Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin, the author of The Origin of Species arrived in Simonstown on 31 May 1836 on The Beagle.  Most things in the Cape seemed to irritate him and he wrote disparagingly of the Dutch, the Cape population and the hospitality.  Just Herschel, the astronomer interested him. He was grouchy about the road he took to Cape Town and what he saw, not even examining the fynbos with any assiduity.  In the Voyage of the Beagle he recorded that he took a gig from Simonstown and rode the route north through Muizenberg to Cape Town recording “… with the exception of the pleasure which the sight of an entirely new vegetation never fails to communicate, there is very little of interest …” So, besides the magma of Cape granite meeting with the Malmesbury shale he observed at Sea Point (Darwin’s rocks), he left the Cape grouchy and discontent. (Glenn Babb)

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