Mistakes were made…

One of the lovely things about being down in Agulhas is the chance to reconnect with a bit of nature. Especially without the constant concern of being mugged.

And so last night, I planned a run for this morning. A run in all of the nature.

But then there was a win, and a braai, and there was food and drink, and a bit of a late night. And by the time I got out of bed this morning, it was a bit late to start running. It is, after all, rather summery here.

Still, I went and did it anyway. And I’ll be honest: it wasn’t great. Hot, windy, burning sun, some very challenging, unforgiving and technical terrain on the Agulhas Escarpment near the Southernmost Point.
And yes: all of that braai stuff from last night.

Still, there were positives. I did get out there and do it. I appear to have survived, and, at the halfway point, there was the opportunity for a few minutes pause looking down on a Black Harrier hunting over the fynbos below.

Reconnection complete.

Tonight, we do it all again, but I think it’s unlikely that there will be a repeat of this morning’s efforts tomorrow. Still, you never say never.


Britain’s Talent Got.

No. Bar-Tailed Godwit – a nice spot at the lagoon in Agulhas yesterday.

Unedited (aside from the crop) pic, because we’ve been busy walking, cleaning, gardening and generally doing a quick spring clean on the cottage ahead of the upcoming summer season, where I’m hoping for a lot more trips down here.

That is going to be problematic as far as journeys are concerned, though. The washed away roads from the recent floods are pushing all the traffic onto smaller (and sometimes also damaged) routes, which simply aren’t going to be able to handle it in holiday season. It was already iffy yesterday.

It will be horrible. But it will be worth it.

Just bring snacks and patience.

Guess who’s back?

It’s me. That’s who. I’m back.

A whistle-stop trip down to Agulhas to get a few jobs done, including that shed. 22 hours arrival to departure, and 12 of them were without power. It gets cold and dark down there with no electricity (and when you haven’t been arsed to light the braai) and the internet falls over after about an hour of each four hour session. Thankfully, there was a bed and a duvet, of which I made immediate use.

And yet there was still time for a quick walk down to the beach just before sunset yesterday…

…and a pre-sunrise run through the National Park this morning. A lovely experience with the exception of the bit where I tripped in the dunes and got sand right up my charging port.

I’ll have to clean my phone out as well.


I was back in Cape Town in time to pick the boy up from school at 2:30 this afternoon.

I could have done with another day out there, not because there was anything more to do, just because I would have liked to have spent a little more time in the peace and quiet.

But, back now and already back to the grind, sorting out all the stuff here that I didn’t do yesterday.

Tomorrow looks like an equally busy day with three separate evening commitments, of which I can only fulfill a maximum of two. Juggling time.
But loadshedding may – and probably will – force my hand, anyway.

There will still be time for a blog post. Obviously.


Back home, avoiding the nightmare up Houw Hoek, thanks to Google. Never leave home without it. That means that we did a detour up the Highlands Pass, which – it turns out – is much more fun in a big Toyota than it ever was in a Hyundai SUV.

Just over three hours back then, including a quick comfort break. And my back is really feeling much better, despite the prolonged sitting it has had to do today. Yesterday, I managed a couple of 1km walks. Today, buoyed by the fact that I could actually feel my right foot when I woke up this morning (first time in 9 days), I headed out into the wild, stormy weather of the Southern Tip and knocked off 4.5km on the beach.


Took the camera and did some snaps, rather than anything fancy: this was about the exercise, after all. This one reminded me a bit of the old fashioned (1980s, lol) postcards we used to see in the shops in the Isle of Man, so I popped a filter on it, and it now looks exactly like them:

160dpi, nogal!

Dear Grandma,
The weather is lovely apart from last night when we thought we were all going to die in the huge storm.

Today we went walking on the beach.
It was nice.
Lots of love,

Football this evening, and some racehorsing tomorrow. So lots to look forward to.
Assuming we make it through tonight as well.

Tourist season down south

I’m sure I’ve mentioned before (although I can’t easily find out where, as you’ll read below) about the difficulties faced by many small businesses in Cape Agulhas during holiday season. Put simply, because of the region being just too far out of Cape Town to easily attract day or weekend visitors, there are about 50 weeks of relative calm and quiet (which is why I love it down here), followed by 2 weeks of annual chaos.

Compare and contrast with Hermanus which is 75 minutes out of Cape Town (if you ignore the nonsense of Somerset West) and is busy most weekends with tourists from the Mother City. They can run businesses with plenty of staff all year round. They’re experienced in dealing with large numbers of people, and even when December is busier, they’re ready to go.

But Hermanus used to be lovely. Now it’s just like another busy city. So actually, vive le difference.

Reasonably though, you can’t set up a small business in Agulhas to effectively deal with that sort of wild seasonal dichotomy.

And so there are issues with too few tables at restaurants, not enough goods in supermarkets, slow service in both, and general frustrations for everyone concerned: the tourists are hungry and could be on the beach, the businesses could be getting more people in and out through their doors and making more money. And that’s so annoying, because this is their one fortnight chance to make proper moolah to last them through the harder times ahead.

There’s no easy answer.

And then there’s the water and the internet. Struisbaai relies on boreholes to get water for its +/- 4,000 residents. There’s no rain here in summer. Boreholes need electricity though, and there isn’t a lot of that about at the moment. There’s quite literally not enough water to go around at the best of times.

But there are over 20,000 tourists visiting throughout Christmas and New Year. They don’t care about the water restrictions, because their GP-registered Chelsea Randburg tractor is near the sea, and will rust overnight if they don’t hose it down each evening. And so we literally run out of water some days.

But remember that if you are a tourist, the place you’re visiting is completely yours for the duration of your stay. Never mind the other people visiting, and certainly don’t worry about the local residents – they’re just there for you to use and abuse as you wish.

But that’s another story.

Anyway, we’re a bit tight on resources, so it’s a good job they’re not planning on building 650 new housing units down here.

Oh. Wait.

And the internet at our cottage in our little village is via one mobile operator. There’s a single small mast here, and it doesn’t like loadshedding. It also doesn’t like it when the village is full of people. It can’t cope. And so this post, while being typed on my laptop, will then have to be transferred to my phone via Whatsapp, formatted on the WordPress app, moved into one of the larger villages nearby and uploaded from there.

Needs must.

I don’t like it when it’s so busy here, but I get it: without these two weeks each year, there wouldn’t be anything here for the other 50.

But I am looking forward to some February sunshine and a beach to myself (and the beagle) again.