Today we went for a ride of a different sort.
A white contraption; I would like to say it was a car, except that it lacked most of what we today consider normal in a car, namely windows that open and close when we chose; similarly with the four doors, a boot that has a handle to open it with and side mirrors that one can see in.
But I complain not : it had four wheels instead of legs, a steering wheel instead of a bridle and an engine that was filled by a kindly petrol attendant and not by us carrying bales of hay!!!!
(And I later learned 400 000 km on the clock – hey who’s complaining 😂🚑🚗)
Oh did I mention that unlike Luke who could be persuaded to reverse (admittedly it took some real persuasion) on the odd occasion, our white contraption could under no circumstances be persuaded to reverse😳
Leaving Luke, Patches and Sparky in the care of others we, or at least I dragged my weary body into that contraption 😂
We drove to Danger Point just in time to see the fog rolling in. We chatted to the lighthouse manager, and read the story again of the Birkenhead which I vaguely remembered from schøol.
A British military ship, one of first iron hulled ships, arriving in eastern cape for 1852 Xhosa wars ran aground here. It was a perfectly calm night when it struck an uncharted rock miles off shore. In 20 minutes the ship sank. All women and children were saved, all soldiers and sailors were lost. It is unknown how many horses died, 5 made it to shore.
193 survivors, 432 soldiers and sailors drowned.
There are 46 lighthouses round the South African coast, every one with a different signal. Danger Point’s signal is three flashes, 40 second pauses, three flashes. This continues from sunset to sundown every day. Still today in the age of technology !
Our lighthouse man also told us that last year they saw 60 pairs of whales compared to the year before when they saw 200. “Ek weet nie, dis hierie (sic) climate storie”
(I don’t know it’s this climate story)
Our contraption then took us to Gansbaai where we parked at the beginning of what was listed as an easy beach walk to De Kelder.
Parked is perhaps an over optimistic description of what we did, keeping in mind we had to be able to drive off again without using reverse.
We left her boldly pointing forwards, windows open, all our riding gear and ‘stuff’ inside challenging the world to come to her and help themselves 😂😂😂
What to do- we could not put our lives on hold because our car was unlockable. So we left, trusting that our riding gear which now almost had a life of its own, so full of sweat, salt and dirt as it was would lose appeal to any passer by and they would miss the rest of the luggage hidden under a blanket😊
Or better still not even give her a second glance as she looked as though nothing of value to anyone could exist in such a rusted contraption!!!
Benchmarks, life is all about knowing the benchmarks (see my blog – the Ik 😂) so when we read
I quote :
Start: Gansbaai harbour
Finish: Klipgat caves, De Kelders
Duration: 7 km, around 4 hours
Fitness: easy, children can do this trail
I was confident. In my head an easy seven km beach walk suits a plump person in sandals. Well I am old and perhaps not slim but not as plump as I was thinking of when I mentioned a plump person and I certainly was not wearing sandals.
Rather I was wearing very sensible walking shoes.
We did not find this an easy walk 😳. It was a walk, following green painted signs, rocks, bricks, up and down a narrow path until we finally arrived at our target destination, de Kelders.
We sat on the deck watching the fog come in and blanket the coastline.
Wisdom prevailed and we walked back to Gansbaai along the main road.
I know, I know, not very romantic. But I have had enough adventures for one week and as good a story (perhaps even a romantic one) disappearing into the sea cause we missed the green markers in the fog, may have been, we decided to disappoint 😜
A very late lunch in Gansbaai made up for the trudge back.
And of course our white steed was still waiting, as intact as she had been when we left her. Ready to take us back to our Klein Paradijs (little paradise) for the night
A drive past Pearly Beach in the cloudy evening was rewarded by watching a family fishing together – a past time as old as time itself
And a visit to the shop local shop where I could have bought anything my heart desired, from food, clothes, furniture, books, and if I had wondered into the back rooms, perhaps even a husband 😂😂😂
I settled for an Easter egg for Julia
Ps trivia question :
1. Why Gansbaai ( as opposed to some other baai)?
2. Why is baleen whale called southern right whale?
PPS trivia answer;
1. Resident Egyptian geese found there when settlers first arrived – cannot find out what happened to them 😢
2. Was called the right whale by early whalers because it was slow enough for them to catch with their boats: couldn’t dive deeply: light enough to float once killed and had high yields of oil and baleen.