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December 30, 2008

All the action with tiny tots, zooming cops and sick birds

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Camps Bay Beach, Cape Town.

Since the Johnny Clegg concert at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden a few days ago, we have managed to pack quite a bit in to our Cape Town holiday.

Today we strolled bravely onto Camps Bay beach with our grandmother and our two young children in tow … bravely because this particular beach seems to attract more oiled, bronzed foreigners than any other in the Mother City.

No doubt this is due to the sheer heavenliness of the beach: stretches of white sand, waveless deep blue ocean, tall green mountains in the background and heaps of trendy restaurants and bars along the main road mean that it is very popular with most tourists. At this point I have to mention the police rolling around impressively on Segways – very speedy, very efficient and very amusing!

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A policeman rides on a Segway.

We left the beach quickly after our three-year-old tore off all her clothes and shrieked full speed into the sea, shattering the Hollywood image that Camps Bay bathers appear to aspire to.

This afternoon drew us back to Kirstenbosch. It’s hard to resist the mix of mountain views, landscaped scenery, kid-friendly environment and handy ice creams from the tea room on a beautiful sunny day like today.

We left there quickly after my three-year-old tore off all her clothes and shrieked full speed into the “waterhole” (stream under bridge) while on the nearby lawn a wedding was taking place in perhaps the most romantic backdrop setting of all time.

We are staying in Hout Bay, so we have done lots in and around the sleepy Cape dorp (citizens of the “Republic of Hout Bay” will no doubt hate me for calling it a village). We have packed in rolling, empty beaches, the wonderful Naartjie clothing factory shop (to buy clothes for your little ones who love tearing their clothes off at any given opportunity), fish and chips from the legendary Fish on the Rocks and breathtaking drives along the coast via Llandudno and Camps Bay.

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View of Devil’s Peak from Kirstenbosch.

Oh yes, we also went to the Hout Bay Sunday market, filled with great craft stalls, where my three-year-old threw her worst tantrum to date. I hate to admit that I gave her two smacks in public and was nearly accosted by at least four separate earth mountain mothers who were no doubt dialling ChildLine within seconds of my husband bustling our little one into the car after I had irresponsibly abandoned her (I would do it again).

In the past week we have also managed to cram in a medical visit to the World of Birds in Hout Bay with a very sick spotted thick-knee (Burhinus capensis) my mother had found on our porch. It’s great to know that this bird park accepts sick and injured birds (around 150 a month apparently).

We also made another medical visit to Constantiaberg Medi-Clinic when my one-year-old was admitted for a night (tummy trouble, long story) and we can testify that it has a great view of the mountain and its own collection of waterbirds.

If another person asks me if we are “having a good break”, I am tempted to start listing our action-packed experiences thus far. And that was only the first week.

Pictures by Tiffany Turkington-Palmer. Visit Tiffany’s Flickr portfolio.

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