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2 Days in Paternoster

SOUTH AFRICA | Friday, 31 January 2014 | Views [272]

I’m sitting here on our last night in Paternoster, very conscious of two things. 1) this time next week I’ll be on a plane and homeward bound and 2) we have two very long days of driving and a ridiculously early start tomorrow.

Paternoster has been a very different couple of days to what we’ve had for most of this trip. It’s been very relaxed and laid back and incredibly hot. It was up to 38 degrees at one point today. We’ve not really done much since we’ve been here. We ate out yesterday lunchtime and I managed to get me a full lobster this time instead of the half I had last time. The lobster was every bit a good, if not better than the last one. After that I took a long walk around the bay along the beach. Looking on Google maps I reckon I covered about 10 miles. Most of that as on deserted beaches with only the waves and sea gulls for company.

Yesterday evening was passed with a late supper at the apartment and a good book on my kindle. For anyone interested, the book in question is American Gods by Neil Gaiman, a classic I’m re-reading and also one of my top ten all time faves.

This morning I headed out with Amy and Travis to the West Coast Fossil Park which contains the Langebaanweg fossil site, world-renowned for its exceptionally well-preserved fossil faunal remains that date to the terminal Miocene/early Pliocene (circa 5.2 million years ago). The deeply buried fossil deposits were uncovered during phosphate mining started in 1943. Solid phosphate rock was mined for armaments and later for fertilizer and it is thought that many tons of fossils were crushed up along with the rock before scientists were made aware of their existence. Today the site offers a tour which gives a wonderful glimpse of a paleo-archaeological dig sit and has a large area of uncovered dig on show which is literally oozing fossils. Over 200 different species have been identified on the site.  The tour also includes the on-site lab and goes through some of the fossils they have on general display. Our guide, Patricia, provided an intelligent and humorous commentary to the whole experience. For anyone with more interest their website is here: http://www.fossilpark.org.za/

The rest of the day was once again spent reading and lounging around as the heat of afternoon was fierce. This evening we took a spin out for supper and now everyone is grabbing early nights as we have about 900km to do tomorrow and the decision has been taken to leave at 7! So on that count, it’s goodnight for now…

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