Wednesday, October 24, 2012

West Coast Wildflowers

We arrived in South Africa just in time to catch the annual wildflower season (remember, it's spring here in the southern hemisphere!) The Western Cape has designated Flower Routes for budding floriculturists to enjoy nature's colorful display.

We combined flower viewing with a visit to West Coast National Park, located about 75 miles north of Cape Town. Spring flowers are a lucrative attraction for the park; they open a special section for two months of the year and double the cost of admission (88 Rand per person, or 10 USD).

Only a limited palette of orange and yellow flowers were still blooming during our visit, but, to be fair, it was the very last day of the season.
DCH, these made me think of you!
Does this scream Claritin commercial or what?
Thankfully, the wildflowers weren't the only eye candy in the park. There were also some nice panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean.

But I'd have to say that my personal favorite was catching a glimpse of the local wildlife!
Mountain zebra
Springbok, like the rugby team!
Another highlight was our lovely lunch at Geelbeck Restaurant, which is located inside the park. The restaurant is housed in a historic Cape Dutch building built in 1744. The brochure advertised "traditional South African fare prepared by local Malay women," so it sounded too good to pass up!

I had Cape Malay Chicken Curry and Jim had Bobotie, a spiced meat casserole with an eggy topping. They were both delicious! Our meals were served with local veggies and homemade pumpkin pie (apparently that's not just an American thing!)
That's bobotie!
No antelopes or zebras were harmed in the preparation of our lunch... at least we don't think so. But we did pick up a nice animal hide as a souvenir! Just kidding! We only brought back photos, I swear.