Bird Island Lamberts Bay November 2020

One of the things that has been on our bucket list: a photo of Trokkie with Table Mountain in the background.

And as far as we were concerned, Bloubergstrand is the best spot for that.

It was a beautifully sunny day when we arrived at the beach and we got out of the truck for a lazy stroll on the beach. And while we were walking, all of a sudden we saw a whale popping his head out of the water before disappearing again. We quickly went back to Trokkie to get camera and binoculars and spent time just enjoying the sight. We got into the truck for lunch and from there we had an even better view. Unfortunately, the whale didn’t breach anymore, but when zooming in, we could see it was actually a mommy whale with her calf. Quite cool!

When they had disappeared, we decided to continue our trip along the coastal path and see if we could spot more whales further up.

One one of the stops where we got out for a walk and chill session on the beach we met Emilene and Oscar and with a cup of coffee in Trokkie we talked about all things 4×4 campervans!

On their advice we decided to rather stay a few days on Ganzekraal coastal resort instead of just parking on the lay-by’s along the coastal road. Seems you could get into real trouble with poachers. I’m still lagging behind with website and photos so any day (or two) that we can stay put in one place allows me to work.

We had made plans with my sister Lut and husband Gerhard, to go camping at Muisbosskerm on the weekend, so when we left Ganzekraal we headed north. We decided to make a detour via Darling, the home of the well beloved “Evita Bezuidenhout”, the alter ego of Pieter Dirk Uys, who has become an icon in South African culture. He bought an old train station- Evita se Perron– and turned it into a museum, bistro, restaurant and theater with great focus on his/her career as performer and social activist.

We met Lut and Gerhard there for lunch and after lunch we continued north towards Muisbosskerm. The camping was buzzing: seems there would be a MTB race the following day. We parked our two campervans in one of the camping spots, started the fire and opened a bottle of wine. After a few more, a good supper and unexpected visit from our (not too sober) neighbours, we got to bed.

Next morning, after a hearty bacon and eggs breakfast, we drove to Lamberts Bay to see the gannet colony. We had never even heard about it but Lut had said this was a sight not to be missed.

And… it wasn’t!

To get to the colony and the bird hide, you walk over a boardwalk where fairly wild waves smash against the breakers.

Looking from afar, you see a constant swirling of birds over the colony: a continuous circular movement of birds taking off, flying around and landing again. When we were at the bird hide, Gerhard showed where the gannets have a sort of “landing strip” like an airport, with gannets wobbling and flapping there way up fairly clumsy. Once in the sky, they’re elegant enough, but the take off leaves a lot to be desired 🙂

It was fascinating to stand there and listen to the incessant noise they make, being amazed that they actually find their own family in this crowd. The wave of black, yellow and white is never-ending. It’s almost as if they mimic the restless movement of the waves: never a moment of stillness.

We walked furthrer down the pier to see a few diamond boats active on the little bay and a lonely little seal obviously felt uncomfortable being watched and slipped into the water between the waving kelp.

We saw some fishing boats going out to sea and commented on their brave attitude, seeing how rough the sea was. When we eventually started walking back, the young guide from the bird hide, accompanied us over the boardwalk. He said that the sea was getting wilder and soon enough the waves would be crashing so hard over the boardwalk that they could sweep us of our feet. It seems when this walk becomes too dangerous due to rough sees pounding the breakers, they close the boardwalk, which they did soon after we were off the boardwalk. Seems we were lucky to have been able to walk up to the colony.

We got us a nice meal of mussels, fish and other seafood and then we parted ways again. Lut and Gerhard had to go back to work the following day and we headed out towards Piketberg in search of a spot to sleep.

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