October 20, 2010 GMT
Time At The Tip Of Africa



Phew! I took a bit of a rest there. Eight days or so at the "suidelike punt van die vasteland."
And a very nice place it was to spend some time in. The tiny village of L'Agulhas, the tinier hamlet of Suiderstrand (population less than a hundred), and the slightly larger village of Struisbaai (only one pub but a couple of restaurants).



The tarmac road ends at L'Agulhas, you can go no further on it, but a little gravel track continues past the lighthouse and marker cairn and then another four miles to the very end of the road at Suiderstrand. So it's nice and remote.


It's out of season still, so not many visitors. But a few South Africans exploring their own country by road come down here to see their version of Lands End. Normally they go north to the parks of Namibia and Botswana.
"Hey! How did you find those nice straight roads up north? Don't they go on and on and on? Never-ending! The land of the dead straight roads!"
So I wasn't alone in my comments.


There were some busy interludes.
Well, one. Being interviewed by the local newspaper.
That is, a five minute chat in the proprietor's front garden.
They must have scouts and lookouts, waiting for weary-looking foreigners arriving at the southern-most marker cairn and tracking where they're staying. I have a copy of their publication - it's not on the web, but they said they'd email me a copy of the article.
So much for celebrity.


I have a number of things on the bike which are held on with zip ties. The rack being the most notable.
All have survived.
And now I find a like-minded soul: the person who maintains the Agulhas Lighthouse.
It's open to the public when the light isn't shining, ladders inside all the way up to the outdoor look-out gallery. There, on the outside, there's another narrow ladder stretching up to a tiny circular gangway above, surrounding the lantern-room itself. Massive curved windows enclose the lantern and lenses, held in place by vertical struts next to the gangway.
The bracket on one strut has long-ago fallen off. This is the repair, holding a window, about six feet by six feet, against the gale-force winds:



lagulhas113.jpg

Sharp eyes may notice that the zip part of the tie isn't even holding the bracket in place - but just a single loop of a knot, sort of, in the end of the plastic tie. At least it goes through the bolt-holes, so that's alright then. But if I'd had my Meccano set with me I'd have done a proper job.
This is how it should look, a little higher up:

lagulhas413.jpg



Here's a view from the gangway looking south to Antarctica:

lagulhas213.jpg




lagulhas313.jpg
And a view through the lantern-house window with a tiny section of one of the four huge lenses.




lagulhas513.jpg
In the opposite direction, most of L'Agulhas, and the edge of Struisbaai in the distance.
H.M. The Bike even gets in this scene. Well, one has to, doesn't one?




After Lighthouse Inspection it was time to explore Suiderstrand for a few days. Entertainment there comprises sunrise (above the eastern half of the hamlet):

lagulhas613.jpg




lagulhas716.jpg






lagulhas813.jpg
And sunset, above the western half.


lagulhas914.jpg




lagulhas1013.jpg



Very nice, just what I wanted.


Now, if the longest journey starts with but a single step, what does it end with?




Posted by Ken Thomas at October 20, 2010 05:52 PM GMT
 



HU DVD Spring Special!

Buy the Achievable Dream Collectors Set and get Road Heroes Part 1 FREE!

Achievable Dream - The Whole Enchilada!

Cooped up indoors in crap weather? Binge watch over 20 hours of inspiring, informative and entertaining stories and tips from 150 travellers! Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to order them both and use Coupon Code 'BoxSet+' on your order when you checkout.


What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders


contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!




New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.



Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!



Story and photos copyright ©

Sorry, you need a Javascript enabled browser to get the email address and dates. You can contact Horizons Unlimited at the link below. Please be sure to tell us WHICH blog writer you wish to contact.

All Rights Reserved.

Contact the author:

Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.

Hosted by: Horizons Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!