I’ve been missing-in-action for the last couple of weeks. The heat and especially the humidity here in the Southern Cape have meant daily migraines for me, and not much energy or inspiration to blog. This past weekend Riekie (from Clouded Marbles) came to visit. She ended up having to entertain herself quite a lot (and kept Rosie, the dog, very busy!), but I did manage some early morning and evening walks with her. One morning we drove down to the sea, to a small town called Herolds Bay. After walking around and taking photos there, we drove slowly back towards George (a small city in this area) and the Outeniqua mountains.
Herolds Bay is a little seaside town in the Southern Cape which is very popular during the summer months. There seem to be relatively few permanent residents, and the town is really geared towards holiday makers with a hotel, B&Bs and holiday apartments. We got there fairly early in the morning (05:30 a.m.!), which – even though it was cloudy – turned out to be an excellent time to take photographs.
Standing at the beach looking towards the eastern headland of the bay. The sun was just beginning to rise above the point where land, sea and sky meet. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com
Turning around anti-clockwise one can see the houses along the beach. For those interested in golf, South African golfer Ernie Els is rumoured to own one of the big mansions on the beach at the right. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com
The "central" part of town shows the houses up on the ridge. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com
Looking towards the western headland from a distance. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com
Having walked a little further along the road towards the western headland, one comes to this sea-water pool. The water temperature can only be described as "bracing"! Some nutty guy was taking an early morning swim while we were there, and managed to stay in the water for quite a while. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com
A closer view of the western headland. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com
As in a lot of other small coastal towns in South Africa, building styles here differ quite radically. Initially, small sea-side cottages were constructed by the original owners of the properties. In some cases the old cottages have been replaced by very modern mansions, and small apartment blocks. I recently visited the town of Kleinmond, where the same thing has happened. You can see my post about Kleinmond here.
One of the original seaside cottages. As you'll notice by this garden, ordinary garden plants do not grow well here. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com
These sunflowers provide an interesting splash of colour though. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com
I'm not sure if the two properties in the centre and to the right are just huge houses, or whether they're apartments for rent to holiday makers. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com
There is little flat land in Herolds Bay, so a lot of properties rise vertically from the slope. Imagine climbing up and down those stairs every day! ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com
One of the more interesting houses was built in an Italian style. With those shutters, I can imagine it would be a nice cool house to live in during the hot summer months.©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com
St Mary's Church. With this cute little church right on the beach, Herolds Bay has become a popular wedding venue.©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com
From Herolds Bay we drove back to George again, passing through farmlands. The distance from Herolds Bay to the base of the Outeniqua mountains is about 23 kilometres or approximately a 30-minute drive. If you aren’t stopping every couple of kilometres to take photographs, that is! It’s one of my favourite drives – going from the sea, over the coastal plateau and right up to the mountains. I ended up taking a lot of photographs of farmlands, and farm roads, and farm fences and gates. Here is a selection of what we saw, in more or less chronological order.
Here you can see the Outeniqua mountains in the background. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com
This beautiful Jersey cow had four calves with her. Not all her own, I'd think. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com
This irrigation system just made for an interesting photograph.©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com
A close-up of the irrigation system. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com
Just before you reach George, is the George airport. Despite having a short runway, and often adverse weather conditions, they manage to land some pretty big planes here. The radar tower - with the "ball" on top - lies close to the runway. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com
While I was taking photographs of the radar tower, Riekie noticed a couple of farm dogs bounding through the high grass and having loads of fun. I managed to get a quick snap of the biggest dog - the only one constantly visible over the high grass. ©LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com
The following photographs were taken from a previous post I did (Montagu Pass – a scenic trip back in time) and just show the area where our journey ended. As I was driving in my car – which is not a 4×4 – we had to turn around at the toll house in the photograph below.
The Outeniqua Mountains with the old Toll-house in the foreground. ©2011 LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com
The beautiful Outeniqua mountains. I don't know the geological processes involved in forming these slopes and valleys, but in certain light it looks like the mountains are covered in green velvet. ©2011 LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com
View from "Amanda's Grave". Near the top of the pass, you come to a point when you can look through a gap in the mountains, across the farmlands of the coastal plateau, to the sea beyond. This photograph doesn't do the view justice. ©2011 LB/notesfromafrica.wordpress.com
I feel really blessed to live in this beautiful area!
Two other posts which you may like to read are A Walk in the Woods I and A Walk in the Woods II. These posts were about the Witfontein Forestry Station at the foot of the Montagu Pass.
Thanks to Riekie for joining me on this “photo drive”. I wish I could have been a better host during your visit. Rosie loved all the attention you gave her!