Sunday, October 11, 2015

South Africa's Garden Route Road Trip - Cape Town to Knysna

South Africa is a stunningly beautiful place full of exotic animals, natural wonders and friendly people. While preparing for a trip to Cape Town, a city that always earns a well-deserved place on lists of World's Best Cities, I learned about a road trip called The Garden Route. We can tackle long distances and long times on the road after tens of thousands of miles racked up on the highways of The United States, and we decided we only needed 3 overnight stops to complete the (roughly) 1600 km/994 mile round trip. We added a few stops in to that, and bookended the trip with overnights in Cape Town to give us a chance to spend a little time there as well.

Before we set out, we'd spent the night at the Bay Atlantic Guest House in the Camps Bay area of Cape Town. It was a great place. They had a patio where we viewed a memorable sunset; it was located in a nice neighborhood with a wonderful beach.

The patio...

..and the view at the Bay Atlantic Guest House.

Sunset shots

The bext morning, we began our journey. Almost immediately, we knew this wasn't going to be just another road trip. The views were incredible just after starting out. Enterprising locals knew the route was popular, and were out selling their wares. I ended up buying a keychain from one seller for a friend back home who collects them. It was 2 dollars well spent.

Dassies on the beach at Camps Bay

Camps Bay Beach

First viewpoint back at Cape Town/Camps Bay at an old Dutch Fort

Men at work

On the open road...

..or the not-quite-as-open-road.
Don't forget to drive on the left.
Our first stop, after a quick roadblock, was at the Cape Point section of Table Mountain National Park - a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the new Seven Wonders. It is an awe-inspiring place, and after short wait in the car to pay our fee and enter, we took a short hike to the lighthouse at Cape Point and viewed the Cape of Good Hope.
No sweat, I have no intention of feeding baboons..

...the baboons have other ideas.

View from the road to Cape Point

The Cape of Good Hope

Scenes from the beach at the Cape

It is tourist central..

..with lots of wildlife

After a quick stop at Simons Town to see the train,

it was time to get back on the road to Knysna.

Lovely sights on the way as the light fades.

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