Cape Town is just one of those cities that never leaves you. It gets under your skin and is full of life, colour and contrast. When I moved to Sheffield, UK the thing I thought I’d miss the most was the sea. However, on my first trip back to visit I remember the joy as I laid eyes on the mountain that launches itself suddenly out of the land in front of me, as I drove along the M3. Immovable, grandiose and an amazing backdrop to the joy that is sitting in rush hour traffic on a hot day for at least an hour (thank goodness for air con!).
I’ve managed to visit fairly regularly over the years and it just seemed the right thing to do, to end my African adventure with a bit of down time with family and friends in this city I called home for so long. I have to admit, after the epic photography work of Zambia, I didn’t take my camera out very much in Cape Town. I just enjoyed the views with my own eyes, soaked up the sun by the pool, ate way too many of my favourite chocolates and got to spend some quality time with family and friends.
However, I did get to go for a lovely walk along Fish Hoek beach early one morning. The light, of course, was stunning and having the fresh ocean breeze blow the cobwebs away was marvelous. The joy of going for walks on my own with just my camera with me is that it’s easier to notice all the wonderful things around you. All those pesky seagulls that try to steal your chips suddenly look rather beautiful with the morning sun low on the horizon behind them. Those ‘hairy’ sand dunes fully bathed in light or the feel of the chilly sea water bubbling up over your feet.
The great thing about Fish Hoek beach is that it’s actually rather bustling at 7 in the morning. As I walked back along it, a fishing boat was coming out of the water. There was such a hive of activity as everyone did their bit to pull it out.
But what would a walk on the beach be like without a bit of reflection!!! Anyone that has followed my photography for long enough will know that I do love a good reflection. This net is put out every morning to provide a little corner of safety for people to swim, safe from the many Great White sharks that swim in the bay.
Around and along Chapman’s Peak is Camps Bay where I had the best breakfast with my aunt and my brother. The 12 Apostles Hotel is right on the mountain with amazing views across the sea.
And with an all you can eat breakfast, we spent a happy 3 hours eating, drinking and chatting. I even tried an oyster for the first time (and the last!)
I made my brother take a photo of my aunt (who also made an appearance in my last blog) and me with our mimosas! He’s got a good eye though and made sure to get those beautiful mountains in behind us. What a legend he is!
Camps Bay beach is so different to Fish Hoek. It’s bigger and a little more wild. The waves are amazing! And again with the mountains…see why I love them so much!
But, like I said, Cape Town is a place of contrast. There are mountains and there are beaches and there are big trees and cityscapes. These last two photos were taken on the same day as the beach ones above but up on one of the mountains at Rhodes Memorial. There was a totally different feel to being up there. The trees gave shade against the hot sun, the noise of the traffic dulled and you might find it hard to believe that the central business district of Cape Town is only a short drive away, past the zebra that graze on the side of the mountain.
I came back from my big adventure on Saturday, and as I came out the airport terminal I felt the cold air hit me, the rain was gently falling and I was just so glad to be home. It’s been such a joy to see friends and family after 10 weeks away. So, though Cape Town will always have a little piece of my heart, Sheffield is where I am now…snuggled up on my couch with my big purple dressing gown on, feeling ready for the next adventures here, at home, where I belong.