What is it about seeing the ultimate – highest, longest, deepest, farthest, etc. – that makes some people giddy?
When we decided to add Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope to our list, I was excited. In fact, I was more excited about that than anything else. Well, almost. I was really, very excited about having a drink in the highest pub in Africa – but that’s for a later post.
So after lunch at Simon’s Town and penguin watching at Boulders Beach, we were on our way to the Cape of Good Hope, the most south western point of the continent. Why is it called Good Hope anyway? That’s not a very common expression. Hope equals good, right? There isn’t such a thing as bad hope.
Did a drunken sailor come up with that name? As it turns out, a king, John II of Portugal did when he changed the name from Cape of Storms.
And why was a Portuguese king naming territory in South Africa? Well, it was simple really. The Portuguese were interested in establishing trade relations with countries in the Far East and the Cape offered an easier way for them to get there.
I’d been hearing about the Cape of Good Hope since high school and always wondered what it was like for sailors who had to sail around it (and Cape Horn – the southern tip of South America). How did they survive days at sea without hallucinating about land? Driving around Hwange National Park looking for game, there were many times when I was sure I saw buildings in the distance – but they were only in my mind.