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04-03-2012 Clifton 4th Beach, Cape Town, South Africa

Southern Sky Adventures: 04-03-2012 Clifton 4th Beach, Cape Town, South Africa

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Good time for a bit of long term and short term reflection given today is the date of my departure from South Africa after a month here in this city and surrounds of plenty. Short term reflection is due if only for a weekend that so well quantifies what the city has on offer.

Sunday morning proved to be just as prolific in weather quality as was Saturday. The two days were pretty much a mirror image of one another with daytime temps of about 82 and nighttime of about 60.

Reasonable time to note the continued attraction of the summer weather here in Cape Town and most all of South Africa. Almost no humidity throughout the country with the exception of Durban and further north towards the Mozambique border. So, after a warm day, once the sun sets it can often be time to put on a long sleeved shirt for the night. I enjoy that fluctuation given there is little respite from the humidity on the East Coast of the US after the sun sets. The climate here is much more akin to southern California.

Worked a little time on the computer and sat out back on the deck overlooking the pool and the peaks above. Decided it was time to head back into town and hit another one of the beaches I have enjoyed in the past – Clifton 4th Beach.

Clifton beaches are but less than a mile from Camp’s Bay beach but the topography gets steeper given their proximity to Table Mountain and even more so to Lion’s Head. Clifton has long been known as an exclusive area and the accommodation seen supports the theme. The four beaches are lined up in sequence, only separated by a set of rocks at each far end. 4th beach tends to have a little more activity so the executive council on beach visits met and decided Clifton 4th beach it would be.

Must pass through Camp’s Bay to reach Clifton from Hout Bay and en route I thought I would stop and see a friend who runs a roadside business specializing in leather and animal skin products. Greg Jooste has been sitting in this scenic spot for years selling his wares. He’s a good story teller and all around good company so my 15 minute stop turned into about an hour long visit. Last time I saw him in September he told me about a woman from Atlanta who informed him he could research selling his products (www.africa.com) in the Atlanta Merchandise Mart. Apparently she took off with some of his product and had not returned it in a year and a half. Wanting to see the man made whole, I told him I’d stop by and pick up the bag from the woman. On this visit he offered his thanks as apparently his wife had emailed the woman I was coming over. After that email the Atlanta based female paid her what was owed and Greg was then made whole. Thus, we had a reason for an extended visit.

Greg does not look the part of a man selling higher end products such as women’s handbags and the like but his wife must be talented given the quality of the product and website.
Greg is helping me by putting together the paperwork I need to get my zebra skin back to the US. Bought the skin from a friend of Henk’s in September but need to get it back home. Proper paperwork will help me in the event I am stopped going back into the US.

Scooted down past Camp’s Bay, parked and took the 100 or so steps down to Clifton 4th beach. Little less traffic such that the beach feels more private yet again enough to keep the place humming a bit. Barefooted vendors carrying coolers sell drinks and ice cream. Spread out my towel over a rock arched just properly for my back and pulled out some maps. Been considering a trip through Namibia, over through the top of Botswana and down into Zimbabwe for a while. May well make it happen in July so I need to research a bit more.

Clifton really does feel a bit like a high end beach to rival anything in the world. Not because of the amenities and 4 Season’s Hotel on site but just because of the setting. The beaches are really in a protected cove and 4 -5 boats could be seen anchored 100 yards offshore. This spot is one not to be missed.

Took some time to walk down to 3rd, 2nd and 1st Clifton beaches. Each one is increasingly more private until you reach first and there may be but about 30 people on the beach.
These beaches would take some time to tire from. Knew this was my last day on the beach here on this trip and summer was coming to a close in the southern hemisphere so I waited until close to sunset before packing up and heading back.

Another exceptional day in a city that always feels like home.

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