We have a strange attraction to geographical extremities, don’t we? There’s a fascination with being the most Westerly person in Britain, or the most Northerly individual in Mauritius or whatever.
Regular readers will know that I like to spend quite a bit of time down by the Southernmost point in Africa. And actually, there’s something quite sobering about wandering down past the cairn there, turning to face North and knowing that each and everyone of the more than one billion inhabitants of the continent are in front of you. Even regularer readers will know that I hold the record for having written the most Southerly blog post on the continent.
For all that I love the place, it’s disappointingly nondescript. No towering cliffs, no jutting prominence (careful now). It’s flat and if there wasn’t the little monument there, you’d be hard pressed to identify the particular bit of coastline which is the official tip of Africa. And maybe that’s why so many tourists think that it’s Cape Point that matters, but for all it’s rugged beauty, including towering cliffs and jutting prominence, it loses huge marks for only being “the most southwesterly” point of Africa.
What does that even mean?
The most Southerly village in Iceland – as we all know – is Vík í Mýrdal. I bring that up because they’ve got a big, black beach and a stack there, as shown in this 8 second exposure:
Iceland has always been one of those places that I would love to visit, and if I ever do get to go there, Vík í Mýrdal (population 318) will certainly be one of the places I will want to see. Aside from the dramatic landscapes, other reasons to visit Vík í Mýrdal include it being the warmest place in Iceland with an annual mean temperature of 5.3°C, as well as the long overdue eruption of the Katla volcano which experts feel, when it occurs, will completely obliterate the village by melting the Mýrdalsjökull glacier, which lies over the volcanic site.
Should this ever happen, much may be made of the fact that only the church survived the flash flood. But this is merely because it’s built on higher ground, just outside the village, rather than any divine intervention.
Suiderstrand, this evening. Seriously (and I have given this some thought), the most amazing sunset I think I have ever seen.
This is the Instagram upload (but #nofilter, ok?) because I don’t have bandwidth and service to upload the “proper” pictures from out here in die bos. I’ll tag a link to them when I get back to Cape Town, so come back tomorrow evening.
UPDATE: Here they are.
This evening, though?
Hello. I’m all alone.
I’m doing a “maintenance visit” to the cottage: checking that we have enough electricity to see us through until our next visit (we didn’t), and making sure that everything’s generally ok. It’s only the second time I’ve had to do one of these in six years, but we’ve had to cancel our last two weekends here due to important commitments in Cape Town, and we hadn’t planned on not being here for an eight week stretch.
You don’t want your freezer to die from a lack of power. Or anything else for that matter.
I used the opportunity to bring down some furniture as well – easily sorted when you have an otherwise empty vehicle. Two birds and all that.
I could have done it in one day, but the six hour or so round trip was unattractive, so I’m overnighting. I managed a walk on the beach this afternoon (photos to follow, as usual) and I’m now going to lob a steak on the braai. I’m making the most of the situation here.
There’s even talk of some brandy later, but you don’t want to believe everything you hear.
I have put a whole four photos up onto Flickr. [Author’s note: Actually, there should be another one. I wonder where it went?] You can see them here. We had some fun once the wind had dropped a bit on Monday evening, although my night shots aren’t really improving much.
Sadly, the wind didn’t drop enough for any Mavic fun.
And talking of the Mavic, there’s not going to be a lot more from me today because I’m spending my spare time filling in a FSS-GEN-FORM 081/14 form for the Namibian Directorate of Civil Aviation in the hope that I can take my little flying friend there next month.
They’ve been super helpful with their communication so far, but blimey, guv – they want quite a lot of information!
I almost forgot to blog today. Maybe it was the heat. But then I wrote this, and so everything was ok.