There are few moments and places in life that haunt you as they have stood as sentinels in time and looked over monumental events and incidents that changed history and the course of humanity forever. Cape Point is one such point on earth which changed maritime history and played an important role in colonialism and brought together the west and the east in a tumultuous relationship. The crashing waves around the rocks of Cape Point are a perfect simile for this.
The ships that meandered past these rocks as they tried to pass the horn of Africa in the hope of spices from the west must have rejoiced at the sight of these rocks and the lands end of a vast and beautiful continent. In most colonial history narratives the journey to Asia or India is portrayed as land and maritime routes that were discovered by the white man but in reality the east beyond the horn of Africa had a very rich trading and maritime past.
Ships sashayed across the Indian Ocean and China connecting the Arabs, Indians, Malays, Africans and Chinese with great regularity and if any ship had reached Europe from Asia it is not known in popular historical narratives. Vasco Da Gama is mentioned on a board at Cape Point as having been the first European ship to have rounded the horn of Africa and reach India. Unfortunately in the Euro centric history that we read there is no mention of the first ship (which could have been eons ago) to have sailed from Africa to Asia or vice versa.
To say that the drive to Cape point from Cape Town is picturesque is an understatement. South Africa is one of the leading countries is bio diversity and conservation and it is quite apparent in the fynbos (short shrubs and grassland) one finds around Cape Point. Trees are rare in this region and hence the horizon is unbroken and is surreal in its vastness. The few acacia trees that are found in the region are a result of having been planted by colonial farmers. Cape Point Nature Reserve now protects this land and is instrumental is having retained its original diversity and beauty.
The sparkling blue sea around Cape Point is also known for whale sightings and seals that hug the boulders around the cliff. There is a light house and a really good restaurant called Two Oceans restaurant at Cape Point which overlook a dramatic cliff. A funicular can take you up to the light house for a better view or on a fair day it is a good climb on stone steps. The climb is a great way to get further acquainted with the fauna and flora which is nothing like anything else.
Cape of Good Hope is a climb down and there are trails that go across this region. Cape of Good Hope is also known as the meeting of the two oceans Indian and Atlantic ocean which can be imagined by the two points where the sea comes crashing down on the rocks. Cape of Good Hope is a rocky beach with kelp drying on the rocks which give it a characteristic smell. A little further from the Cape of Good Hope is a white sand beach which merges with the white mist giving it a eerie endless canvas where the beach extends into the sky.
This ancient land is one place where you get the feeling that this is the place when history was defined and the beauty of the place is that it has been preserved in its pristine natural essence. Cape Point is one place that is one my forever places.