Chasing Lighthouses – Episode IV

Blogging about my experiences has most definitely given me a different approach to my writing style as most of the time, I have to consider the reader rather than myself the writer.

So its all about what you would like to learn about my excursions while Chasing Lighthouses, and i shall try and give you a picture you can paint with your imagination.

Lets shed some light on the beautiful Lighthouses moving south from Port Nolloth to Cape Town:  Shelly Point Lighthouse situated at St Helena Bay, viewed from the luxury Golf Estate at Shelly Point and enfolded by the beautiful outstretched beaches of Britannia Bay, sunsets become memories, and a yearning sets in to return again one day.  This photo was taken late afternoon, the light coming from the Lighthouse is the sun on its setting course behind.

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We were fortunate to spend a few days in Britannia Bay with a new found school friend of mine, and the tranquil and serene stay was deserved.  The next stop and next Lighthouse was that of the Saldanha Bay North head Lighthouse, near Langebaan,  which has also newly been painted and is in fine condition.  The almost 4km walk to the Lighthouse is a strenuous one and if you are planning to do this hike, take plenty of water along.  Its sister Lighthouse on the South Side of the Bay is not open to the public so we were not able to visit it. It is controlled by the National Defence Force and stands behind locked gates.

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Then to find the most beautiful lighthouse i have ever seen, the great big Cape Columbine Lighthouse, situated in the Nature reserve on the outskirts of Paternoster – a small fishing village.  The last manned lighthouse in Southern Africa was indeed a treasure to find and see.

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Nothing was as beautiful as the Cape Columbine Lighthouse – the flowers were in bloom, the sky was clear, the sea was calm, and the Lighthouse was in immaculate condition – the tour of the light and the grounds was fabulous.  The climb to the top, for a height fearing woman was quite daunting, but i did it – and now i can say i have been there, done it and i have the T-shirt!

On my next visit, i shall take you a little further south and to some other less noticed lighthouses.

Until then . .

Ciao for now

 

 

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Chasing Lighthouses – Episode III

Metaphorically I would like to define Lighthouses as “the porch light”  . . . . . . . when you arrive at a new home;  a light of welcome to those approaching from the outside, and a light of calmness for those safe and secure on the inside.  My journey continues and we head in a totally new direction – West Coast of Southern Africa. I have decided to start at the furthest point and head on down back to the Cape Peninsular before taking my journey to the Indian Ocean and other places.

Port Nolloth – the journey was long and dry, luckily for us we were not in any hurry and could meander at ease. Port Nolloth is small fishing town and very small domestic seaport in the Namaqualand region on the northwestern coast of South Africa.  Its location was marked by Portuguese explorer Bartholomeu Dias on his epic voyage around the Cape of Good Hope in 1487.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_Nolloth)  Its Lighthouse is nothing spectacular, but since we drove so many kilometers to view it, I thought it deserved placing in my memoirs of Chasing Lighthouses.Image

Travelling south along the cost line, and very natural route with sand roads which makes for interesting conversations in the vehicle.  We arrived at this isolated lighthouse midday, and even though it was at winters end , the warmth of the coming spring was apparent.  “Groenriviermond” Lighthouse (translated – Green River Mouth) at the mouth of the ragged coastline and riverbed.  Image

It was at this point that I desperately needed the toilet.  My hubby suggested I do the “back to the wild” thing and get it over with.  They say that when you journey you should never leave more than your footprints behind, but on this day, it was not an option.  So I found a secluded spot and urinated!!  As we drove off my husband said that we had just renamed the Bay  “Lanypissbossbaai”  which translated means “Lany-pee-in-the-bush-bay”.  You may laugh as I still think it hilarious and will always refer to this area as we have renamed it.

Doringbaai, previously known as ‘Thornbay’  is a small settlement and fishing village. The main economic activity is the packaging and export of crayfish, this I could smell.  The Lighthouse is situated on some beautiful big boulders and higher than some and we explored it for a few hours.  Because I could not get one perfect single shot of the Lighthouse, I am offering you a collage of my best ones.Image

Next time, I shall venture down the coast to some of my favorite Lighthouses along this beautiful coast.  Till then

Ciao for Now

Chasing Lighthouses Episode II

How wonderful it was to stay in the ‘Mother City’, as it is called, and enjoy the vibrant night-life of the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront before the next stage of our chase.  At breakfast we check our maps and planed our route.  First stop for day 2 would be a trip to Cape Point Nature Reserve and to have a search for the new lighthouse which is located to the East and cannot be seen from the West or until ships are at a safe distance to the South. This was indeed a mouthful and I find myself laughing as i rewrite it for you to understand. The light of the new Cape Point Lighthouse is the most powerful on the South African coast, with a range of 63 miles (101 km; 55 nmi) and an intensity of 10 megacandelas in each flash. We had to hike a short 2km distance to get to the view point where this photo could be taken.

