In Hermanus we ran into a plague of 18 year olds celebrating Matric Rage and decided if we couldn’t beat them we’d join them. So, after partying like teenagers we took a much needed rest day to recover. On Sunday, however, it was back to business as usual and we headed to the lagoon mouth where we had left off. Justin from Cape Nature as well as our new Kiwi support team driver joined us for the 20km walk through to De Kelders. There were whales just beyond the breakers for most of the way and the weather was sublime. This is long walk for sure but the rewards far outweigh the effort and anyone can manage it! Just ask Justin who was of mediocre fitness and walked the whole way in thick long pants with a heavy dirtbin on his back! If you aren’t willing or able to walk that far then a drive around is still a must, there are spectacular pools and beaches for swimming and the whale watching may even be better than in Hermanus so be sure to look out for the cliff paths from De Kelders to Gansbaai.
We spent a morning in Gansbaai with Andre de Jager and Cecilia Laker-Louw from Nampak Divfood, our sponsor, who have fast become our friends. One of their clients, Andre Coetzee (Managing Director Gansbaai Marine) had put up a huge cash reward to the schools that collected the most cans for recycling. Being incredibly generous and environmentally conscious he couldn’t resist the urge to spread the love and each of the four local schools we given a R15 000 cash prize. We had great time at the prize giving and while Mike spoke his best Afrikaans with Cecelia doing most of the translation of our presentation, I donned the CAN MAN suit and jumped around the school hall like an idiot.
We then met up with Alousie Lynch of Dyer Island Conservation Trust. She and her team were overwhelmingly supportive and hospitable. They offered us a beautiful cottage and took us out on their Marine Dynamics boat and spent time with us talking us through their many conservation initiatives. This is a charity I strongly recommend supporting. They also run a volunteer program that attracts youngsters from all over the globe. A group of them joined us for our walk from De Kelders to Danger Point. I can’t honestly say that a single one of them actually enjoyed it. I think they had a different idea in their minds when they started and hadn’t quite understood what it meant to walk 16km of coastline. They complained the whole way asking every 10 minutes if we were there yet or how much longer it was until the end. It was a good lesson for us to learn and we will give a full briefing to anyone who wants to come along in future!
Our boat trip out to Dyer Island though was world class. We saw a number of great white sharks and about 4 mother whales with their calves. The seal colony was also as impressive as it was smelly. We also got to have a close up view of our next two day’s walk from the sea. Danger Point to Pearly Beach was a tough day but only because our days of peaceful weather conditions had come to a rather violent end. Swirling winds, sand and eyeballs don’t mix very well so we can’t say we saw too much of that stretch as much as we grinned and bared it to the end. From Pearly Beach we walked to Buffelsjags and then onto Die Dam. Most of the area was deserted and slightly eerie. Michael found his dream house on the point of Quoin Rock. I think we will definitely be back to explore that stretch again in better weather. From Die Dam we had a 17km day to Suiderstrand.
Reaching the Southernmost point of Africa felt like a huge achievement and came as a bit of a surprise. I don’t think we had given it too much though but when we arrived at the non-descript monument we did handstands with excitement. It had been a beautiful morning walking from a place called Suiderstrand around some beautiful secluded bays and into the Agulhas National Park. The wind suddenly picked up as we got to the lighthouse and we were nearly blown right off when we climbed to the top.