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From Cape Point to MuizenbergKalk Bay Harbour
By Angus Begg

Determining which is the more attractive of the routes linking Cape Point to Cape Town and the suburbs is not an easy call. The road we follow leads from Cape Point to Muizenberg, from windblown nature reserve to the less visited, more characterful False Bay mountainside dwellings.

Constantly hugging the mountainside to the left, not once does one lose sight of the turbulent ocean swell below. Driving is the best option here as you will want to get out, whether for snapshots or appreciating the view; unless it's personally guided, a bus-tour just isn’t the same.
Turning right at the T-junction after leaving the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, soon enough, far down on your right, tucked into a cove between the bushy slopes and rocky shore, Smitswinkel Bay presents itself; as remote accommodation facilites go, this does look ‘the business’.

The road, the M4, continues to negotiate the bends, passing Miller’s Point, and the turning for the Black Marlin restaurant on the right. It is a good 20 minutes drive before slowly easing into the relative suburbia (more like a collection of adjoining villages than suburbs) towards the ocean-side. A little further on, on entering Simonstown, is Boulders beach, made famous by the colony of Jackass penguins that own the sands and said boulders. A protected area, entered for a small fee, Boulders offers quite possibly unrivalled proximity to these delightfully comical creatures, recorded in the latest bird guides as African penguins. A few years ago it was possible to swim ‘with’ and lie ‘among’ the penguins, but circumstances dictated otherwise. No matter, the visit remains a Cape Town highlight, an experience topped off with a drink and a bite at one of the many establishments in town. For those who can’t get enough of the winged wizards, Simon's Town offers many establishments to stay, including B&B's, Self Catering accommodation and Hotels.

Simonstown was the first colonial settlement on this side of the Cape peninsula, a location of strategic significance when it was created in the early 19th century, in contrast to today’s more contemporary False Bay settlers, who, in keeping with global trends, are interested primarily in leisure and investment value. The naval dockyards should offer good views of the Navy’s new corvettes and, depending on the time of day, loads of people dressed in white. Look out for the craft market and the statue of Able Seaman Just Nuisance, a Great Dane who won the affection of many in the last century and about whom a television series was made.

Following the M4, in comparison to Simonstown Fish Hoek (fish corner) has been said by some to be architecturally a bit tedious. A ‘dry suburb’ until recently (liquor outlets were forbidden), Fish Hoek does, however, have something going for it in that Cape Town rarity - a warm water swim.
Soon after we come upon the delightfully egalitarian Kalk Bay (Chalk Bay), home to the Brass Bell (under the railway, right on the ocean) – and although not quite the institution it used to be, still recommended for a fine dinner of fresh fish. Back on the other side of the road, the Olympia Café is a decent lunch spot, likewise for coffee and a book. If interested in the source of all things fishy on the dinner-table, on the right as you enter Kalk Bay, in the small harbour are the small boats that bring in the kabeljou, kinglklip, yellowtail and all things similarly delightful. Spare a thought for these independent fisherfolk who make their living out there in False Bay - the shadow of big fisheries and quota restrictions makes life tough for them.

View of Simons BayContinuing around the next headland is St James, another district of lovely homes perched right up against the steep hillside and a beautiful beach and tidal pool safe for children swimming. At the end of the coastal road, just before the M4 makes for the southern suburbs and the city, is the suburb of Muizenberg. Once the place to be on this False Bay side of the city, with the growth of the informal settlements on the Cape Flats, the increase in crime and the dive in the property market in the mid 1990s, it hit the real estate skids. Today however, it is apparently back on the track to prosperity. Sharks? Yes, Great Whites do inhabit these waters, and the odd attack on bathers / surfers has been recorded, but between the coastal watch and the lifesavers, vigilance is high.

Drive yourself to these coastal parts and beautiful places. Stay overnight and explore further. Look at our Accommodation on simonstown.com and come and enjoy your stay!

First published in The South African Magazine. For further enquiries, please contact taryn@thefuture.co.za or 011 803 2040
Images – Courtesy of SA Tourism

 

 

 

 


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