18 May 2013

The tip of Africa

Ages ago we spent a whole week in Agulhas, but as the Food Lady has been rather boring lately, she never managed to help me update this blog - one of the tiresome things about not having opposable thumbs and a working knowledge of the qwerty keyboard. Anyway - here are some highlights. Firstly, our usual stop for breakfast at the Red Windmill (sadly not as good as it used to be) and a hello to the two alpacas that live there.
Then it was out with the broken and rusty fridge, 
 and off to the Struisbaai Municipal Dump where we left it in the capable hands of the local dogs and their friendly helpful human. Maybe this is the fabled southernmost "tip of Africa"?
While we were in the area, we thought we would have a spooky stappie on the self-guiding Spookdraai trail.
Some interesting plants with leaves arranged like a box -  Euchaetis meridionalis - a member of the buchu/citrus family.
Looking down on Agulhas.
A limestone cave requiring exploration ...
Slalagmites and tites and pillars. Mmmm but not much rodent activity here.
What is this spooky thing?
Eish! A legless horse. Distinctly unsettling. Dougal beating a hasty retreat before things get out of hand.
Yet another wonderful sunset. Yawwnnnn.
A close encounter with a seal. Great excitement! We saw this one back into the sea. Just checking to see its stayed there.
One morning we were joined by a manic staffie that Dougal rather fancied, but the feelings were not mutual - and nothing is more pathetic than an infatuated dog.
A Euprosthenops "dazzle" spider on its glistening web - with an amazingly constructed bolt hole.
Paul and Pauline were staying close by and they joined us on several walks. Here we are in the Agulhas National Park behind Suiderstrand - with views over the Soetanysberg.
The place was full of these tiny white Hunter Snails.
Lots of pretty little Muraltia plants.
Making our way down to the beach for tea.
Me having a dip in the crystal clear water.
then running to catch up with the Alph. Pauline close behind.
There are lots of wierd and wonderful goggas here - like this Click Beetle (Aliteus)
 that was giving us a hairy eyeball ... but apparently they are harmless.
Pauline and the Alph discovered a mutual interest in whisky.
Uh oh! Breakdown! One shredded fan belt. Luckily we managed to call up Paul who had the elusive no 15 spanner that no-one else could find so while they were doing a temporary repair,
we checked out the repairs on the lighthouse,
and then went for a stroll on the rocky shore where we nearly lost Dougal as he blended in so well with the lichen.
The Food Lady had fun watching the cormorants,
and some cute little Yellow Canaries.
The next morning, we went for another walk with Paul and Pauline, starting from the back end of Suiderstrand - the area the Alph calls "Kakville". Come on Dougal! Hurry up!
It had rained that morning and the clouds were rather impressive. Here is Paul being impressed.
On top of the Sand Dune above Suiderstand there are these limestone areas that are a bit hard on our paws.
Because of the morning rain, all the fruits of the vygies were open - looking like brown snowflakes.
A Phylica all entwined with False Dodder (Cassytha ciliolata).
Lime road.
Tea overlooking the wreck of the Meisho Maru.
Down again through the limestone pot holes.
The official start of the Rasperpunt trail is from the wreck. The Alph left us here as he needed to get home to meet Simon who was coming all the way up from Cape Town to bring a new fan belt for the Land Rover.
On the way back along the beach, past the enigmatic visvywers (fish traps or fish weirs), the weather started closing in on us ...
but we just managed to get home before it really started raining. We had a wonderful fish and chips lunch (the Food Lady shared some of her fish with us!) with Simon before he left again.
On Saturday we had another long walk in the Agulhas National Park. We found more chalky snails on Wahlenbergia neorigida  plants.
It was a long and quite rough slog up to the funny signal-stick at the top of the Sandberg.
And the horseflies were biting hard!
We could see Zoetendalsvlei in the distance.
The limestone road home was very long and very hard,
and we were glad to get back to our pondok -
where we had beano biscuits and the remains of the fish and chips and the humans had special gee and tees.
The Alf finishing his repairs.
On Sunday, we had a last walk along to Pietie se Punt, past the Seepampoen/Tonteldoek (Arctotheca populifolia) daisies on the beach,
and the middens where you can see that Perlemoen Poachers have been eating perlemoen for many centuries - but I don't know how they poached them in those early days before gas. Maybe THIS is the southernmost tip of Africa!
On the way home we had coffee with Meg
from Southermost, the Southernmost Guest House in all of Africa.

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