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Flying South

Furthest South

SOUTH AFRICA | Thursday, 23 January 2014 | Views [307]

Today was mainly another travelling day. We had some ideas of places we wanted to hit en-route but the main aim was to end up at the flat we have rented for 6 nights at the Strand near Cape Town. As we left Swellendam we initially headed for Bredasdorp with the idea of making a decision at that point whether to head straight for Arniston, a small place famous for its fisherman’s cottages or to head straight for Agulhas and the southernmost tip of the African continent, which we definitely wanted to get to.

The decision was taken to visit Arniston as we had plenty of time today and, with our accommodation being already booked, we could arrive later if that’s how it turned out. Arniston itself was originally a fishing village but is now very much a village of two parts. The old fisherman’s cottages seem to be home to the less well off of the locals while the rest of the village is much more a modern holiday village of small and almost Mediterranean houses. As we were driving round the place Travis spotted a sign for a cave. (If you google Arniston you can read all about the cave as it turns out it has a significant place in the village history.)  The cave turned out to be only reachable at low tide which was 2 hours away and we didn’t really have the time to wait for that. However, the cave was part way along a sand track through the dunes of the local area. The track is only suitable for 4x4’s so being in a 4x4 ourselves we had to go. It was very bumpy in places and the sand driving was interesting but all in all it was a splendid drive out to a headland and back.

After this we headed on for Agulhas passing through Struisbaai on the way. There is some debate over the meaning of the name Struisbaai but one of the most common theories is that it is named after the Dutch for Ostrich as local farmers used to keep Ostriches on their farms. Whatever the truth, the village itself is another old fishing village which has managed to escape over development and retain a degree of character, although now it is more known for leisure activities than the fishing.

Agulhas is very similar although seems to boast a lot more holiday type properties as we drove through. However we were not so much interested in Agulhas itself as in Cape Agulhas, a rocky headland just past the village itself which is the southern most point of Africa. It is also (technically anywhere between here and Cape Point) the point where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet. There is a marker on the beach and although it is very hard to get to the water due to the nature of the shore I did manage to get to where I could be photographed with one foot in each ocean, with a little poetic license that is!

Once we had finished with the photos and had taken in our fill of the scenery and I had gotten my head around exactly where we were and where I was standing we headed back and had lunch at a small place in Agulhas itself.

The remainder of the day was not so exciting as it was mainly driving on to the Strand and getting settled in. The place we’ve got is massive, more an apartment than a flat, with four large bedrooms and plenty of room for everyone. Once we’d unpacked we took a walk down to the beach which is at most, no more than 3 minutes walk from here. After the others had gone for a dip we had a pleasant stroll down the beach before heading for home. It’s now supper and a glass of red before bed and tomorrow we’re off to the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point itself.

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