Capetown photo montage

 
African penguin glistens as it emerges from the sea at Boulders, Table Mountain National Park.

  
Kirstenbosch national botanical garden lights up with spring protea  display.   
 

Street performers entertain bystanders at V&A Waterfront, Capetown.
 

To reach the Constantia wine region, take the Blue route of the City Sightseeing Tour then switch to the Purple route at this corner.

 

The cold Atlantic Ocean doesn’t discourage surfers on the beaches south of Capetown, under the watchful gaze of the Twelve Apostles (peaks).
   
The Cape of Good Hope is wild and windy!

 

Kirstenbosch gardens have developed the softly coloured Nelson Mandela Strelitzia.
  
Ostrich chicks parade along the cliff top near the Cape of Good Hope.

Donkey walking and a Regency Ball

  
We now have a shiny rental car, which facilitates exploring St Helena independently. Today we took part in weekly donkey walking. Fifty years ago, donkeys were an important part of St Helenian life, used for transporting the island’s flax crop and taking vegetables to market. Today, the flax industry has been replaced by synthetics and trucks transport veggies, so the some of the surviving donkeys are cared for in a sanctuary and taken for walks on a weekly basis. We joined four families to do this.

 
It  was windy and misty at High Peak, and my donkey, Cheeky Face, took off on a particularly windy corner, but luckily she stopped at the next patch of juicy grass. At the end of the walk, we gave them a carrot and cleaned the mud off their hooves.

 After lunch at Reggies Takeaway near the airport, Dave dropped me off at the top of Jacob’s Ladder and I descended tentatively while he carefully steered the car down, giving way to upcoming traffic. It was windy so I held tight to the hand-rail. It looked a long way down and very steep! I didn’t dare let go to take a photo – not like me at all.

We spent the afternoon glamming up for the Regency Ball, pert of the celebrations for the Napoleonic Bicentenary. The French had gone all out with their costumes and Napoleon put in an appearance. It was an enjoyable evening and gave us the opportunity to meet Marina Burns and her husband, Sean Who is Head of Government. They will be our hosts on Tuesday at the Briars Pavillion.

   
 

Written on Friday 9th October and posted now that we have access to wifi.

Puppies and hyena mums play before sundown

Coming out from their culvert home beneath the Kruger access road, mothers chilled out with their young.   

The chocolate coloured pup is very young and hasn’t yet developed his spots. It was most interested in suckling.

  
But it also experimented with cutting its teeth on a stick.  

His playmate was still chilling.  
And so was Mum:

  
A zebra trotted across the savannah

  
And as the sun set behind a giraffe with elegantly long eyelashes, we felt sad that this was our last Kruger game drive.

  

Seafront rest-day with bronze-wing in Esperance

  
We are in Esperance, on the southern coast of Western Australia. After over five weeks travelling around 8,000km we were ready for time out: cleaning vehicle, van, bedsheets and clothes, strolling along the seafront, uploading photos.

I cooked an omelette for a leisurely outdoor lunch while a bronze-wing kept us company, walking around the picnic table, cooing softly.

  
The Esperance seafront has been tastefully renewed with an eye-catching sculpture of a whale’s tail, warm, red-hued retaining rocks, indigenous planting, creative playground equipment, interpretive signage, seating and paths. The rubbish bins are solar powered! Why? Maybe to illuminate them by night.

   
  At any rate, on this sunny day, the whole town seemed to be playing with their kids, dog-walking, fishing from the jetty, rollerblading, cycling or riding motor scooters. 

  
Offshore islands and ships entering the port further enhance the view. Our caravan park overlooks it this pleasant place to hang out.

A stroll into town introduced us to the relaxed, club-like atmosphere of Dome cafe, with its free wifi.

  
Outside the museum is this intriguing sign:

  
Tomorrow the Prado 4WD will be serviced and we will restock for the return trek across the Nullarbor.

Dolphins and goanna magic at Monkey Mia

We had to leave our caravan park at 7:00am to get to Monkey Mia for the 7:45am feeding. Only a few dolphins are hand fed and they are only given three fish each, so they maintain their hunting skills and continue to feed their young. Two to four volunteer workers select three privileged people amongst the two hundred onlookers and they get to give the Dolphins a fish. Dolphins can be distinguished by their dorsal fins and today Puck and Surprise graced us with their presence.

  
Puck is eying off the bucket knowing that she will soon be offered a fish.

  
Volunteer worker selects a child to give puck her fish. They are allowed to choose a sibling or friend to accompany them in the task.

  
Visitors await the dolphin feeding as a marine biologist in the foreground gives a commentary.

We returned via the Red Bluff I’m Francois Peron National Park, where a goanna was sitting on the beach almost between David’s legs – to the delight of us and some French visitors.

  

Kalbarri to Shark Bay – pelicans and stromatolites

We left Kalbarri just as the daily 7.45 pelican feeding was finishing. I photographed it from across the road as I was walking to the supermarket for soda and lime.

imageimage

We progressed back to the Great Northern Highway through the wildflower heathland of yesterday’s national park, coming eventually to Overland Roadhouse, where we stopped for fuel and I snapped the surface water – clearly it had been raining here recently.

We started into the Shark Bay World Heritage Area. Lunch stop was at Hamlin Pool, an seaside inlet with an unusually high salinity level. The result is that an ancient life form called stromatolites have formed and are continuing to flourish.

Nearby is a nineteenth century telegraph station that played a small role in the Gemini space program in 1964 when lightning struck the relaying system, necessitating a return to morse code communications for several hours.