Sunday, 6 November 2011

Another Piece of Paradise

Africa’s West Coast –Wild, mysterious, hidden, lonely, arid, and secretive; oh, what stories this land can tell…Let me take you on a quick trip - an overview - of our new stomping grounds.

Cape-West-Coast-FlowersNamaqualand Flowers in Spring

Travel from twenty-first century Cape Town, heading north, up the coastal road. Leaving the edge of the suburbs and Koeberg Nuclear Power Station behind, you head out through the dunes and the scrub toward the playground of Langebaan. Here in the sparkle of the Lagoon, the twenty-first century meets the stone-age. Long ago, between the two World Wars, a lone man, tired of the haste and noise of the world, lived on a little boat in the Langebaan Lagoon for thirty years; he found the peace he craved in this stark and vacant place. Today the towns of Langebaan and Saldanha have replaced the wild veld.

South-African-West-Coast-Flowers Typical Flora

For some, Langebaan only stands at the beginning of the adventure; there are fishing villages to visit, flowers to see, beaches to explore, mountains to climb, caves to find. In the beauty of the Cederberg, retrace the footsteps of the original inhabitants who sheltered in the caves and left the paintings recording their lives. At the top of Saint Helena Bay, you can walk the long, white sandy beach and watch the Dolphins playing in the surf. Elands Bay marks the northern end of Saint Helena Bay, the largest bay in Africa and only one of three bays in the world where the sun rises and also sets.

Langebaan-Lagoon-Cape-West-CoastLangebaan Lagoon (seen from the West Coast Nature Reserve)

On further north, Lamberts Bay celebrates the Crayfish, so plentiful in these waters, with a yearly festival. Further up the coast to Strandfontein and on to Lutzville where the microclimate allows for the making of fine wine. The floral carpets of Namaqualand are waiting, but not for long.

Augrabies-Falls-South-AfricaAugrabies Falls

Ahead lie the wonders of the diamond fields and the Augrabies Falls, where the mighty Orange River tumbles into the Atlantic Ocean. This is the frontier of South Africa, a place where one amazing country flows effortlessly into the next. And on to the Namib, but that’s another story, for another day…

Photos thanks to Wikipedia - I seem to have forgotten how to do hyperlinks - working on it!


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