emmelinemay: (Congratulations)
[personal profile] emmelinemay
Day Fourteen
Last time I was here in 2007 Mum took me to Cape Agulas, which is the southernmost part of Africa where you can stand rigth where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet. We hadn't time to see the Cape Agulas lighthouse back then, so I've been badgering Mum to take me back there - I'd been told you can climb right up to the lantern! One of Mum's frends asked if we'd also be going to the Shipwreck museum on the way, and checking out the REAL shipwreck you can still see from the shore. At this point, my badgering went up to MAXIMUM PESTER LEVEL and so Mum and Dave had no choice but to take me there.

The sea is an incredibly beautiful colour along Cape Agulas, I couldn't believe it. It makes you want to just dive right in! Our first stop was the Bredasdorp shipwreck museum. This is a tiny little museum in a beautiful tiny little town. It is stuffed full of amazing artifcacts collected from the many shipwrecks (a map of the coastline of Africa had about 50 known wrecks, half of those around the Cape Agulas area!) There were amazingly preserved figureheads, and cases of thousands of bottles; medicines, perfume bottles, nail varnish bottles! There was a lot of fascinating information about shipwrecks going back to the 1700s. Nowhere in the museum does it mention the remains of a shipwreck just a short drive away at Cape Agulas!

Teh shipwreck museum also has a barn at the end of the (gorgeous) garden, which somewhat randomly contains an old fire engine and some old hearses!.

Tearing myself away from the fascinating artifacts in the museum we got back into the car to head to Cape Agulas, so I could climb up the lighthouse. It costs 17R to go into the museum and climb the lighthouse, that's about 1.50. Bargain! You have to sign a waiver saying that you are climbing it at yoru own risk, and the lady warns me that it's very steep and very windy! I am a little worried about my knee, but not about to let a stupid injury get in the way of climbing a lighthouse! It's 4 floors up, and she's not wrong about it being steep - the floors are a series of ladders getting progressively steeper and more flimsy until you reach the final flight when it's a narrow ladder leading to a hole in the floor. You clamber through the hole and exit onto the platform by a tiny steel door. I was warned to open this with caution, as it can be so windy up there that the door can slam onto you! I am 5'2" and I had to duck right down to get through this door. Once out on the platform the wind really does take your breath away, you can't actually walk all the way around the lighthouse because part of it is so windy you can't stand! Around the other side though you are sheltered from the wind and can enjoy the incredible view.

Right here is where two oceans meet. On the left of the photo is the Indian Ocean, on the right is the Atlantic!

I was alone up there, and it was an amazing experience. The sound was soemthing I won't forget, you could hear the lantern creaking in the wind, and the groan of the wind rushing past the lighthouse. Down below I saw Mum and waved - She spotted me and took a photo - can you see me?

I clambered down (which was much worse than going up) and we got back into the car (Barry the Beamer) so I could see the actual shipwreck.

The shipwreck is not marked, there's no sign telling you what ship it was or when it was wrecked. There's no viewing platform or visitors centre or health and safety signs. Here in South Africa there rarely are. It is just a ship, which has been wrecked, and left for the elements to deal with. Mum says the only reason she knew about it is because they passed by it by accident a few years ago. She said there was a lot more of it back then, the elements clearly doing their job. from a distance it looks out of place, like a set from a pirate film.

Close to, it's even stranger. There's no one else here, and no sounds save for the crashing ocean waves and the seagulls calling out. The waves hit the ship and you can hear the metal groaning and creaking as the waves hit it.

I could have stayed here for longer, although there's nothing here but the shipwreck.

We headed back to the B&B, where we had guests, and I fell asleep in the car and dreamed of exlporing vast empty risting corridors in darkness, punctuated by sweeping beams of light as a distant lighthouse warned ships off the rocks, while the sea crashed around me.

Day Fifteen

We have plans for next week and I need to save my money, and the guest house is quite full, so we didn't do much. The World Cup has stared, and I love rubgy. I got into it trhough Gan-gan, my grandmother who passed away in January this year. She really loved rugby, especially the England team, and would always put on her England shirt with her name on the back to watch England games. Watching the Rugby makes me feel closer to her, and I can imagine what she'd say were we to be watching it together. England vs Argentina was not a game she'd have been proud of - it took England AGES to get going, they were very slow on the ball and their shirts have been printed by a dodgy cowboy printer - withing 15 minutes half of them had lost their numbers! Argentina had nice socks, but didn't play much better. Although England kept handing them penalites, they kept fluffing it. Dave and I went to the pub to watch the second half, when England FINALLY managed to so something and take the game, but they didn't half make us sweat for it. I hope they play better in teh rest of the competition because that performance is not going to take us to the final!

In the evening we headed to the Woodpecker Deli and Pizzeria, owned by some friends of Mum's. She has a lot of friends! The food was just beauitful, and I had another Dom Pedro. Mum says we should have tried the Dom Pedros in all of the restaurants, and compared quality!

The next day we watch the reigning world cup champions, the Springboks of South Africa, take on Wales. Rugby is much bigger here than football is, and people are a lot more excited about the Rugby World Cup than they were about the footbal one even though that was held here! The Springboks made heavy weather of playing Wales, and Wales really held their own, South Africa was lucjy to win the game. Their second try was absolutely storming though! After the game we headed to Suurbraak which is a beautiful little town near Swellendam. It has a fascinating history, being one of the only places in South Africa where, when Apartheid started, the white people had to leave. Now it is almost like a step back in time when you go, and all the people are incredibly friendly. We were here to eat at another place belonging to a friend of Mum's, Paradise Organics. Their mission is to provide fresh food, grown locally and where possible in their own garden. The food was so fresh - I had a pear, strawberry, rocket and parmesan salad. After we ordered, our host went out into the garden and picket most of the ingredients for our salads while we watched! The location is stunning, their organic garden ending at the foot of the mountains.

You can see all of the photos here

Tomorrow we're off to see birds, monkeys, caves and ostritch! I am excited! We've got an early start though as we plan to head off at 7am, so it's an early night for me.
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February 2015


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