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Saturday, 16 September 2017

Hondeklipbaai - A photographic journey Part 4 (days 32-46)

Yesterday made me witness to a tremendous show of power as the waves rushed to the shore. The wind seemed determined to drive them back and blew at them with all its might. But the stronger the wind, the more determined the waves seemed in reaching their goal, resulting in a spectacular show of foam and froth as the two collided in battle somewhere between earth and sky. This was the first of September. In this blog I share the next ten days of my stay in Hondeklipbaai, Namaqualand, with you in a photographic journey.

The waves crushing themselves on the rocks 

Spectacular show of foam and froth 

Such tremendous power 

Such incredible frailty 


A special treat for Spring Day

On the second day of September, two honorary Park Rangers, Dudley and Aletta Wessels, invited me along when they went to do duty in the Namaqua National Park. This proved to be an experience of a lifetime as their knowledge of, and love for the park and everything in it, found a willing audience in me. We stopped at the smallest flowers and did not ignore the big things either. This one was spotted by Dudley.

Isn't this beautiful? I deliberately cropped the flower out of the picture, as I think the leaves are spectacular in themselves. 

Whether closed or open, this flower is blooming beautiful. 

The Spoeg River caves are phenomenally beautiful and a must see, even though this guy seem to have become slightly irritated by the visitors. 

Sheer beauty! 

Magnificent, even with dead flowers. 

We came across the carcass of a dead whale. 

The skull of the whale 

Dudley knew exactly where to find these owls. 

The mate keeping an eye out

Time to do service and Dudley hooked this metal thingy-ma-jig onto the bakkie to scrape the roads. 

Sometimes beauty is found on extremely small scale in Namaqualand 

This friendly guy walked right up to me to have his photo taken.

Queen Victoria loves snapping at the heels of the Alpacas, but every so often, they will return the irritation by taunting her through the dining room window!

Yet another beautiful sunset 

Sometimes the easiest way to get rid of an unwelcome drunk companion, is to give in to her whim and photograph her so you can get on your way. 

I believe I will never tire of the spectacular show that oceans put on when they crash their waves onto this shore. 

 I was thrilled to be entertained by a pod of dolphins jumping, somersaulting and riding the waves in pure delight of the clear Spring day. Though I discovered that I was absolutely rubbish at photographing them and kept ending up with tails and dorsal fins!

 Walking along the beach, I came upon this myriad of tiny knobs on the ground. I bent down to take a closer look...

... only to discover each one was a tiny little plant, the largest no more than half my thumb! 

One day I came across a swarm of Sand Hoppers (Talorchestia Capensis) that fascinated me. I asked my learned friends on Facebook and received some info on their role in nature.
It would seem they feed upon the sea bamboo, cleaning up the beaches. In return, nature rewards them by feeding them to the birds! 

One very foggy afternoon, I decided to take a path I hadn't walked before. 

It turns out I had opted to walk one of the 4x4 trials, through very thick sand. 

The road twisted and turned and I soon lost my bearings, but there was only one path to follow, so I did not mind it too much. 

When I topped a large dune, I happened upon the wreck in the bay and was relieved to find where I was!

 I finally managed to snap a photo of one of these little creatures which always seem to be in a hurry to get out of the way when I approach.

The view from the stoep of The Shack. Does it get any better than this? 

I love the warm hues of sunsets 

After years, and many kilometers, of good service, my shoes finally had had enough! 

It seemed that someone had moved into the boarded up house that I had decided was the best spot in town. Intriguing... 

Spatklip/Spitfire gave it its very best to outdo any of its previous performances. 

In Hondeklipbaai there is beauty all around. Today the pretty hedge outside this small church caught my attention.

 In the meantime, I had occupied myself by doing the sign writing for the local charity shop, called Die Rooi Container

I also love being able to bake my own bread. This particular one is a Chili and Chocolate Loaf 

 When the wind started blowing particularly angrily, I retaliated by making a spicy Sweet Potato and Carrot soup

When the wind picked up even more, it was time to build a cozy fire and watch the waves from the comforts of home

 Part of my morning routine is to engage in a whistling competition with the parrots. In all fairness, I do believe they're winning, though we have never formally been judged.

Returning home from friends late one afternoon, this sunset greeted me, and I detoured to the beach for a couple of quick snap shots. 

Hondeklipbaai in the soft hues of sunset 

Spatklip/Spitfire putting in a last performance for the day 

Sunrises can be equally impressive in Hondeklip, even though the ocean is at your back 

Whenever the clouds move in over the bay, you have even more phenomenal sunsets

I spent one afternoon painting a sign to say that wood was available for sale from Die Rooi Container. 

In order to alleviate the boredom of the job, I painted the reverse side completely different from the first.

Some days (most?) in the bay simply seem to be perfect. This panorama pic isn't perfectly stitched, but it does manage to convey the impression of standing here with this vast beauty surrounding you. 

 I opted to walk along a lesser traveled path

 How fortunate to find a porcupine this close to the beach, and so goodnatured as to wait patiently to have its photo taken!

Sweet face! 

Spatklip/Spitfire perfectly framed from what's left of a window in a ruin. 

Admiring the beauty of a friend's garden on my way home 

Every photo wishes to be a painting in Hondeklip 

Yet another photo waiting to be painted 

A brilliant sunrise to bless the day

 I found this purple bush with its bright yellow flowers growing along the perimeters of one of the local residences. I found the colour combination quite fascinating.

 Taking a stroll through the veld, I came across a cemetery that seem to have fallen into disuse, even though it is still very well kept. I was sad to see how many small graves there were for children who have passed away too soon. There was also a fair amount of graves and memorial stones for victims of drownings.

A view of the bay from a different perspective 

Spatklip/Spitfire with the lighthouse in the background

Marietjie Uys (Miekie) is a published author. You can buy my books here:You can purchase Designs By Miekie 1 here.
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