Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Chapman's Peak Drive

I have decided to dedicate a post to Chapman's Peak and not to make it Part Five of My Day Trip Around The Peninsula. It is such a spectacular and beautiful pass that I think it deserves its own post. I am also not going to say much about the pass, just a couple of photos with some comments. You can decide for yourself if you think the place is remarkable or not. You can read more about the pass and find even better pictures than mine at

As you come around the first bend of the pass, you see the bay of Hout Bay. Sometimes the water is crystal clear, making it obviously easier for Sipho to spot the sharks.

Some of the fences that was erected to catch some of the falling debris. These ones are just smaller versions of other fences and structures that was put in place to catch larger rocks. Vehicles and people have been injured by falling rocks before, so it is wise to look up every now and then, the sky might be falling, you'll never know.

Here you can see why I say it is easier for bikes to stop anywhere for pictures and sightseeing. Try parking an SUV between that little rock wall and the yellow line. This is also one of the classic "bike pictures". You will see on all biker blogs there is always a bloody motorcycle in the picture. I have been trying hard to keep my motorcycle out of my pictures, but this one just came "naturally". Sorry for that.

It might look like a wave breaking, or maybe a good half pipe for some skateboarding action, but it shows how the road had to be carved into the rocks not only to protect it from falling rocks, but to protect the actual road from slipping down into the ocean.

Just to give you some perspective of what is resting above that little roof covering the road. You have to be very optimistic if you believe that the roof will carry the weight of the mountain behind it. But what would life be without a risk here and there..?

More pillars keeping another roof from callapsing on to the traffic. I am not very impressed with the architectual design, but at least it keeps the falling rocks at bay...or so we all want to believe.

Getting closer to the town of Hout bay. In the background one can see The Sentinal protruding out into the ocean. Deeper into the ocean behind the sentinel is Dungeons, a surf spot where Big Wave competitions are held during the winter months. Today there was not even a ripple on the ocean. The Sentinal was up for sale a few years ago. Read this interesting story here.

Another classic view of The Sentinel with Hout Bay town on the right. As you can see there was still a few clouds drifting in from the sea, hence my "misty" foreground.

As you get closer to Hout Bay town you see this bronze leopard covered in gwano staring out over the ocean. Aparently it was erected in 1963 as a memorial for the number of wild animals that roamed free here before we came with our thunder sticks and reduced that number to basically zero. Apparently the last leopard here was seen in the 30's. I can just imagine what this place must've looked liked before the humans invaded it. Paradise for sure.

Looking back towards Chapman's Peak Drive.

That was Chapman's Peak in a nutshell. If you ever visit the Cape, do make an effort to visit Hout Bay and Chapman's Peak. Actually you won't go wrong is you visit the whole Peninsula....