tucked away in a wind-sheltered cove between Simonstown and Cape Point. The tourists were out in force as always, but I managed to find a few quiet spots where I could observe the resident wildlife. And I was surprised to find more than penguins …….
Tangled undergrowth – the perfect nesting place for penguins
One of many clusters of boulders
Suntanning on a rock they morph into a ball
The African Penguin (formerly Jackass Penguin) – listed in the Red Data Book as an endangered species
Juveniles shedding their down. Down isn’t waterproof so they need to lose it before they can go into the ocean to feed.
The gull among the penguins
A sneak peek of the beach through the thicket
Gull in the kelp
Shot up during the recent rains no doubt. Not sure what kind it is
Young hyrax (rock hyrax or dassies)
Like a big guinea pig, it’s hard to believe that genetically their closest living relative is an elephant