la Brocanteuse

Jan 16, 2011

Southern tip of Africa

On impulse we decided to take a few days off from home..and headed a little  fishing village called 
 Arniston forms part of a few villages bordering the most southern tip of Africa, Cape Agulhas being at the most south-a few kilometers on.

we live in STELLENBOSCH  which is situated to the west of the map, 50 km inland from CAPE TOWN    Arniston is a 3 hour drive to the south.

 there it is...the almost tip of Africa!

Arniston Harbour
Arniston is a small seaside settlement in the Overberg  region on the Cape South coast, close to Cape Agulhas,  the southern-most tip of Africa .
 Prior to the loss of the Arniston, it was known as Waenhuiskrans, an Afrikaans name meaning literally  "Wagon house cliff", after a local sea cave large enough to accommodate a wagon and a span of oxen.

In May 1815, a British East Indiaman, the Arniston, was rounding the Cape in convoy on a journey to repatriate wounded English soldiers from Ceylon.
 The ship lacked a chronometer – an expensive instrument at the time – and consequently had to rely on other ships in the fleet to calculate the longitude  of the group. After being separated from the convoy in heavy seas, the captain of the Arniston was obliged to rely solely on dead reckoning  to navigate. Thinking incorrectly he was 100 miles west of the Cape of Good Hope, the master steered north for St Helena and ran the ship onto the rocks at Waenhuiskrans. Only six of the 378 souls on board survived the stranding. 
The survivors spent several days on the beach before being discovered by a farmer's son.  A memorial, a replica of which can be seen today, was erected on the beach by the wife of Colonel Giels, whose four unaccompanied children were lost in the tragedy

At first only a fishing community, Arniston has become a renowned holiday destination and its hinterland a respected region for viticulture. The fishing village - characterized by its lime-washed and thatched houses - remains unspoiled and has been declared a National Monument in its entirety. Fishermen still go to sea in boats of the style that would have been familiar to locals in the early nineteenth century.Whale watching  is a popular tourist activity. 

Fishing is a integrated part of Arniston, it is the fishermen's heritage, it is their pride, their livelihood.
The fishermen's village Kassiesbaai, lies to the left of the town, the one and only hotel can be seen on the very left of the image below and has been turned into the four star Arniston Spa- hotel.

this is a postcard of the hotel  we stayed-
 my apologies for not taking a better photograph.

We were captivated by the colorful fishing boats. Early morning one hear the men getting ready to  take to  the sea, all excited and eager they load their gear, nets and fresh water and meals to be enjoyed out there... far into the sea. Some times they stay out all day and night, returning with the tide. huge grins can be seen from the little harbor - their families waiting. Local visitors and permanent residents, have access to the freshest fish daily. 

 We go down to Arniston every start of the new year, it just happened one year and it has become a tradition to visit here on our wedding anniversary.
  this little village has touched a very special place in my heart...the humble way these people make fishing their living..their spontaneity, their sharing with others..
it almost makes me long for less "stuff" and more
just the essential...
the beauty that changes with each tide, and yet stays the same.

I would love to spend longer then just a few days in this  beautiful village..long enough to notice a new paint color on a much loved boat..
can you imagine...choosing a new color...or touching up with a new "band" of red or yellow..those are important decisions to make!

 I love how the paintwork is naturally chipped and worn away..

What stories could MRS H share?....

DD enjoying the waves

 I am always ready to go right back to this beautiful little village... and further on to Cape Agulhas where two oceans meet..



lvroftiques said...

Colette I really enjoyed this trip so much!
I have seen the southern most tip of Africa while sitting in my family room (Next to a fire) in the cold and rainy Pacific Northwest of the United States. Isn't technology grand! What a beautiful country you live in! Vanna

La Brocanteuse said...

Hello Vanna,
glad you enjoyed it, doing this post made me realize how little I have really shared about our beautiful country, and I am planning on setting it right with more posts about South Africa.. xo Colette

Maison Douce said...

Looks absolutely gorgeous,Colette!!! Reminds me of the beaches back home...

Acquired Objects said...

Colette, thank you so much for taking us along on your holiday, it's absolutely stunning there! We have snow on the ground here in the northeast of the USA so it's fun to see DD having fun in the warm waves.

Have a lovely week!

Notes From ABroad said...

Oh how beautiful and charming it looks ! And the ocean, sigh, I have not seen the ocean in a while, too long.. I have to do something about that.
I look forward to more photos and stories :)


Beautiful photos, Colette!! Love the colors!


Mona Thompson Providence Ltd. said...

It's always fun to travel with friends. Great pics! Have a great week. Mona

Burlap Luxe said...

Beautiful Colette.
I am left speechless...How I long to be there inperson well, maybe someday.

Love painted boats are just so adorable, the one named Timothy made me smile that is my brothers name!!

Enjoy your Africa.
Beautiful post.

Sandi~A Cottage Muse said...

Goodness how beautiful!! I love the contrast of the white homes and the bold colored boats!

LaPouyette said...

Dear Colette, what a lovely post! Beautiful photos and so "alive"! I can nearly feel what you felt taken while them all.
And I certainly do like the history-info and the map.
Well done!


Lana {lanalou style} said...

Hi Colette, thanks so much for your comment! We often visit Arniston, you've captured it so well in your post!

Mélanie A. said...

Thank you for taking me with you ... This harbour is beautiful . I want to vist South Africa so much

Wendy said...


We live in L'Agulhas and I have a blog

This is such a special piece of the South African coast with such lovely people - an old fashioned courtesy that most of the world has forgotten about.

Loved seeing your pics.