Tag Archives: southern hemisphere

Hills, Views, Caves, Stones, Bones and… a Space Turtle?

2 Mar

Our roving reporter is on the case again, sending more shots from his latest visit to the the west coast of South Africa.

They went walkabout into the wild and wide open spaces…100_2720_stitch

Around and about the area where Geoffrey currently lives and works.

They went up in the hills…Southern skies lodge from the hill opposite

And above the Rooibos tea fields…rooibos 1_stitch

They walked and climbed in the sweltering heat, which he said reached a staggering 47 degrees C on occasions, swimming in reservoirs to cool off.

John said he thought it was a bit hot!

They kept an eye open for caves, knowing the signs and getting a feel for finding them…100_2813

Large…bushman's cave

A bushman’s cave.

And small…caves, large and small

Complete with bones, this one. Click to enlarge and have a poke around.

They had a sleepover in one of them…100_2804


A room with a view…

100_2779Especially on a misty morning…cave 2_stitch


But sadly no paintings to be found.

Been said John’s a bit of a caveman. Like father like son, I’d say.

Geoffrey douses the fire…

dousing the fire

Where they cooked up sausages and drank  beer. No stomach churning bush tucker trials here, though it’s hardly glamping.

There’s lots of these…100_2761

And these…100_2774

Not sure what either are called but some are found only in this area.

And here’s the space turtle…

Rocks eroded into wierd shapes, space turtle

Or, if your imagination is a little jaded, rocks that have eroded into weird and interesting shapes. 

I don’t expect there’s too many of these about. What do you see?

Speaking of rocks…100_2493

A rare collection of treasures…Nature table R

I imagine the bulk of these were collected by the boys but if I know John, he will have had a hand in a few of them.

He loves all that archaeological stuff. Hand axes, digging stones and so on. John just has a knack of stumbling on these relics and cannot go anywhere without bringing back nature’s souvenirs.

He will spend hours perusing these in museums. We have some fun days out.

We have some back at the bus too – spoils from previous years – obviously irresistible to the John.  

Even back in the UK, we’ll go for a walk and he’ll end up with a pocketful of bits and bobs. Sometimes he even picks up washers, nuts, bolts, rubber bands or other such useful items, which he hands to me like presents to be cherished. And I do,  of course.

Maybe it’s a condition with a name – like Tourette’s. But quieter.


Unlike me, John is very much a morning person and captured this…Klipspringer at dawn

Klipspringer – a small African antelope – at dawn.

Some of the panoramas are 2/3/5 or more pics that I’ve stitched together. That really is such clever software.

Now John knows I can do this, he is taking snaps with stitching in mind and I look forward to the next batch.

This one has to be my current favourite…view 1_stitch


Don’t forget, you can click on any of these images to bring up to full size. A further click will enlarge that particular area of the photo, should you wish to see even more detail.

Fly-Drive Adventure to the Southern-most Tip of Africa

6 Jan

Early Tuesday morning John flew off in the Hawk to Andrew’s Field, an airfield near Struisbaai that he knows of old and speaks very highly of. T.J. and I played ground-crew in the Benzie, its enormous boot easily swallowing all the camping gear and petrol for re-fuelling the aeroplane.


As John had promised, it is a fabulous facility with toilet, shower, shady spot to pitch the tent

Our shady camp

and lovely sheltered area for a braai.

TJ in charge of the fire

It was all set up by the owner, Andrew – a very nice man,  for the use of visiting flyers. There was no charge, no-one else there and just a walk through the sand dunes away from the most spectacular stretch of beach I’ve seen. Ever.

Shifting sands

Totally unspoilt


Unspoilt white sand, beautiful aqua sea, the most unusual and brightly coloured shells. And bones. No people. Perfect.

Surreal and spectacular

We flew each morning, early so as to avoid the high winds that always arrive later on, me and T.J. taking turns as John’s passenger. I’m not sure the pictures tell the whole story but, believe me, flying low over the shore is breathtaking. Surreal.

Fact: It’s the longest sandy beach in the Southern hemisphere.

Stress express indeed

It’s fire season here and, a real treat for the boys, there was a Huey  and a huge Russian plane there – both on stand-by for fire bombing duties.

John and bomber no. 9

Fire bomber


The Hawk mixing it with the big boys

We got to see the Huey in flight, coincidentally flying above us on one of our drives, and again back at camp on its return. The sound is unmistakable. Think Vietnam chopper.


Southern-most John

We poked around the harbour at Struisbaai and drove to Cape Agulhas, the southern-most tip of Africa, where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet . Many, many shipwrecks in these waters. We dipped our toes, went up the lighthouse (not for the faint-hearted), the whole tourist bit. We also motored to Arniston, another gorgeous location, and took a spin around the fishermen’s cottages – lovely old buildings. We had planned to see the cave but it is only open at low tide and of course it wasn’t when we were there. No matter.

It’s a superb part of the world and largely affluent so sadly few examples of trashed motor cars that so amuse me. This is white 4×4 city with a fair smattering of beach buggies.

We did, however, see some delightfully eccentric vehicles and manage to spot the odd wrecker… see Cool Cars – coming soon.


On the way to Heidehof

Coastwise to Heidehof

I flew with John to Heidehof, halfway back; more endless beaches – even one with buried houses. We could just see the roofs above the sand. Quite strange.

T.J. met us there, more re-fuelling and then I transferred to the Benzie for the home stretch. We arrived back at the bus Thursday afternoon ready for a snooze – these 5am starts are killing me.

Cape Agulhas, Struisbaai and Arniston

Click on the map and look at all the shipwrecks.

Those three days were special.