Before I describe the scene above, there is a bit of backstory.
Our airplane row-mate on the long Amsterdam to Cape Town leg of our trip was a South African man who offered to show us around the area. We asked each other if we should accept the offer. Other than being robbed, beaten and sold into geriatric slavery, what could happen? (We have said THAT before…) But it turned out that there were absolutely no strings attached. I have never met someone so accommodating. He drove to our hotel from around the bay and called us a couple of times to adjust the schedule around the coming rain. He said later that we seemed a bit lost and he felt for us. Of course, we had just driven to the Atlanta Airport from Knoxville and then crossed the Atlantic and I was thinking about my dear brother lost to sudden cardiac arrest a few days earlier. He said that his pastor-self sensed something. Our new friend took us on an absolutely grand adventure and described his land with the zeal and erudition of a travel guide. We saw wonderful places that tour groups never visit and we had some great conversation. (He has a more than absolutely amazing story.) Payment for his time, trouble and gas was out of the question, but he let us treat him to a bit of breakfast at his favorite hometown restaurant -his two eggs for 50 cents – and then afternoon tea.
Now on to our story …
The picture above was our first stop, which is overlooking Muizenburg, situated on False Bay in the Western Cape and is considered to be part of the Indian Ocean. Notice that there are a number of surfers present. Our vantage point was next to the “Great White Shark lookout Guy” whose job it was to spot sharks, then sound an alarm horn to the surfers below. Our guide indicated that his neighbor had been completely eaten by a great white in these waters and he was not inclined to enter to swim. He also complained that one of the attractants for great whites were the tour operators who constantly chummed the waters so tourists could do shark cage diving. He was glad that we had passed on that activity from our tour.
There was also a sign warning us about baboons that might descend upon us, perhaps like a scene from Planet of the Apes. Our friend indicated that we must keep the car doors closed and locked because the baboons were smart enough to watch from a distance, then run up and make off with things from cars that were left unsecured. (I suppose they sold the stolen goods on eBay.)
We will have many stories to tell the family.