Atmospheric Sunday in Hout Bay

Hout Bay- the Cape Point Peninsula’s oft forgotten gem

It isn’t often that we get to Hout Bay- the geography and road systems of the Cape Point Peninsula seem to make it easier for us to get to a number of places easier than Hout Bay.

Hout Bay Beach- Cape Point PeninsulaThis Sunday we had other business to take care of in that area so decided to double up and have a trip to the Lions Craft Market in Hout Bay.

Cue the Cape Point winter weather!

It was a reminder that the Cape Point Peninsula is only just about to join spring, and that we are way behind on our rain quota for the winter. Friday was a nice day, Saturday was lovely, and I am looking out the window at a passable Monday: it was just Sunday that was awful.

And awful is the word- maybe even dreadful. The weather man on E news led us to believe that there was a chance of a passing shower for the Cape Point Peninsula, which is like saying there is a bit of an argument in Libya at the moment- cats, dogs and the odd elephant came cascading down out of the sky.

The market was closed and we were considering turning straight for home after taking care of our chore, but on a whim I decided to drive down to the harbour, mainly because I can’t remember the last time I was there and also I was blowed if I was going to admit complete defeat to the weather.

And here’s the thing that I learnt by doing this:

Down on the Cape Point we are blessed with more than our fair share of sunshine. It does get nasty from time to time (we are stuck out in the south Atlantic) however we can write off those days as we know that we only have to wait 24 hours and we will likely be back to the sunshine.

This means that we can miss out on the seasons. Yes, the weather was miserable but the atmospheric nature of the mists hanging on the mountains, the glassy water of the bay, the baleful cries of the gulls all combined to create a stunning beauty all of its own. Don’t get me wrong, Hout Bay is a beautiful place in the sunshine (and you don’t have water dripping down the back of your neck) but on Sunday I was transported away from the Cape Point Peninsula to a Scottish loch, Norwegian fjord or a Japanese bay. It was something very different and whilst it wasn’t in the plan, it was very welcomed.

Hout Bay Harbour- Cape Point Peninsula, a working harbourHout Bay is a very unique place, even for the Cape Point Peninsula that seems to be a loose collection of unique places. It is the other side of a rock from a thriving metropolis and yet it could be a thousand miles away from anywhere.

When we came to the Cape Point Peninsula on holidays we stayed in Simons Town, mainly by accident. However, if you want to be close to the city and all its attractions, and yet don’t want all its hustle and bustle, is there anywhere more perfect than Hout Bay?

Of all the places on the Cape Point Peninsula, Hout Bay is the one that puts me most in mind of the holiday destinations of my childhood in the UK- it is by the sea, has a quaint (but working) harbour, fish and chip shops, has a beautiful beach (for when it is sunny- a lot more often than in my childhood, freezing to death trying to enjoy the beach in the rain, snow, hurricane winds…) and is close enough to major attractions for when the beach isn’t an option. Then of course there are the surrounding mountains with their multitude of criss-crossing footpaths.

It isn’t often that we get to visit Hout Bay (just around the corner but a million miles away- too tight to pay the R32 to use Chapman’s Peak drive) but when we do I understand why people pay a fortune for houses there, but don’t understand why anyone would pay ten times that for a place in Camp’s Bay.

A truly great place to visit on the Cape Point Peninsula


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