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We are most fortunate to be some of the very few that venture down the rocky hike to capture this photo – and we are so glad we did.  This excursion can take up a whole day of ones traveling, so don’t rush to the next destination, try and enjoy every moment because it might not be a place you visit again anytime soon. Onward we go and off to Gansbaai, a small little fishing village where another beautiful and fascinating Lighthouse awaits us. Originally named by Batholomeu Dias – ‘Ponte de Sao Brandao’ AKA Danger Pointwhen he landed there on May 16, 1488. The name Danger Point is derived from the treacherous reefs and rocks below the water that make it very dangerous for ships to sail close to the coast. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danger_Point_Lighthouse) More than 140 ships have been wrecked and thousands of lives lost between Danger Point and Cape Infanta (A steel construction which is situated in the San Sebastian Private Nature Reserve), to the east of Gansbaai. In 1895, the Danger Point Lighthouse was built, providing more security for the ships in these dangerous waters.AO4 Danger point

The last lighthouse along the route for this episode, was all the way down to the most Southern tip of the African Continent – Cape Agulhas.  First let me present you with a stunning photo of the most southern tip of Africa as well as a peak preview of myself and hubby, André having much fun on our road-trip:

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. . . . . .  and if we all had to just turn around toward the land side, this is the lighthouse we  would see –  Cape Agulhas Lighthouse.

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It was the third lighthouse to be built in South Africa, and the second-oldest still operating, after Green Point. It is located on the southern edge of the village of  L’Agulhas, in the Agulhas National Park.  With this beautiful sight still fresh in our minds, we retired for the day . . . . . .  rest is always needed before the next Lighthouse Chase! 

Till then – Ciao

Chasing Lighthouses – Episode I

Sometimes, as we grow older, we need assistance in filling the voids that husbands and wives find themselves in, as the nest grows empty and the chairs around the dinner table are unseated.  During this very trying time in my own life, when I experienced the empty nest syndrome after having my son home for 29 years, I looked for something we could do together to grow old gracefully.  Yes you can say that I was very blessed to have my son around for that long, and I will admit that it was wonderful to have all my children home for more years than most mothers can boast.

So back to the topic at hand – Chasing Lighthouses.  My husband doesn’t get fascinated with the small things of traveling like I do; I get so excited over the little pleasures of life that it almost frustrates him.  Then it came to me “light bulb” . . . .  I needed to find us some common ground as we travel, something other than filling up with gas (petrol) or what to eat, that would make him want to travel on the roads less traveled and to venture out to the more desolate regions of our country.  He had always been very interested in the Lighthouses at the coast  we had seen while on family holidays, so I challenged him  . . . . . . let us visit as many, if not all the Lighthouses along the coast line of Southern Africa and wherever we traveled.

So we started the Chasing Lighthouse saga.  Our daughter Inge, gifted us with the lovely illustrated book called “Lighthouses of South Africa” by Gerald Hoberman, and we began to plan.

Lets start with the oldest and first solid Lighthouse built in South Africa, which is the Green Point Lighthouse in Cape Town – first lit on 12 April 1824 .  Now I must tell you, that most of them have been so fashionably renovated that they even have coffee shops and beautiful gardens to visit while observing their functionality and beauty.Image

Then we’re off for a ride around the mountain and a visit to Slangkop Lighthouse which is situated in Kommetjie.  It was a Sunday and closed to the public, but my husband decided that the best view of the Lighthouse was from the sea side and he slipped through the gates and took a quick stroll/dash/run to the front side and captured his photograph! It wasn’t as good as he thought it would be so I have used my own snap shot – from the legal side of the Lighthouse.

