Posts Tagged ‘Koingnaas’

Pick of the Pix.

As some of you know I am a professional photographer working out of Cape Town, South Africa and hope that the photographs in my posts have been fairly interesting. The professional  work  has been connected to theatre  and dance so this type of photography was pretty new to me. After having a look through all the photos from the trip I decided to do this post of a few that I think stand out from the rest.

Interesting to note that only 2 of the photos were taken with a high-end camera – actually a not so high-end Canon 20D with an 80-200 2.8f lens – and all the rest with a point and shoot type Canon G7 camera. I was truly amazed at the quality of the G7 and it was only for the photos of  birds that I switched to the 20D.

Sunrise at Brandkaros near Alexander Bay.
Sunrise at Brandkaros near Alexander Bay.

This is one of my favourites and I am using it as the desk top of my computer.

Beach at Alexander Bay.
Beach at Alexander Bay.

The feeling of desolation in this photo sums up the story of Alexander Bay itself.

Hazy sunset at McDougalls Bay.
Hazy sunset at McDougalls Bay.

Golden Sunset at McDougalls Bay.
Golden Sunset at McDougalls Bay.

Every sunset at McDougalls Bay seemed to produce  different tonal qualities.

Ship wreck at Port Nolloth.
Shipwreck at Port Nolloth.

This happened fairly recently and they were  hoping to re-float her.

Shipwreck just south of Kleinzee.
Shipwreck just south of Kleinzee.

Not much chance of re-floating this wreck!

Spot me if you can.
Spot me if you can.

Photo of very well camouflaged chameleon taken near Kleinzee.

Dragline taken at Kleinzee.
Dragline taken at Kleinzee.

Namaqualand flowers just outside Nababeep.

Namaqualand flowers just outside Nababeep.

Flowers near Springbok.

Flowers near Springbok.

According to most of the locals I spoke to 2009 has not been a great year for flowers.

Seal on the edge.

Seal on the edge at Hondeklipbaai.

About 10 seconds after I took this shot the seal took a headlong dive into that churning white water.

Still standing!

Still standing! (Dooringbaai)

Talk about the power of the sea – the noise when that wave hit that wall was like thunder.

Bird Island at Lamberts Bay.

Bird Island at Lamberts Bay.

The noise, and to be honest the smell, when you went down wind of these thousands of Gannets was quite something.

Bird on the wing.

Bird on the wing.

Toutch down at Verlorenvlei

Touch down at Verlorenvlei

Both bird shots above were taken at Vensterklip using a Canon 20D camera.

Well I hope you have enjoyed looking at the photographs as much as I did taking them. Hopefully there will be plenty more, at new locations, in the coming months.

Hondeklipbaai – Part 2

To be honest I wish I could have spent a few days in this quaint little fishing village. The people are so friendly and willing to chat that I got caught up, and ended up not having enough time to meet half the characters I wanted to.

On going into the village itself  the first person I met was one of the local constabulary standing in a very pretty garden in front of his neat house. What a nice guy. He told me about which roads I should take and which to avoid when he heard that I wanted to visit Koingnaas on my my back to Kamieskroon.

A very colourfull flower bush in the policemans garden.

A colourful flower bush in the policeman's garden. The bee loved it!

About a hundred meters  from the policeman’s house I came to the little harbour which has been used for many different purposes over the years – shipping copper ore, as a base for the diamond diving boats and for the fishing and crayfishing boats.

The harbour area

The harbour area

The fish and chips shop right at the edge of the beach.

The fish and chips shop right at the edge of the beach.

The four in picture placing their orders, all residents of Hondeklipbaai,  were very friendly and invited me to sit down and have lunch with them. The guy on left of picture and his wife, 3rd from left, have had a plot in Hondeklipbaai for 10 years and over time built a house and moved in  permanently just over 9 months ago. The guy 2nd from the left, Stanley Cierenberg, is an artist and also runs a small art gallery from his home.

The Cierenberg Gallery.

The Cierenberg Gallery.

Inside the gallery.

Inside the gallery.

