Spring has sprung!

It’s spring time in South Africa! The first day of spring was actually during our reading week, on September 1st (which I thought was odd because it doesn’t fall on an equinox). The west coast is known for its wildflowers, so since everything is in bloom now I decided to take a drive up to go see them.

West Coast National Park

West Coast National Park

It was a nice little drive up through a couple farming communities before getting to the West Coast National Park. I actually thought the different landscapes were so interesting – you had farming towns on one side and then the ocean on the other. Not exactly Saskatchewan style farming. But, as in Canada, one must always be vigilant when it comes to wildlife on the road.

Turtle crossing

Turtle crossing

Immediately followed by a turtle

Immediately followed by a turtle

The West Coast Park is gorgeous. It’s set alongside the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Langebaan Lagoon on the other.

Flowers along the Atlantic

Flowers along the Atlantic

Langebaan Lagoon

Langebaan Lagoon

One part of the park is only open for the months of August and September, when the wildflowers bloom. There was actually a bit of game in that area of the park as well, which I wasn’t expecting!

Looking over the veld to the lagoon

Looking over the veld to the lagoon

Wild flamingo - for some reason I find it weird that flamingos exist in the wild. They look like they should always just be for decorative purposes

Wild flamingo – for some reason I find it funny that flamingos exist in the wild. They look like they should always just be for decorative purposes

Zebras and antelope in the flowers

Zebras and antelope in the flowers

Wildebeest

Wildebeest

Looking out to the Atlantic

Looking out to the Atlantic

Wild flowers, wild spirit

Wild flowers, wild spirit

The flowers were so bright and beautiful! I love spring here – it rains still, but it doesn’t get as messy as back in Canada. And how can you not be in a good mood when nature is smiling at you like this?

The brighter, the better

An eye in a blue face saw an eye in a green face.

..

‘That eye is like to this eye’ said the first eye,

'But in low place

‘But in low place not in high place.’

I had also wanted to go fishing that day, so I drove through some of the towns further up the coast, some on the lagoon, others on the ocean. Unfortunately, all the boats were already in by the time I got to the fishing areas, so I didn’t get to go out! I did manage to stop at an art gallery though, and bought my first real person painting! I’m so excited – the artist is from the West Coast, and has just recently been discovered in Joburg. The piece I bought isn’t on display on her website, but to get an idea of her style you can look at http://candicedawn.co.za/gallery.php. And yes, mom and dad, I know I’m going to be living off noodles for the rest of the year.

On the dock at Langebaan Lagoon

On the dock at Langebaan Lagoon

Clear waters of Langebaan

Clear waters of Langebaan

At a boat launch in Langebaan

At a boat launch in Langebaan

Boats on the beach in Paternoster

Boats on the beach in Paternoster

Looking out to the Atlantic

Looking out to the Atlantic

Luckily it is a beautiful drive, so I’m sure I’ll be able to find some time to head back that way to get some fishing in! I think one of the greatest things about Cape Town is how much there is to do outdoors, and how close you are to the mountains and oceans. Living here and having access to that outdoor lifestyle is really reminding me about what I want to do and where I want to be long term. I love the fact that I’m a 15 minute drive to go on a real hike, that I can drive an hour and be camping, and that I’m a 20 minute drive from the beach.

Driving back to the Mother City

Driving back to the Mother City

This past week was also one of my housemate’s twenty-first birthday! Sofia spent her actual birthday with her boyfriend and his family (they’re from Cape Town) and then we all went out together on Saturday. Sofia found a costume party downtown, and we decided to dress up like bathers – the guys were in the shower, and the girls were either bubbles or loofahs. We ended up winning the best group costume prize!

Shower boys

Shower boys

Loofah girls with a birthday loofah in the middle!

Loofah girls with a birthday loofah in the middle!

Loofah life

Loofah life

Legs for days

Just a couple of loofahs out for a stroll

The crew!

The crew!

Other than that, I’ve been getting back into the swing of being at school after my break. I did come here for school, right? I have one more paper due at the end of September, a takehome exam due the end of October, and then I have one exam November first and will be free to travel wherever the wind blows me! I can’t believe how quickly the time has been going by here though! I only have a month left of classes, which is especially weird when I see that everyone at Queen’s is just getting started (suckers). I am definitely going to be sure to continue making the most of my time here!

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