Friday, March 27, 2009

Paternoster camping

Marie, the dawn is breaking...

Morning in Paternoster, at the Cape Columbine Reserve.

...and the night terrors receded.

Vince unzipped the tent and came to bed when the sky and sea had turned opalescent, sometime before 5am. He was cold, his hands freezing. We had not equipped ourselves for night watches in the Cape mist. He snuggled up, covered in both sleeping bags. And I was wide awake.

So I decided to assume the dangerous dawn sentry duty.

The mist had lifted and the sea had cleared to its cobalt blues again. The tide was far out and the rocks in our bay exposed in frilly capes of weed. I poked about.

I found many sea urchins quite undamaged. Rare for this coast.

Pink limpit shells...

And many snails.

The sun turned the crystal-studded granite golden.

And dew on the coffee mugs called for remedy.

I lit the Cadac burner, the gas roar loud in the still morning.

And looked into the pot to see one of the most welcome coffee sights ever. The new day had begun.

While I sat in a camping chair sipping coffee feathered friends hopped about the campsite begging for crumbs of last night's bread..

And some bossy kelp gulls investigated the night's dishes to see if there was any crayfish left. I gave them some legs and crunchy bits.

I took a walk up into the high boulders down a sandy path in the low vegetation and saw a mongoose on his dawn rounds.

I need help with this one, above. It looks like the Tylecodon grandiflorus we saw at Olifantsbos but the succulent stems are so much larger.

Above and below, a small, precisely-thorned aloe growing right in the rock, a few paces from the water. Possibly Aloe distans, based on my googling.

I got back to camp as the last of the mist cleared out, and headed for the coffee pot to start over. In the tent the night guard was stirring, still very sleepy.

One more day to go, and we would be back in Cape Town.


  1. LOL, our cheap stove-top espresso maker endured the trip's abuse well and it saved the night, and lit up the morning... :-)

  2. the greens in those sea urchins are gorgeous. they remind me of the glass "sea pod" beads i posted about a while back. mother nature is quite the artist.

  3. Beautiful pics - magic! The tylecodon is the common (lovely) one T.grandiflorus - aka Botterboom. Apparently kids used to use the succulent stems to skate / slide down a slope (??? wish I could see a demo - methinks this needs verification)

  4. Gallopin horses and all :-)

    Mheart: yes, they were impossibly perfect.

    Marijke - like a foefie (sp/) slide??


Comments on posts older than 48 hours are moderated (for spam control) . Yours will be seen! Unless you are a troll. Serial trollers are banned.