Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Easter weekend in Britannia Bay

We found our Bed and Breakfast, Djuna, on Bookings.com. We normally prefer Self catering, but there was none available in the area when we booked. It is on Golden Mile and currently has a good sea view, but there is a house being built in front of it now
Our very comfortable bedroom and bathroom
The long, long white sandy beach at Britannia Bay and, yes, for three days the weather was perfect. On Easter Monday we awoke to thick sea mist, but it was time to pack and leave and it did burn off later
A nice long wave break makes a lovely sound to send one to sleep
This house is owned by people we know. They were not down for the Easter weekend and had said we could use their braai area, so we could cook our crayfish. It was quite an endeavour, one we might not ever try again, unless we use much more forethought, planning and equipment! But we did have a great deal of fun
Getting out all the food and the equipment we had brought with us. A wok, to boil the crayfish in, SO didn’t work as we couldn't get the water to boil, either on the braai or on the small gas burner we had brought with us. The vine dried Excelsior might seem strange to start with, but it was to go with the pâté we bought when we were in France last year and was a perfect match
A healthy fire using wood gathered around the house and on the beach
The two essential participants in their bath of fresh water, which put them to sleep.
In the end we dispatched them both -  a coup de grace with a big, sharp Sabatier kitchen knife - and grilled them directly on the fire for a very short while. Liberal amounts of butter with fresh garlic, flake salt and some Madagascar spice mix were the only ingredients necessary to flavour them. They were sweet and delicious and contained a surprising amount of meat
The beautiful sunset. Britannia Bay faces the same direction as our house in Sea Point (it is about 140 km further north from Cape Town) and has just as good sunsets every evening
A suitable glass of crisp Special Cuvée Sauvignon Blanc from Springfield, always a favourite. And this 2011 was very, very special.
The gulls gather to roost for the night
Pâté de foie with some lovely sweet wine was our starter
And the sunset just got better and better
We clearly didn’t bring enough light. Our halogen torch batteries have all failed, we forgot the LED lantern and had to rely on four candles which kept blowing out! It was hilarious and we had a lovely evening. Our car headlights got us back to the car, laden with all we had brought with us.
Sunrise from our balcony
Everyone takes a morning walk on the beach, including us, and you meet a lot of nice dogs
Great Black backed gulls fly over
Early morning canoeists. The sea beyond the break is quite calm
Taking off at a run
The beach is covered with the shells of large mussels and what the locals call white mussels, which are actually large clams. You need a licence to ‘pick’ them and you have to dig for the clams
Morning exercise
A young gull
This black back pulled two live crabs from the surf in two minutes
and demolished them in an instant
A local having fun with her German Shepherd. The sociable smaller dog adopted us for our walk and then wandered off to join another party as we departed the beach
A healthy Banting breakfast served every morning at Djuna. Sometimes with mushrooms for Lynne. There were also fruit, yoghurt and black coffee. We could have asked for more...
The tiny sandpipers were so fast it was difficult to get a photograph
A weaver building a nest at the local nursery
We drove, and then walked, to the Shelley Point lighthouse
A sad memorial to someone lost at sea
Roosting cormorants.... and....
... hello, a grey heron and a kelp gull liked the company - ubuntu, just how we should all get along
We found a nice rock for our picnic. No sand in our food please.
Lynne prepares, while John photographs
Shelley Point is an enclosed estate with a golf course. It seemed very empty for an Easter long weekend, where people own expensive properties
A turtle rock? Or a Dr Seuss bird in a hat? Or a resting leopard
A squadron of cormorants over the bay ...
... and coming in to land
Cavorting on the rocks
While the tide returns
Yes, there are dolphins in the bay, we saw them most days. This small pod was treating us to a breaching display, but they were so quick that it was hard to capture an image. But we saw no whales this time
Children delight at playing on the beach
A late afternoon walk on the beach
We left Britannia Bay at mid-morning and headed back to Cape Town, with a stop at Yzerfontein. We found a great parking spot to have a picnic
And discovered a whole colony of Dassies (hyrax/“rock rabbits”) enjoying the midday sunshine on their rocks
Strange to think their nearest ancient relative is an elephant. These are obviously well fed
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2013
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