Go back to the start of this blog - on this link.
We had a light lunch after the opening ceremony, then headed back to our chalets for some down-time. My husband and I were allocated a single chalet which was brand spanking new. I had to give the soap dispenser a good few pumps to get it going. The ethos of sustainability is again reflected in the chalets. They are beautifully decorated in natural materials and neutral colours. I absolutely love
|Sunset from Lagoon House|
the smell of a thatch roof and wooden decking. Our bed was enormous with pristine white linen. The chalets are self-catering which is particularly great for us as we are aspirant vegans. However, SANParks provided all our meals for this weekend.
SANParks charge a room rate which is typically around R900 to R1000 for two people sharing. The rates vary depending on which park you are staying. They charge a nominal rate for extra people or children. If you work out the cost per head, it's affordable. Google -
www.sanparks.org - and browse their site to see all the parks, check tariffs and availability. You might want to consider a Wild Card, which allows unlimited access to over 80 parks around South Africa, special offers and discounts as well as their newspaper and on-line newsletters.
|Inside Lagoon House|
You might also want to consider subscribing to the SANParks Times,
a newspaper packed full of beautiful photos and news relating to conservation and environmental issues. Contact -SANParkstimes@RNAD.co.za for more info.
|Jean Daneel WinesParks |
Around early evening we walked to the
Lagoon House for a wine tasting. Lagoon House is a historical Cape Dutch farm house that has been kept intact but refurbished. It's now an 8 sleeper unit a stone's throw from the sea. Because these chalets are in a national park you're not surrounded by concrete and noise. You have nothing more than yourself, plus a few fellow visitors, and the environment as God intended. Peace. Bliss.
|Jean Daneel Wine|
A vintner from nearby Napier was given an opportunity to present his wines with cheese and biscuits. We were able to ask questions and sample 5 wines including a 5-star
wooded Chenin Blanc. Apparently it takes around 1kg grapes for him to make a 750ml bottle of wine. Grapes vary in size, wine grapes are usually smaller than eating grapes. The alcohol content of a wine is largely affected by the region it grows - hotter weather increases the alcohol percentage. Find his wines at www.jdwines.co.za.
I was impressed that SANParks are forging relationships with locals. Not only was the vintner given a chance to showcase his handiwork, but another local lady made our meals for the weekend. We ate well. Very well. After a lovely supper and chatting to other media folk and SANParks staff, my other half and I left to walk along a white gravel road - under a full moon - back to our chalet. With no development for miles around the Agulhas National Park, the moon was brighter than I have ever seen her before. We slept like babies in the big bed with the sound of the waves rolling softly in the background.
|Breakfast fruit pancakes|
The following morning we walked back to
Lagoon House for breakfast taking in a few snaps of the turquoise blue lagoon en-route. Brekka was another sumptuous affair. Fruit piled high on delicious pancakes. My husband and I got a special veggie breakfast with yummy mushrooms. I'm not sure if it was the common interests of the group or if we just had a great group of people. The conversation was always interesting and everyone had something to say - that was worth hearing.
|Fruit piled onto home made pancakes|
After breakfast we all piled into the bus and drove to the landmark L'Agulhas lighthouse. I regret to say I didn't climb the 71 steps to the
top and gaze out at the dividing line - 20'E meridian - where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet. I'm scared of heights but my husband ventured up. A delightful local lady gave a talk on when the lighthouse was completed - 1848 - and more about shipwrecks, past occupants, and to quote our lady guide when she ran out of words - blah, blah, blah. I loved how she captured the gist of L'Agulhas as the very tip of Africa. Behind is the rest of Africa, ahead is Antarctica.
We saw a bus which had brought Junior Rangers to the area. This is yet another SAN Parks initiative whereby teenagers visit various national parks. They are taught about local flora and fauna as well orienteering skills. A bit like girl guides or boy scouts. They have regular meetings and graduation programmes.
Part 3 - is on this link
More on other travels on - Holidays and Trips - which you find at the top of this page.
Labels: 20'E meridian, JD wines, Junior Rangers, L'Agulhas lighthouse, Napier, SANParks