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Fishing and Fun in Struisbaai

Our daughter, Laurie, brought a group of friends to stay this past weekend.  What a great time we had with Cara and Shaun, Dylan and a young girl visiting from Turkey named Cansu – pronounced Yunsue.

They all drove up together after work on Friday evening and we met them at The Michael Collins for dinner.   The fun began from there and it was midnight before we got to bed.

In spite of this Dylan, Shaun and Earl were up bright and early and went out on Kiora to try their luck on the five and twelve mile banks.  And it all went well – more of that later.

We girls chilled a little longer in bed but when we arose Cansu cooked us a Turkish breakfast.  She heated olive oil in the pan, threw in chopped green peppers, tomato and garlic and fried them till soft then mixed in some eggs and then topped it with grated cheese and cooked it slowly.   We sat out at the picnic table and enjoyed this delicious feast.

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Breakfast was a Turkish Delight – Cansu and Cara

Our mission for the day was to show Cansu what the area had to offer so off we set to climb to the top of the Agulhas lighthouse.

 

Cara and Laurie stayed down below but I went up too. The last ladder that takes you to the top is the scariest of all.  You may only go up one at a time.  When I reached the top I found a mom and a very scared little girl refusing to go down.   I stopped to encourage her telling her the story of two other little ones I’d recently had in the tower who were just as terrified but very brave.  Just hold on tight and don’t let go and you will be fine, I said.  I think just hearing a voice other than her mom’s did the trick as the tears dried up and she went straight down.

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Dad and Little Sister were waiting to welcome her – what a brave girl!

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Cara and Laurie walking Caper the Daschund

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Magnificent View from up there

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Down the scary ladder she goes

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But she was not afraid

It is compulsory for every visitor who comes this far south to stand at the very tip of Africa.   As it was the weekend there were a number of visitors but the wait was not too long.

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In 982 a Japanese fishing boat, The Meisho Maru 38 wrecked at Cape Agulhas and can still be seen on the rocks today.  We took Cansu to see it.

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The rocks are rugged – you wouldn’t want to run aground here

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Cansu poses with the ill fated Meishu Maru

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The threatened Black Oystercatcher 

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Casper loves the beach

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Some fynbos

By this time we were all hanging out for a cup of coffee so the delightful gift shop, Potpourri, was our next port of call.  We sat outside as we had Casper and shared a scone – a first for Cansu.

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Potpourri

The boys, in the meantime, were having a great time at sea.  Soon after we got home, Earl called to say they were on their way in and they had fish for supper.

There was a lot of activity at the harbour and some fishermen were cleaning their catch and throwing the guts into the sea.  This attracted about ten stingrays into the shallows.

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A stingray swims in the clear water

These creatures have become very tame, will eat from a friendly hand and allow people to stroke them.  Cansu was fascinated. She kicked off her shoes and waded in.  One of the locals had bits of fish and was feeding them. He told her the stingray was pregnant.

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Getting close and personal with a ray

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“It feels like a jellyfish with fur,” she said

I yelled to Canu to watch the tail but I was on the jetty and she didn’t hear me.

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Ouch – the tail brushed against her leg

Cansu got a fright and there was a small graze on her leg which bled but there was no harm done – the spikes did not penetrate her skin and there was no swelling or pain afterwards.  We just treated her with Allergex ointment and she was fine.

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The Fishermen returning after a successful day at sea

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Shaun has a Santa and a Red Stompneus  Dylan has two Red Roman

Laurie made us a lovely spinach salad, Cara made garlic bread and new baby potatoes and Earl fried the fish – we had an amazing feast.

More of this lovely weekend to follow.

 

 

 

 

 

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Visiting the Kids in Kokstad – Getting There

Yes – another trip!  We certainly are enjoying our adventurous retirement. We saw our rural kids in Struisbaai and Cape Town in  December/January. Our last visit to them in Kokstad was a year ago so really another visit was due.  We also had the excuse of our brother-in-law, Andrew’s 80th coming up in May so after less than two weeks at home after our Kgalagadi trip we departed Cape Town yet again.

