I decided to stay in Mossel Bay at least for today. I picked up a lovely Mossel Bay tourist brochure at the Cape Agulhas information center yesterday. Its about seeing Mossel Bay on foot. It really came in handy today. It was raining a bit, so I didn’t really feel like riding to Oudtshoorn in any case. Its too stressful to ride in the rain.
As soon as I stepped foot out of the backpackers, walking up Marsh street, a chap in a EZ security company stopped to offer a lift to up the road. He gave me his number saying later, in the evening, I must call him, he will take me up to Monte Cristo and show me the whole of Mossel Bay “Out of the air” – he translated “uit die lug uit” directly from Afrikaans . Funny hey? Maybe not Jan (as in yunn), that’s his name. I don’t feel like fighting off kissing attempts.
Saying goodbye and thanks to Jan, I went over the hill to the coloured area and took some pics. There seemed to be a wide range of economics there. Poor to well off and everything inbetween – judging from the housing.
Then I trekked back up the hill crossing the bridge, over the N2 freeway, back to the main town center. The Dias museum complex was my Next stop. The entry fee was R20. This covers the entry fee too all sites in the complex: The Maritime museum, The shell museum and aquarium, the malay graves (karamats), the brail aromatic garden and the post office tree. I could not get enough of this museum complex, the maritime museum was my favorite. In the maritime museum, there is an exact replica of the Caraval, the ship that Bartholomew Dias adventured to Mossel Bay with all those centuries ago. The replica was completed in 1988 and took 3 months to sail from Lisbon to Mossel Bay on the exact route followed by Dias. This museum has made me fall inlove with my Cuban. Imagining him voyaging on his voyages of discovery – albeit of a different nature. I have a very big thing for him now which I never noticed before, and I miss him like Hell.
After finishing at the Dias complex, I ventured to Pick n Pay supermarket for a DIY lunch. It cost about 50 rand. Lunch and supper actually. Then I bought myself a track top in town. I didn’t pack one as I assumed it would be hot hot hot everywhere. Twas not exactly so. Back I went to the backpackers to reorganize and socialize with the kitties. They are adorable.
At about 2.30 a boat trip to Seal Island seemed like a good idea. So off to the harbour I went, taking the bike this time. Walking in Mossel Bay is not for the faint hearted. The roads are steep! Turns out the boat trip was R120. This for a 1 hour trip, including only about 20 mins of sailing – Seal Island was very near. I am too cheap ass. Consulting the walking tour map again, I decided to rather go check out the masonic temple on Marsh Street and then the lighthouse. The temple was all locked up, Its an old stone building on Marsh Street.
The lighthouse did not disappoint. Spectacular views from there. Entry fee 16 rand to climb to the top. Eddie, the guy in charge there asked me kindly not to jump off. He is a very entertaining man, somewhere between the age of 50 and 60. Once down from the lighthouse, I heard about his whole life story, all the women in his life, The wife who ran away with a younger chap (twice), the one who offered him her house and car if he’d only marry her, The 28 year old asian who’m he really really likes who’s boyfriend doesn’t mind him taking his girlfriend out. I also heard about his four successful children. He doesn’t like to go to pubs to pick up women, he can pick up AIDS too, he says. He didn’t enjoy road tripping to the Richtersveldt alone. He says had he arrived there 10 minutes later, he wouldn’t even have paid to get into wherever he set up camp. So soul-alone he was there. There were lots of monkeys who drove him crazy when he wanted to pack up to go home. Every time he walked away from the unpacked stuff to pit something back in his car, the monkeys were by the unpacked luggage attempting to carry his things away. Incredibly funny! Every time he tried to pack Now, please don’t get me wrong, I don’t know how to explain him without him seeming like a ‘me-monster’, he really was very entertaining, and I really enjoyed his company. We spent nearly an hour chatting.
After bidding “so long” to Eddie, followed a path down from the lighthouse to “the Point” where there is a beautiful war memorial for Mossel Bay residents who perished in one of the world wars. It was locked, but the walls were low enough to jump over, which I did. Its doubles up as a traffic roundabout.
There is a hiking trail all around the cliff off the mountain from “The Point”, alongside the sea that leads to a place called Dana Bay. At the start of this trail is a magnificent ancient cave which had been excavated. Truly amazing. I walked for a bit along the path for about 1km taking lots of photos of the idyllic scenery. The trail is about 15 km long, and I didn’t have the time or strength left to walk all the way. It was already 5.30 so I turned around, walked back up to the lighthouse to fetch my bike and then drove down to “The Point”. Where I hung around a bit, toddling about on the rocks and dipping my tired feet in the cool water.
Its been cloudy all day. Pleasantly cool. The sun is just about setting now. I might go down to the harbour and have a non-alcoholic drink at the bar by the waterside, or I might just call it a day and go catch some snoozes without delay. Mossel Bay is a paradise. I would love to live here. Perhaps soon I will. I will start working out a rough costing for this trip as it unfolds. For future reference and for anyone who might need some help to tightly budget for a trip to this side of the world.
Till tomorrow then …