Monday, November 27, 2006

itchy feet again....

Deb R (Red shoe Ramblings) put out this meme last weekend and I thought I’d play along….
1. If you had to move 100 miles or more to the north, east, west, or south, which would you choose, where would you end up, and what's so great about there?
If it’s only 100 miles, I’d have to say due West, which takes us to Cape St Francis, a delightful little village along the coast from us. Its neighbour, St Francis Bay, is a picturesque place, the original farm was subdivided and strict restrictions laid down regarding exterior finishes of the houses, which could only be painted white and have thatched roofs, or black tiles. There are also maximum height restrictions, so neighbours cannot hog the sea views. So it is very pretty, but has become very popular with the Yuppies from inland, and so a bit busy and commercial for our taste. The Cape, just 5 km further along the coast, boasts a wonderful old lighthouse, with walls 2 metres thick, and an amazing array of prisms to boost the light. To the west of the actual point on which the lighthouse stands (Seal Point), there is “the wild side” which is as it sounds, in the teeth of the wind and storms, with an elemental beauty that takes your breath away, the playground of Southern Right Whales from June to September, and great walks along weathered rocks littered with shipwrecks. By contrast, to the East, a gentle bay curves around to another point (Shark Point) beyond which you get back to St Francis Bay. This little bay boasts some of the best surfing in South Africa (until now a well kept secret!!) and a wide pristine sweep of white sand that is just bliss to stroll along… I could bore you into a coma in coming weeks with photos of all this……I have so many it’s ridiculous!

2. Do you have a favorite stretch of highway or byway for driving, touring, or wandering?
This is like asking my favourite colour, where do I start to narrow it down to just 1? One of my favourites is barely used now. It is a twisting pass between Storm’s River and Plettenburg bay, on the coastal road towards Capetown. Several years ago, a new toll road was built, and the bulk of the traffic now uses this instead, which is good, because meeting trucks on this pass used to be a bit hairy to put it mildly! But if time is not an issue, a meander off the beaten track is still possible, it runs through an exquisite section of indigenous coastal forest, with massive yellowwood trees, and flowering cape chestnuts, as well as a grove of very rare Strelitzia alba. Every now and then one emerges after a hairpin bend and gets a gap with sweeping views across the treetops to the mountains beyond. Being a Geology fanatic, I always rant and rave about the spectacular rock formations revealed in the road cuttings… poor Max is a very tolerant guy!
Another favourite is in Namibia, couldn’t be more different! It is the road that goes from Luderitz, east towards Central Namibia, then swings North towards Sessreim and the famous dunes at Sossusvlei. It is so varied in its topography, just when you think you have seen every kind of arid scenery possible, you go round a bend, and see something that must have come from another planet… crazy about it.

3. Are you happier to start a trip or return home?
Definitely start.. the expectation…the thought of some time out with Max in the car, going where the road takes us, no phones to bug us..mmmmm. Getting home to the kitties if cool, but I HATE unpacking! Especially if we have been on a camping trip and have to pack all the macho toys and equipment away.

4. Plane, train, automobile, bicycle, or foot?
All of the above, depends on when, where, how long etc. Trains used to be great, but these days are really grim and run down and not so safe. I ADORE long distance driving, and luckily Max doesn’t so we never squabble about who is going to drive, and we both travel at the same pace, which is really cool. (By that I don't mean speed, I mean stopping to smell the roses!) Have you ever travelled with people who rush through, notch one up, “ok seen an elephant, lets move on”, when you want to stop and savour it and enjoy the moment? GRR. We both give each other a lot of space to enjoy the stuff that interests us, so I go along with it while Max does the whole Historical War site, museum thing, and he patiently endures it while I go on endlessly about rock formations, and rave about arts and crafts along the way! We both go mad taking photos. I am delighted to say our bicycles were stolen a while ago, so we no longer have to feel guilty about looking at them gathering dust in the garage every day! We do a lot of walking, here and on holiday, sunrise is the best, cool and windless and great low angle light for photography.

5. Do you overplan or underplan your travels? (Assume that "no" is not a valid answer.)
Plan? What’s that? Seriously, our most favourite way to travel is to pack the car with camping gear, and munchies, and head out on a road we haven’t been on before, and see where it takes us. If the weather holds out, we camp, if it is lousy, we look for a bed and breakfast around mid afternoon, and carry on the next day. We just know we have x amount of days, and at some point towards the middle would like to be at x spot on the map, but which roads we take there and back are left to serendipity. Some of our best trips have been like this.


I once commented to Kirsty that bluegums seem to flourish here... these are a few examples, taken this weekend.


Deb R said...

You are totally making me add your corner of South Africa to my list of places I must see if I ever come into big wads of money, y'know.

Those photos are all gorgeous!!!

kirsty said...

Hmmm. Well, they definitely LOOK like eucalypts, but they have far too many leaves and what is that green stuff underneath them???

kirsty said...

ps thank you, Sue, so much for all the sweet, encouraging comments about my quilt! Quilters usually work in isolation, so it's quite a novelty to have a cheer squad keeping me on task! (and it's really helping)

Janet said...

Thanks for your recent visit to my blog. I thoroughly enjoyed your answers to this meme. I always love hearing about other places and you gave such wonderful descriptions. Love the photos!