Stanley sitting at his favourite spot for tea and breakfast.

Stanley sitting at his favourite spot for tea and breakfast.

One of the artists on display at the gallery is local photographer “Roberto”. Roberto and his wife Dawn also run a restaurant, and offer tented self-catering accommodation called Skulpieskrall.

Sheltered tenting accomodation.

Sheltered tented accommodation.

Skulpieskraal tented camp comprises six comfortable tents with two single beds and bedding in each. The tents are pitched on timber decks under A–frame structures which are covered with shade netting where one can relax and enjoy a late afternoon sundowner.

Die Rooi Spinnekop Restaurant run by Roberto & wife Dawn.

Die Rooi Spinnekop Restaurant run by Roberto & wife Dawn.

This old sailing boat, I think it might be a Dabchick, is used as a serving table.

This sail boat is used as a serving table.

Unfortunately Roberto was not available to have a chat so my friendly guide, Stanley and I moved on as I was a bit worried about what I still wanted to see and do and it was getting late.

The Outside Gallery run by Villain.

The Outside Gallery run by Villain.

A wreck in the harbour area.

A wreck in the harbour area.

While I was sitting at the Fish and Chips shop having a bite to eat I spotted this wreck on the other side of the bay. I have no idea what, how or when but thought it looked quite dramatic and I also wanted to a view shot of Hondeklipbaai from the same angle.

View of Hondeklipbaai across the bay.

View of Hondeklipbaai across the bay.

It was getting quite late, and I still had a long way to drive, so I reluctantly left and started the rest of my journey for the day. I also wanted to make sure that I did not have to drive on the gravel roads in the dark.

Entrance to Koingnaas.

Entrance to Koingnaas.

I should probably have stayed longer in Hondeklip than try and rush through to Koingnaas as there was just not enough time to get signed in at security and get to have a look round the town. So once again I was on my way and hoping to see  flowers on my way to Soebatsfontein. I don’t know if it was to late in the day but I saw very little in the way of flowers. What I did get was the worst road I have travelled on so far in my journey and thought the old Pajero was going to get shaken to pieces.

Soebatsfontein rugby field.

Soebatsfontein rugby field.

I did find something interesting at Soebatsfontein and that was the Wallabies (Australian Rugby Team) having a secret scrummaging practice in preparation for the rest of the Tri Nations Rugby Competition.

All in all a good day but I do wish I could have spent a least 3 or 4 days exploring Hondeklipbaai and its interesting, friendly inhabitants. There is such a great attmosphere there and all seem to live in peace and harmony.

Back to Basics – Backpackers

I met Bruce Wessels when he accompanied his father, Dudley, and I on the 4×4 Ship Wreck trail between Kleinzee and Koingnaas on my recent visit to Kleinzee. He has just recently, December 2008,  opened a Backpackers a few km’s from Koingnaas aimed at budget travellers who are looking for good surfing, crayfish diving – in season and with a permit – walking trails and back to nature experiences. They charge R100 per person per night and there is a rather cool surf spot on the doorstep called Workshop or The Workshop.

At the end of the 4×4 trail we dropped Bruce off and I had time for a quick look round and to take a few photographs.

Bruce Wessels infront of Back to Basics Backpackers
Bruce Wessels infront of Back to Basics Backpackers

Originally there were 2 groups of diamond divers huts in this area and both have now been renovated into very pleasant accommodation establishments. The first to be renovated was at Noup and is owned and managed by Bruce’s Mom and Dad. These are more upmarket self catering units with bathrooms en suite and epitomise the “on the beach” accommodation experience.

Back to Basic Backpackers was the second group of huts to be renovated, basic but comfortable,  self-catering huts just north of Noup. Communal bathrooms, kitchens and social areas make it ideal for small groups. Limited electricity supply in the evenings, 7pm – 10pm, warm water, gas stoves and braai facilities.

One of the larger huts which can sllep 4.
One of the larger huts which can sleep 4.
Communal lounge area
Communal lounge area

One of the bathrooms.

One of the bathrooms.

Some of the original decor.

Some of the original decor.

