25 May 2011

Penguin Promises: Waddle for a Week Day 3 (25 May 2011)

Renée Leeuwner

Two Oceans Aquarium Assistant Communications and Sustainability Manager Renée Leeuwner is a keen blogger, a member of the Aquarium’s Green Team and the voice behind our Twitter profile. Renée has joined Two Oceans Aquarium Senior Bird Trainer Hayley McLellan and uShaka Sea World’s Gabby Harris as they Waddle for the African penguin; she’ll be live-blogging and tweeting about the Waddle on the road!

A day of silent contemplation

Thank you to all the good people at the Windsor Hotel

Bliss. That is the only way I can describe the weather that greeted us this morning – not to mention the amazing view from our rooms at the Windsor Hotel! The sea was our neighbour for the night and as morning shook off the darkness, the sky turned silver and the ocean greeted us with a roar. The hotel staff members were roped in to make some more posters and, while they were colouring away, we packed the car, applied more plasters and warmed up the stiff and uncooperative muscles.

The start of Day 3

Day 3 was lying ahead of us and for the first bit of the walk, learners from Hermanus Private School joined the Waddlers. The kids’ enthusiasm and passion were tangible and the Waddlers were a bit sad to see them head back to their school. Once the learners had left the group, the walk continued in silence: Today was the day that the Waddlers would walk in respectful silence, contemplating the plight of the African penguin.

Look at that view!

As the day progressed, the blister count kept rising; the rain made one or two quick appearances, but didn’t stay long and the people of the Overberg kept embracing the Waddlers and the Penguin Promises cause.

Janet from Whale Coast Radio stopped by for a quick photo and motorists hooted and flashed their car lights as they passed the group. However, the day proved to be a tough one. Pushing through the rain of yesterday might have been quick and simple then, but today, the stiff muscles complained and the blistered feet increased their tally of little annoying sores.

Hermanus Private school learners joined the Waddlers for the first bit of Day 3

When the Waddlers finally arrived at the Arabella Western Cape Hotel & Spa, relief was visible on their faces.  Tomorrow is the big one. Almost 30km of walking from the Arabella to Betty’s Bay’s Stony Point – the next penguin colony. 

But for now, the Waddlers are going to rest a bit; soak in the bathtub, visit the spa (thank you Arabella) and get a good night’s rest. All very well deserved.

Gabby chats to the learners from Hermanus Private School about what they can do to save the African penguin

The team would like to thank Blake and everyone at the Windsor Hotel in Hermanus for their incredible hospitality, the sea-facing rooms with views to die for and a breakfast that gave the Waddlers the energy they needed for today. They would also like to thank Celia from Burgundy Coffee shop for warming them up with coffee, hot chocolate and some amazing cakes yesterday.

A personal note from Renée

Robynn discovers the source of the pain

Can I just take this moment to say: You guys rock! I am so proud of each and every one of you. You are making us all very proud and are opening the eyes of so many people to the plight of the African penguin. Thank you!

Seven Waddlers from various organisations (Two Oceans Aquarium, uShaka Sea World, National Zoological Gardens Pretoria, SANCCOB and Gold Reef City) are walking from Gansbaai to Simon’s Town to raise awareness about the plight of the African penguin. Pledge your support by sending an SMS with the keyword PENGUIN, followed by your promise, to 34008. Follow them on Twitter @penguinpromises, Facebook and www.penguinrpomises.com.

Penguin promises: Waddle for a Week

More blogs about the African penguin

It’s a blister – one of many

More blogs by Renée

First aid next to the road
Arriving at Arabella
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