Last weekend I packed up my albatrosses in my old wheelie bag and got out of dodge nice and early. The plan was to go to a big old dusty farm near Napier, close to the bottom-most spot on the map of Africa.
The pretty cloth-covered novel above, by South African writer Anna M Louw, was one of the things I ferreted out over the weekend. Translated, it means “An Albatross Behind Me”.
It can actually be a good omen to be followed by an albatross. Unless you shoot the bird and have to wrap a creepy dead thing around your neck, like the poor freaked out sailor in Samuel Coleridge’s long and winding poem.
The lighthouse at the bottom edge of Africa is iconic. The site of the lighthouse is called L’Agulhas, the absolute end point of Africa, geographically speaking. Also known as Struisbaai, this is about as far as you can go before you fall off the edge and have to swim to Antarctica.
Falling off wasn’t on the menu. We were nowhere near the rocks or the lighthouse keeper, but on the farm in the middle of nowhere. The farm was epic. Big, slow and full of wheat, sheep and puffadders. (Really. We saw two.)
Napier, Bredasdorp and a time-warped mission town called Elim were other highlights on the map, in an area also known as the bread basket of South Africa. It’s true. I had a 45 minute highway nap and the scenery looked like Picture A. When I woke up, it looked like Picture B. That’s a lot of ciabatta.
I don’t remember when last I used a stamp? We saw whole collections of stamps in the old lighthouse museum.