A reminder of the past?

A reminder of the past?

The lapa type braai area with the sea as your backdrop.

The lapa type braai area with the sea as your backdrop, ideal for sundowners.

All in all I think this would be a great place to stay for more than just a couple of nights. Because they are situated between Koingnaas and Kleinzee one needs to obtain clearance before being able to stay over night, therefore one must please contact Bruce at least 3 or 4 days before arriving so he can organize the relevant permits. (no charge)

Bruce Wessels –  Back to Basics Backpackers – 084-964-5856

Kleinzee – part 2

For the second part of my day in Kleinzee I was introduced to Dudley Wessels and his son Bruce. They were helping find suitable sites to erect camps for a new 4 day hiking trail that will hopefully be open to the public by the end of 2009. I was fortunate enough to be taken out by them on one of the great 4×4 routes along the coast for a couple of hours.

The area of land between Kleinzee and a place called Koingnaas 65 km to the south, is being utilised  for many projects to provide meaningful and sustainable input into the economy of the region. As mentioned the latest of these projects is a 4 day 80 km hiking trail which includes various habitats – strandveld, dunes and pristine coastal stretches.

Discussing the suitability of this area as a camp-site

Discussing the suitability of an area as a camp-site.

One of the beautiful bays.

One of the beautiful bays.

If I remember correctly this is the view one would have from one of the hiking camps.

Another beautiful beach.

Another stunning beach.

Reject ostrich eggs some of whichthat are possibly 15 years old.

Reject ostrich eggs some of which are possibly 15 years old.

Spot me if you can.

Spot me if you can.

How on earth one of the guys spotted this chameleon I have no idea.

One of the many flowering daisy bushes along the way.

One of the many flowering daisy bushes along the way.

Apart from the hiking trail there are 2 guided 4×4 trails. One is a 27 km dune drive, The Strandveld 4×4 Trail, which follows a sometimes almost invisible route through a 30,000ha private game reserve, two different dune systems and alternating veld. Ostriches, gemsbok, springbok and smaller antelope are common sights along the route. Unfortunately my time was limited so I did not go on this trail.

The other 4×4 trail, The Shipwreck 4×4 Trail, was the one I was taken on and it was spectacular. The trail is pretty rough  has a difficulty rating of 2-4, so it was a good thing I was not driving, and lasts about 5 hours.

Over many years the stormy Atlantic Ocean has sent a number of ships to a chilly grave along the coast between Kleinzee and Koingnaas.

The Border

The Border

On Tuesday 1 April 1947 the 285 ton British motor coaster, The Border, ran aground in dense fog at high tide, just south of Namanas Point, between Kleinzee and Koingnaas. All on board reached safety by means of a lifeline to the beach

The Piratiny

The Piratiny

In June 1943 the 5000 ton Brazilian steamer Piratiny was wrecked at Schulp Point, about 80km south of Port Nolloth, while on a voyage from Brazil to Cape Town.  Again no lives were lost and in fact they were able to salvage most of the cargo.

The trail is not just all about shipwrecks and you travel past pristine beaches, archaeological sites dating as far back as the late Stone Age and historical sites such as the Agenbags stone house.

Die Klip Huis

Die Kliphuisie

“Die Kliphuisie” was built by a farmer on the farm “Zwart Duinen” in 1928, but he disappeared under mysterious circumstances in 1931. The next inhabitants were the Agenbag family.  This quaint little farmhouse from a bygone era has been vacant since the Agenbags retired in 1976.

There are numerous places that one can stay at in the area, self catering guest houses, a backpacker and 2 caravan and camping parksone at Kleinzee and the other at Koingnaas. If I was looking for a good place to just chill out, go surfing, walking, cycling etc. this would be it.

Please be aware that the area is under the control of the De Beers – Namaqualand Mines and if you wish to spend more than just a day you must apply for permission at least 5 days in advance as security clearance is necessary. Your full names and ID numbers will be required and a permit will be issued free of charge at the entrance gates. For more information contact Diamond Coast – Forever Namaqualand +27278770028