Day 7_Art and Fossils


My day started yet again with strolling on the beach, strange dreams from the previous night still spiralling in my head. I noticed my tracks and compared them to a stranger's that walked there earlier whilst remembered the mystery tracks I once found on a farm I was living on. They looked like little human hands, too big to be that of a squirrel and not quite like those of a racoon. It bothered me for two days until I drove past a skunk and pinned him down as the culprit.

As I made breakfast, Free Willy was on in the background with the ending scene playing. I just love movies from the 90's. The kids are always smarter than the adults and they always go about following their dreams and stand up for what they believe in - all in the name of friendship and love. Isn't that lovely?

I set out for Paternoster, realising pretty soon that most of the West Coast is a network of dirt roads, just like the Northern Cape. A friend and I once tried to get to Sutherland and ended up on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere, Northern Cape. It was the middle of the night and we were trying our best not to hit rabbits and every time we went up a hill it was like driving straight into the stars. Such a good memory. Anyway, not rushed for time I decided to stay on the dirt road, driving as slowly as possible, my little car still packed, everything rattling.  It was worth it. Wide open fields, grazing cattle, and an old farm house with an old wind pump, contrasted by giant wind turbines on the horizon. I stopped to try and take a selfie at some point, but my phone kept blowing off the top of my car where I tried to perch it. Nature 1, vanity 0.

I found another winning quote outside a small shop in Paternoster:

Some days I amaze myself, other days I put my keys in the fridge.

We are all so silly sometimes. I drove through the white chalked houses of this quaint little coastal town and quickly reached the outskirts with its sandy roads and roaming stray dogs. I settled in at a restaurant, Timeless Coffee, on the main street and had some snoek and sweet potatoes(1) surrounded by the white tables and blue and pink cotton-candy-coloured umbrellas. I got lost in a little gallery owned by artist/actor At Botha filled with colourful scenes of the South African platteland (countryside). I got mesmerised by all the colours and bought my first ever piece of art. So exciting! I may not have a house to hang it in, but I think I have my priorities right. I told him he was living the dream, having a gallery in a small town, drinking wine in the early afternoon. He did not argue.

Still bursting with excitement over my new painting, I drove south passing through Saldanha Bay and made my way back to the West Coast Fossil Park. Happily driving along, I passed some springboks and a tattered old wind pump somewhere along the Langebaan road as I was singing along to Gouplove, my favourite band. The West Coast Fossil Park did not disappoint. I learned so much at this amazing place and saw some remnants of the craziest animals that used to roam the earth. Once upon a time, we had bears and mammoths here! My favourite fossils were that of the Sivathere - a giant short-necked, long-horned giraffe. It looked absolutely terrifying.

As I got back to the Nautilus, I turned on the TV just as Claire sparked up the flares and outran the T-Rex in Jurassic World in her hills.(2) What an epic scene. I found it really fitting after a day of fossil exploration. I went for yet another late afternoon walk ,floating over the beach listening to Orbital, Halcyon On and On and finally found the perfect name for this blog! I knew something would come up eventually.

I spent the evening setting up my domain name, with Stuur Groete aan Mannetjies Roux showing in the background, enjoying some Afrikaans nostalgia.(3)


(1) Snoek is a type of fish that is common to the southern tip of Africa and eating it with sweet potatoes is apparently a thing around here.

(2) Referring to the first minute and a half of this clip. This movie is so special since it came out on my friend (who quite possibly might be the biggest Jurassic Park fan) 's birthday.We saw it twice, once in 4D and I had to dress up. No regrets.

(3) Stuur Groete aan Mannetjies Roux is a famous song, but in this case a movie, based on the lyrics. It is sung by Laurika Rauch, whose voice is familiar in many-a-Afrikaans (and English) home. 



Photo Album

  • On my way to Paternoster, West Coast