We live in a small town through which the main road between Cape Town and the Southernmost tip of the African Continent runs. ‘Runs’, indeed for most tourists are racing in high speed mode from one ‘attraction’ to the other. It’s a pity to see people not experiencing the real beauty of a wonderful countryside. Sometimes we think; why not turn left of right into a gravel road and get lost … in a wonderful landscape with ever changing skies throughout the seasons. Yes; one can pick up some of that on the main road but it’s incomparable with the real thing. Our Swiss friends are visiting South Africa virtually every year and although they drive rural pace in the countryside they never got the idea to go into the deep … So we took them out one early morning. Yes, we also did the Southernmost Tip, for that was still on their list, but after the off the beaten track tour they had seen it there within a few minutes; the shipwreck nearby was far more interesting as was the illegal dumpsite of Cape Nature Conservation in a protected nature reservation (sad story), etc. etc. Oh … and we also went to Elim and in Arniston we had lunch in a place virtually all tourists/tour operators have yet to discover….
Pictures all taken 23 March 2017 between 5:30 AM and approx. 2:00 PM and they clearly show the ever changing skies and the effect it has on the photos.
A poem by J’burg based writer/poet Jenny Santiago written in 2014:
Still your mind … Delight,
Contrasts and wonder.
Take your time, do not hurry –
Reflect and ponder.
Let your soul run free,
Filled with nature’s glory.
As Land, Mountains and Sea,
Now reveals the Overberg’s Story.
Landscapes painted – Green, Gold,
Plush red, yellow and brown.
Fynbos, Wildflowers, Cone bushes,
Sunlit Canola field, cascade down.
Rugged Mountain ranges,
Two giants colliding in open sea.
Memories of yesteryear, Ship wrecks –
Guarded treasures, you’re now the trustee.
Myriad of small little towns for you to seer.
Grabouw, Caledon, now in Napier,
An unlikely man builds a giant sundial here.
Stars and shadows of the sun his only teacher.
Bredasdorp, Aniston, down to L’Agulhas and Struisbaai,
Two towns separated by a bend called Spookdraai.
Where the ghosts of a man and young woman are said to roam.
Spirits of discontented souls, shipwrecks once their home.
L’Agulhas, place where the wind is molded and made,
Agaze you watch, Indian and Atlantic’s constant crusade.
Slanting rocks, resembling a thousand needles.
Windswept, rugged, beautiful, a lighthouse its steeple.
West of Elim – East of Gans Bay lays Baardskeerdersbos,
Named after a spider causing you hair loss.
While you sleep it prays on your hair.
Popular myth? Spend the night in open air.
Thank you Overberg for sharing your Story.
Souls now filled with beauty and glory.
We will meet again, place of guarded treasures.
An experience beyond all measures.
One of the numerous places off the beaten track in South Africa: Napier Mountain with its magnificent views that even on a hazy day (when the pictures were shot) reach 50 kilometer and further (with a 300mm lens). Imagine seeing 10,000 square kilometer below your toes while making a turn of 360 degrees. That includes the Southernmost tip of the African Continent and places like Elim, Struisbaai, Caledon and Arniston. And at the foothills in the valley is Napier. Another ‘attraction’ in the mountain is a walk to the Bat Cave. It’s a moderate hike but watch out for the bee swarms once you enter the cave.