Our new home is going to be Struisbaai but we haven’t had time to move there yet!  Therefore we decided to stop there for two nights to see that everything was still in order at the house and to check what needed to be done there.   Earl sorted out the garden, I checked the inventory and we decided that a new Convection Oven should be added to the kitchen equipment.

Of course we also checked out the birdlife in the area.

Cape bulbul

Cape bulbul

Common Waxbill

Common Waxbill

Common Fiscal

Common Fiscal

African Pipit

African Pipit

Female Southern Black Korhaan

Female Southern Black Korhaan

A visit to the harbour is compulsory and on the Sunday the day was clear and beautiful and the stingrays were having the time of their lives

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On Monday 13 April we made our way to Great Brak to visit Diane and Carey.  What a piece of paradise they have found.   Carey was just out of hospital after a back operation but he was up and about and keen to show us everything.  On Tuesday Diane and I took a very steep walk to the river planning to get a ride back with Earl but the pet calf followed us so we had to walk her back!   It was a steep climb but I certainly needed the exercise.

First bird we saw - swee waxbill

First bird we saw – swee waxbill

Diane's fishpond is a source of delight to the cat

Diane’s fishpond is a source of delight to the cat

He fell in trying to get a catch then swam to the edge without suffering too much trauma

He fell in trying to get a catch then swam to the edge without suffering too much trauma

Very pretty walk

Very pretty walk

Even the calf enjoyed it

Even the calf enjoyed it

But, boy was it steep to get back

But, boy was it steep to get back

Although it was only a day and a night with Carey and Diane we had an amazing time and are so impressed with what they have done with their place.   Carey custom builds campervans and has set up an amazing workshop on the plot.  Diane has taken to the country life like she was born to it. Next time we will stay for longer.

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Easter in Struisbaai – The Simple Life and Stingrays in the Harbour

Well nothing much has happened here today.  I lay awake listening to the rain early this morning so when Earl got up at 5:30 to go fishing – I said – don’t bother – it’s pouring.   He ignored me, went to the harbour and returned with an amazed look on his face, “The wind is horrific, the sea is rough and it’s raining!

I guess that is amazing when Summer has been hanging around for so long you think she’ll stay for ever, and suddenly, shockingly on a long weekend she gets meanly pushed out by Winter.

Lolz dragged her dad off to Bredasdorp to shop but I just didn’t have the inclination nor energy to join them so I spent a lazy morning reading my book.

There is not much to report about today so I will just show you some Struisbaai pictures I took on our walk yesterday afternoon.

Struisbaai has grown considerably since I we were regular visitors in the 1980s.  There was  no electricity, no telephone and no T.V.  There was one shop and it did not provide for one’s needs adequately so everything was carted up.  Today it is a thriving medium sized holiday resort. It even has a mall!   Enterprising people have built up easy to run businesses and it would be quite a pleasant place to retire.

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Lolz and Earl choosing home made delicacies

Art on sale in an open field

Art on sale in an open field

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Old houses converted into business premises – a fashion shop and doggy parlour

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Quite quaint an picturesque

The harbour is always an interesting place to visit.  There is always something going  on.   Struisbaai is famous for its visiting sting rays who are often seeing cruising just beneath the surface in the shallows waiting for titbits of chum from the fishermen cleaning fish.

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Sting Ray swimming in the shallows

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Attracting lots of attention

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Out in the tranquil bay

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Fishing boats bobbing in the harbour

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Cormorant

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Surfers share the waves with the gulls

Earl decided that our TV was not good enough so while in Bredasdorp he and Lolz bought a new one!   They are busy installing and setting it up now.  Gone are the days when we came here simply to enjoy the simplicities of life.  Now we don’t move without laptops, dongles, cell phones and ipads.   Well I guess it is the 21st century and even though I am a nature freak – I do so love technology especially on a rainy day!   The Easter Bunny may not make it through the mud and wet unless he has a takkies with 4X4 soles!