Not much from me here today. A busy morning of jobs and errands, followed by a solo trip down to Agulhas to check out the damage (or hopefully not) from the floods last week. But with the kids’ exams looming large as the next cold front on the horizon, it seemed sensible to leave the rest of the family (and the beagle) in Cape Town and just make a functional trip down to the Southern Tip alone.
The weather is looking awful and the electricity and internet down there has been incredibly sketchy of late, and so in all likelihood, it’ll just be battening down the hatches and hiding in bed for much of the time, but I’m taking my camera, my laptop, some firewood and a steak and I will make the very best of it.
It was an amazing weekend. Wild and windy, but full of spring sunshine, and Cape Agulhas really showed off.
Sure, there was the whale, but that was dead and anyway, we’d already seen snakes and tortoises and the infamous Pengueagle (or Eaguin?) (more on that another time) before we saw her.
And then a walk on the beach this morning yielded Plovers, Kingfishers, a Curlew, some Caspian Terns (Sterna caspia):
…some very dramatic waves, photobombed by a Kelp Gull (Larus dominicanus):
…and the highlight of my weekend, a Cape Clawless Otter (Aonyx capenensis), showing off his catch of (I think) a Carpenter (Argyrozona argyrozona):
We disturbed him as we walked along the beach, but he was as interested in us (and the beagle) as we were in him. He floated a few metres out in the bay with his fish in his mouth before transferring it to his (clawless) paws so he could give us a proper grin.
It was a reminder how lucky we are to have the cottage and how much our kids can learn from visits there. If we’d been in Cape Town this weekend, it would have been all iPads and crap on TV (although less windy, admittedly). Instead it was fresh air (albeit moving rather fast) and some amazing experiences. All in just over 24 hours.
More photos to follow, but I feel like catching up on the footy now.
I’m doing a “maintenance visit” to the cottage: checking that we have enough electricity to see us through until our next visit (we didn’t), and making sure that everything’s generally ok. It’s only the second time I’ve had to do one of these in six years, but we’ve had to cancel our last two weekends here due to important commitments in Cape Town, and we hadn’t planned on not being here for an eight week stretch. You don’t want your freezer to die from a lack of power. Or anything else for that matter. I used the opportunity to bring down some furniture as well – easily sorted when you have an otherwise empty vehicle. Two birds and all that.
I could have done it in one day, but the six hour or so round trip was unattractive, so I’m overnighting. I managed a walk on the beach this afternoon (photos to follow, as usual) and I’m now going to lob a steak on the braai. I’m making the most of the situation here.
There’s even talk of some brandy later, but you don’t want to believe everything you hear.
Advantages of staying in a little cottage, miles from civilisation:
No big walls everywhere. Kids running free in complete safety. No light pollution; amazing night skies. Peace, quiet. Cape Grysbok grazing in your back garden. Willie from up the road dropping in to talk about brandy on his way back from fishing. The sea, just… there *points*. Front stoop, red wine, sunset. No alarm clock tomorrow morning.
Disadvantages of staying in a little cottage, miles from civilisation:
Tethered (not in a 50 Shades… way) to my tablet’s tenuous internet connection, I thought I should fire off a quick missive from the cottage. For the record, let it be known that I am quite, quite drunk and I am listening to T’Pau’s first (only?) album. We drove down in the new car; and what fun. So much of power.
It’s been a day dominated by the wind – a gale force north westerly hangover from last night’s cold front, but I’ve still been up a ladder in the lee of the cottage, removing dead birds and living plants from the gutter. My life is so glamorous.
A quick visit to the beach, a couple of beers, a braai and a rather decent Cabernet Sauvignon from 2007 and I’m now sitting in front of a cosy log fire.