Thursday, 7 May 2015

Random ramblings on holiday - Part 2

On the way to Keurboomstrand there was a section of road where I suddenly had the taste of Buchu in my mouth, or in my imagination.

The fynbos is magnificent and thick along the edges of the road. All in flower, the proteas too. In some parts the fynbos is just shrub upon shrub of this bright pink; metres long, so very pretty.

I loved all the wind turbines in the fields. Like alien giants waving a gentle welcome. I remember the first time I saw them in Netherlands,  I couldn't stop taking pictures. Then l thought aliens may be watching from space trying to decifer the message from the sequence of the movement in each row. Yes, you're right to think I'm weird.

So on the way from PE to Kenton-on-sea there was a car broken down at the offramp as soon as I got onto the N2 and the people were trying to get a lift. And then at the next offramp and next. Then I realised that these cars weren't all broken down. They were hitchhikers that weren't left alone on the side of the road, but had someone waiting with them until they were safely in some stranger's car.

Stopped at Berlin for late lunch but it was a none event. Only 5 German dishes on an extensive menu, and only one served with sauerkraut and none served with boiled potatoes. Ag nee man.

If I wanted to do housekeeping I would stay at home. Honestly, I was irritated when I booked in and there was so much wrong in my room. I went to the beach before I started screaming and when I got back they had changed my room. It was much nicer, overlooked the pool. Power out from 8-10 that evening. Very, very dark.

A bus load of German tourists rushed onto the beach last night as the light was fading, the sun had already set, and they were gone again this morning when I went for breakfast at 8:30. I guess they were here long enough to take a selfie and post it on Facebook.

In fact, that reminds me, at Kenton-on-sea this car pulled into the car park on middle beach, 4 people got out, took a photograph of the sea across the roof of the car,  then got back in and drove off. Been there, done that, tick it off the list.

Across the dune from the hotel, is a beach full of washed up wood and twigs and a friendly seagull. The seagull is not washed up.

Get up really early and walk up the path and across the dune in the dark to watch the sun coming up. Of course, it's overcast, but the sun comes up anyway. A case of the rising sun battling the angry sky. 

Take a long walk on the beach and turn  back when the rain has seeped through my jacket. Collect all these mussels shells that are open and arrange them as you would a butterfly collection,  that's what they look like, butterflies. I take a picture of my arrangement and then pocket all the shells to take home. Sigh, yes, more projects, more clutter.

After breakfast the sun is out and it's so hot.

Drive down to Keurboomstrand. The main beach, to the left is gorgeous. Love the rocks.

Left my sandals on the sand to photograph the river meeting the sea and a wave came and took my sandals into the sea. Then spat them out again, took them back again. By then the left and the right had been seperated a good distance from one another. I got them back but had to get very wet to do so.

On the way back I picked up the rock/ stone I had selected. Perhaps I won't be buying anything but it seems I will still be taking something back.

One of my favourite spots is Nature's Valley. It is as I first experienced it. There's still the one shop in the same spot. The beach is lovely, hot. The light is so bright there is no softness between the shadow and the object; just harsh contrasts. I have it all to myself again but later a fisherman comes down and then a family line up, face down, on some towels under a blue umbrella.

You get to Nature's Valley you drive past some lovely farms and lots of fynbos, take the windy Grootrivierpas through a forest before you arrive at the turn-off to NV. It's so very pretty. On the way back there was a buck grazing on the side of the road, didn't bother him when I stopped to take his photo. Same markings as a bushbuck but smaller, will have to look it up in the book.

Stopped at a farm stall for coffee and a slice of chocolate cake. Bought some fynbos honey. Shared a table with a British tourist. Sweet woman, we had a good chat while we ate. She recommends the chicken pie and salad.

I leapt up because the cows came home, heading across the road and down a channel to be milked. Gosh, they were so curious to see what I was doing I held up the row and they backed up and dumped into one another, ha ha. They were all tagged with their names - Dream, Bloem, Max. Hmm, thought I would remember more of them, they were so wonderful.

To add to my delight I found the most refreshing board at the gate to the farm: CS Wilson and daughters.  Lovely. 3 daughters, no sons, I asked.

Swam in the pool that is in front of my room. Two laps. It was so cold that two muscles in my neck froze. It felt like short ice cold steel rods had been inserted in my neck making it impossible to move my head. Ouch.

Had supper at Enrico's, Scott had recommended it. Sole and veggies.

The bath is so narrow I only just fit in. If I put my arms on the side of my body I might get wedged in and probably won't be able to get out. Ha ha.

Got up early and drove down to Enrico's to get a good sunrise shot from the raised walkway. Took photos every few minutes for an hour. Got one really amazing image. On my Instagram,  caption reads another day in paradise. I have been posting a few pics from the trip every day.

Robberg. Oh my word, I had so looked forward to hiking here. I could not do it. It was a path on a cliff at the edge of the sea. The path not always clearly defined, a couple of loose stones on some dune sand. I recall walking on a similar path in the former Transkei, at the edge of the sea, A tuft of grass keeping the path from crumbling, where I thought I would stumble into the sea at very step. Sam laughed at me and did a little dance along the path and lost his footing, illustrating exactly what I was afraid of.  Without the agility of a goat and because I wasn't a surefooted as an ass I was the total coward. You know what they say; its not that you're afraid of heights, but you're afraid of the fall. 

Anyway, back at Robberg, the magnetic pull of the sea had me leaning towards it and made me light-headed, dizzy until I felt I would slide gently down the hillside and with a soft plop hit the water before disappearing under the sea. 

No, instead I turned back and went up the exit path. This looked easy, metres from the edge, a flat path - great. Until the top of the hill, just before the Gap, a steep descent with no handrail, are you crazy? No, thank you. Across the Gap I could see people battling the narrow paths. I saw them, not pausing to admire the view; no, hesitating because they didn't know if they could carry on. Good luck, guys.

People in the car park with young children and babies strapped on, all rubbing themselves with sunscreen in anticipation of this great adventure, well I admire that it is so effortless for you. That you can do it without a second thought, but I sat at the top of the hill thanking myself for not pushing ahead, thankful for having turned back. No regrets.

Of course, if it had been make-or-break on the Amazing Race I would have clawed my way along the path on my hands and knees. Ha, ha. 

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