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It was a beautiful day so we decided to try one more before putting the camera’s and our legs to rest.  We headed on over to Simon’s Town to observe the Roman Rock Lighthouse in False Bay.  The wind on the other side of the Mountain was blowing gales as clearly depicted on our photograph. The fascinating and interesting thing about this Lighthouse is the fact that it is the only lighthouse on the South African coast to have been built on a single rock.  It is fully exposed at low water, while at high tide is covered completely, making for very primitive living conditions to any keeper.  A super lens was needed to capture this shot.

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So until next time and episode two – I leave you with this quote

“Man must behave like a lighthouse; he must shine day and night for the goodness of every man.”   –   Mehmet Murat ildan

Ciao

Venice the place for Lovers

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Venice the place for Lovers

― William Goldman, The Silent Gondoliers best describes what I cannot put to words –
“By day it is filled with boat traffic – water
buses, delivery boats, gondolas – if something floats
and it’s in Venice, it moves along the Grand Canal.
And by daylight it is one of the glories of the Earth.
But at night, especially when the moon is full
and the soft illumination reflects off the water and
onto the palaces – I don’t know how to describe
it so I won’t, but if you died and in your will you
asked for your ashes to be spread gently on the
Grand Canal at midnight with a full moon,
everyone would know this about you – you loved and understood beauty.”

Venice . . . . . . . . i say no more

Do I have the Bias on bowls or does Bowls have the Bias on me?

Its been a murderous day on the bowling green, for myself and for my poor fellow team mates as they endured my unforgiving, pathetic, beginners bowling bad luck!

A new adventure on the sporting front is my dream goal – not to be No 1 nor to be 1999th in South Africa’s ranking, but to play the game and to have as much fun as possible.  A sport while enjoying the outdoors, a little exercise and obviously the social aspect is important as well.  Coaching and training started in August of 2013, and if you want to master any sport or game, it should never end.  I had the notion that outdoor lawn bowling was for the elderly but i am clearly mistaken.  The age’s of bowlers range from 6 years upwards (there is no end age, you bowl till you die).  So this is inspiring – i most definitely have a lifetime ahead to master the rules of the game, the reading of the grass on the greens, the wind factor as well as people reading, before I brace myself and challenge my first opponent in Ladies Singles No 1.

This is seriously a sport with strange techniques – the lower you go the better the roll, (for all the older players IT’S a concern) check the bias, keep the pinkie finger shut in, watch the weight of the pendulum, add grass, cut grass, line, length, lawns.  Its mind boggling and one has to keep one’s wits about you all the time.  The terminology of the ‘toucher’, the ditch, the wayward bowl, the Jack, Vice, 2nd-er and LEAD (that’s me) are all fundamental in making every END (that’s what a game is called) a success. Just writing all this has me flabbergasted – to think I have challenged myself at this age to try out a new sport!  Fortune Better Favor this Brave!

Murderous day . . .  yet I’m still alive, enthusiastic, eager, ready and willing to go back for more;  because I’m not a quitter I have decided to put in a little more effort on the practicing side when I can, before my very own NEW bowls arrive.  However Life is good as before I left the club-house, plans were already being made for Saturday’s game – including me.  I say no more except that #I love the game.  Bowls will not have the bias on me, I shall be prepared – next game, I shall be singing the following song in my head all the while I play!.

“We ‘ll be singing ♫♪ When we’re winning ♫♪ We’ll be singing

I get knocked down – But I get up again
You’re never going to keep me down’        Tubthumping by Chumbawamba                      

Ciao darlings from an exhausted Lany

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Wise Words cont.

My daughter is currently visiting in a small fishing village in the West Coast of South Africa, from where she sent this blog.

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As the Cape Coloureds would say, ‘Haai Tjulle’. Today, I writing to you from the warm, sunny and friendly Fishing village of Paternoster.

The quaintness of this village is something to be experienced. Before sunrise, the fishermen get their Skuide/Bakkies (small fishing boats) ready for the days trawling, they leave behind the White Stone Washed cottages on the shore and  head out to see what the sea will allow them to harvest. As the cottages slowly start to wake, people, locals and tourists, start to bustle along the streets. Charismatic and generally toothless Locals, Freshly baked goods, Curios of all kinds and  Seafood at its best, this is a place one can definitely sit and people watch all day.

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I am currently helping out at the local Fine Art Gallery. Every now and then, the local children peep through the door way and ask ever so politely in their best…

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