Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Happy Feet at Boulders Beach

During our travels, Jim and I have naturally fallen into some designated roles. One of the things that I enjoy doing is coming up with a short list of must-see sights... then it's up to Jim to get us there! (Do two people really need to endure the challenge of learning to drive on the left-hand side?)

Some of my top picks for Cape Town have been viewing the spring wildflowers, visiting Stellenbosch (a famous wine-growing region), admiring the view from atop Table Mountain, and sticking my toes in the Indian Ocean. We've been slowly chipping away at my list, usually taking one day trip each week.

The dramatic mountain views and vineyards in Stellenbosch.
You've probably heard of South African wine, but did you know that they also have an indigenous penguin population? Once I caught word of this, I just had to see them for myself.

The Boulders Beach penguin colony was established in the 1980s. It's part of the South African National Park system, charging 45 Rand (about $5) per person for admission. Worth every penny, if you ask me!

I must say, these penguins have some pretty sweet digs. The beach is surrounded by massive granite boulders, dramatic mountain vistas, and La Jolla-style luxury homes. Oh, and the Indian Ocean's not bad, either.

The African penguins themselves are relatively small, only coming up to your knee caps. They were formerly known as Jackass penguins due to their distinctive call... do they sound like a donkey to you?

There's just something mesmerizing and inherently charming about watching these little guys toddle around. The penguins were swarmed by a paparazzi of international tourists, myself included. I must have taken over 100 photos of them.

What did Jim think of the visit? All he said was, "I can't wait to tell our friends that this is what we were doing while they were at work."