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Sunday, 1 October 2017

Hondeklipbaai - A Photographic Journey Part 5 (days 47-61)

Pastel sunrises and golden sunsets. Mist, clear skies, and windy pathways. It does not matter what conditions prevail, Hondeklipbaai always has something new and spectacular to offer its enchanted visitors. I do believe the bay must have cast a spell on me, using its sand, flowers and waves to concoct a magic love potion for my senses that will keep me ever enthralled with this rugged landscape. I invite you to take yet another visual journey through the surrounds of Hondeklipbaai in Namaqualand with me, as I share even more pictures of this beautiful landscape.

I was just in time to catch a golden sunset on the horizon

I spent another day in Namaqua National Park in some good company. We had a lovely braai at one of the camps, made sure to pick all of our rubbish up and cart it home with us (very important!) and had a jolly good time mapping a route for a proposed hiking trail. The sights in this park are simply phenomenal and promises to leave you breathless. Imagine coming across scenes like these on a hike!

The terrain we covered in the Park was mostly through very thick sand, especially along the coastline. This called for a 4x4-capable vehicle.

I was enchanted by the textures on this little creature. Isn't it lovely?

Mid afternoon and not a soul in sight with wide open beaches of sparkling white sand. Where else in the world, but Namaqualand?

As I was in the park with a different set of friends this time around, it was my privilege to share the secret hideaway of this pair of owls with the group.

These must be some of the most adorable birds on the planet!

The Giant Mat Vygie (Volstruisvygie) were out in full swing this time, and the whole veld was covered in these luscious pink flowers.

Today Hondeklipbaai was adorned in bright sunlight. I made my escape from the house by late afternoon, to go and sit on a zebra skin carpet spread out on the beach, from where I could marvel at the beauty of the beach.

 With the wind coming from the West, fog was rolling in over the bay, preparing to settle comfortably over the bay.

Spatklip/Spitfire was ready to prove its superiority over its surrounds with white plumage rising high into the sky, reminiscent of a peacock in full swagger.

One day I lost the track. Literally. I did not only veer off the beaten track, but lost it completely, opting to simply head into the veld in search of pictures of all the beauty surrounding me. It started with an enchanting display of purple flowers with scattered white ones in between. 

I then stooped over one of the 'common' yellow/orange flowers to find that one petal in each flower had a black dot on it with a row of 4 small white dots in the black. 

I literally had to bend down to put my finger next to the tiniest little specimen of perfectly formed flowers. 

At some stage I crosses a road strewn with more flowers. 

Then I came across two white ballerinas still prancing around in their tutus, while their 3 sisters were already taking a bow to the audience. 

Even the seeds of the Namaqua flowers seem to be spectacular as they get ready to take flight with the wind. 

Some keep up a crusty facade, but closer inspection reveals that even they will bloom into brilliance with a bit of tender interest.

Not everything is small in Namaqualand. I find these rather gigantic worms very pretty and find I can't stop photographing them! 

 Ever since playing with lizards as a child, they have never lost their fascination for me

This innocent looking beetle was actually an estimated 3-4 cm in length! I marveled at the red dot on its back.

Have you ever noticed how beautiful decay and weathering can be? This is the birthplace of terms such as shabby-chic. Hondeklipbaai manages to achieve this look quite naturally.

What is left of the wharf connecting the Ice House to the bay. 

An outer door to the disused fish factory 

Another outside door that is fast loosing its seriousness about prohibiting entry 

A piece of flotsam on the rocks

I have not yet said anything about the rocks and pebbles of Hondeklipbaai. If there is any excuse, it would be that I don't know where to begin, or how to stop once I've begun. 

Whether it is the result of mining activities on the coast, or due to natural phenomena, doesn't really matter. The fact is that you will find some of the most interesting rock formations along the coastline. 

There are plenty of small coves and caves and I have occasionally come across small animals hiding in these. 

 I am equally enchanted by how willing the rocks and plants are to live in symbiosis with each other, neither asking for much more than simply a place to belong.

When I come across a patch like the one in this photo, I can not help but be in awe of the serene harmony of the colours as they blend with each other to enhance each other, almost like a visual symphony. 

 There are time that I wish I knew and understood more about geology, and Hondeklipbaai certainly accentuates the fact that I am lacking in this respect.

It is not only colours, but also textures, that impress.

This was one of those days where I didn't walk for the sake of exercise, fun, or even to be visually stimulated. I simply needed to clear my head. I set off on an unplanned course and ended up having my route dictated to me by my desire to outflank the roadworks that are in full swing here in Hondeklipbaai. In this land of wide open spaces, be it on land, the ocean, or in the air, I found an even less cluttered space and this was where I sat myself down to do my thinking, praying and contemplating. When I was done, I dusted myself off and made the most of the slightly misty and overcast day.

A most accommodating lizard braved himself and held quite still so I could snap his photo, until his nerves absolutely could not hold it any longer and he had to scurry away.

I then came across some large flying insect, which I presume to be some sort of fly. This one too, did his best to accommodate my trigger-happy response to finding him there.

By now I had reached the ruins and found the altered lighting conditions had afforded me a very dramatic backdrop against which to photograph these yet again.

I finally entered in to stand in awe-struck wonder at a window with a view many would pay lots of money for, but which nobody wanted to have for free.

Lastly, when I was almost back home, I came across a worm-strewn bush where I had a bit of quick fun trying to locate and count the worms that had gathered there. I assumed the meeting had to have either a political or religious flavour to draw this crowd. Hondeklipbaai - land of mist and mystery.

Moordenaarsbaai, on the outskirts of Hondeklipbaai, is a small stretch of beach where a sea current deposits crushed garnets on the sand.

This makes for a spectacular display of intense colours and interesting natural sand art. 

Add the tracks of some birds...

... or even a hiking boot and bike, and you get enticing texture, colour and line studies.

Crescendo: increase in loudness or intensity.
If the coast of Namaqualand were a symphony, it would be Handel's Hallelujah, and the crescendo would be Spatklip (Spitfire) in Hondeklipbaai.

Fisherman's Cottage seen against an overcast sky

It finally started to rain, although only a few drops, bringing out the turtles.

The splendid rock faces against the ocean

A trail of flowers leading down to the waves

A rooster keeping guard in the yard

The fish factory on a clear and sunny day with a calm sea taking its time to come to shore
The wind sweeping the sand across the beach ahead of a strong wind from the south

The bay at peace with itself

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