AFRIKAANS: Nou, my liewe blogvriende, kan julle sien dat ek wel van strand tot strand loop, die golwe geniet, die son opsuig en die skulpies optel en so aan, al die dinge wat gewoonlik onder die etiket van “vakansie” gelys word, maar eintlik is dit harde werk! 😄
Die foto hierbo is geneem in Southport met ons eerste besoek aan ons nuwe dorp se strand, en kyk net die kosbare skat wat daar in die vlak waters gelê het. Die skulp, nie die nagemaakte crocs nie! Kyk gerus na nog skulpies wat ons opgetel het op die webtuiste wat ons vandag vrygestel het.
ENGLISH: Now, my dear blogger friends, you’ve seen in my blogs how I’m walking from beach to beach, enjoying the waves, soaking up the sun, collecting shells and so on, all the things that are usually listed under the “holiday” label, but actually it’s hard work! 😄
The picture above was taken in Southport on our first visit to our new beach where we recently moved to, and just look at the precious treasure that lay waiting in the shallow waters. The shell, not the fake crocs! Take a look at the other shells we have collected to date on the website that we released today.
Www.mtwalumekzn.co.za, released by WeaverWorx today, was designed as a marketing tool for a holiday region on the Southcoast of KwaZulu-Natal, giving potential holidaymakers a preview of the beauty and allure of the pristine beaches and majestic rivers of the coastal towns Mtwalume, Elysium and Ifafa Beach on the website’s photo gallery. The website also offers an opportunity to the community and residents to promote their businesses and upcoming events. Nearby attractions are mapped and contact details made available. For shell collectors, there is an added bonus of a shell identification guide which is still in progress. Website users are invited to participate in discussions, using the Facebook plugin, and to submit their own images.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, I don’t get paid when you click on this link. “Holidaying” all day long is my only payment.
A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots. ― Marcus Garvey
“You see this plant?”, says Benny, our fossil guide, “this pattern of the leave was the inspiration for the netting of that bag that oranges are sold in today.”
I look at Benny, for a moment not sure whether he is joking or not. We are hiking the Mzamba Fossils and Petrified Forest Trail along the beach right next to the Wild Coast Sun in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. Benny has proved himself a well of knowledge, and is passionate about the fossils in this protected locality, but his smile is always present and he is not above teasing the members of the tour group.
The Mzamba Cretaceous Deposits is a set of famous marine fossil beds dating back ± 85 million years. The fossils are exposed in a 10 metre-high headland of cliffs and overhangs known as the White Man’s Cave, consisting of sandstone and limestone deposits rich in fossil material, that are visible at low tide.
We specifically chose a day when the tide was super low and Benny has already shown us quite a few treasures. In the shallow waters of the exposed reef, he pointed out the petrified (silicified) tree trunks. Some of the trees were already invaded by marine worms before silicification was completed and the petrified worms are clearly visible.
We were astonished by the fossiled bones of what Benny described to have originated from a dinosaur and a marine worm respectively. He explained to us that the Cretaceous geological period followed after the Jurassic period, the time when dinosaurs walked the earth. This brought home the historical and scientific importance of these ancient deposits.
On the beach, Benny and his assistant started digging in the sand and right before our eyes they exposed one-half of an enormous clam (bivalve) shell. Benny explains that this size was normal for clams in the Cretaceous geological period and places a ZAR R5 coin in the shell for “digital comparison”. We laughingly speculate how many diners could eat their fill from such a giant clam if served in a modern day restaurant. As we carried along on the trail, he pointed out more of these giant sized shells.
Benny’s particular interest is the (now extinct) spirally coiled ammonites, also called ramshorns, and are comparable to present day octopuses, squid, and cuttlefish. He kneels down on the beach to make a drawing of an ammonite to show us what this marine critter would have looked like all those millions of years ago.
In the rockface, we marveled at the fossilized image of a sea turtle. Benny is pointing out the eye of the turtle.
In the ceiling of one of the series of caves, he pointed out the casting of an ancient strelitzia and then compared it to an example of a present day strelitzia lying on the floor of the cave. The similarity is clear. (See images of the Giant Strelitzia or Wild Banana Tree, as it is known locally, which forms part of the coastal growth in KwaZulu-Natal, in this previous blog post).
In the White Man’s Cave Benny invites us to sit down while he tells us the tale of the shipwrecked sailors who lived in these caves many years ago and were the first white persons ever seen by the indigenous population. Hence, the cave was dubbed and is still known as the White Man’s Cave.
He gently condemns the actions of unscrupulous people who remove the fossils from their ancient resting place and reminds us of the fossilized shark tooth that he was, after all, not able to show off, as it was carried off by one such person the previous day. Only a slight depression in the soil remained as a reminder thereof.
He talks about the effects of global warming and the large mass extinctions in Earth history during previous geological periods. Then he emphasizes the need to preserve these geological wonders for our children and all future generations.
Thank you Benny. I believe your tale about the netting of the bag that oranges are sold in. 😀
These guided tours take place from Mondays to Fridays and prospective hikers gather at the reception desk of the Wild Coast Sun at 8:30 am. The fossil beds are best viewed at low tide.
The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them – Thomas Merton
This is a picture of my son and I, captured by my daughter during a recent visit to the Mzamba Fossils and Petrified Forest on the Wild Coast (I’ll elaborate on this adventure in my next post).
Our colorful reflections behind us remind me of our relationship spanning almost four decades: the ups and downs, the struggle for control within our relationship as well as the quest for inner control, the periods of uneasy peace, but also the close connection that still holds strong.
Our shadows stretching out in front of us attest to the fact that the future is unknown, but not to be feared.
Above all, when I look at this picture, I realise that my son has learned to fly solo and has become his own man, and that is how it should be.
💗 you and thank you for starring in my blog posts.
Southport is een van KwaZulu-Natal se Blue Flag strandoorde en is werklik ‘n plesier om te besoek. Afgesien van die groot getypoel en menigte kleiner, natuurlike rotspoeletjies waar jy in louwarm water kan dryf, is daar ook die geleentheid om in die branders te swem, met lewensredders wat ‘n ogie hou oor die swemmers. Vir vissermanne is dit blykbaar ‘n paradys, want visstokke is orals op die rotse sigbaar. Die strand is ruim en die geriewe skoon en netjies.
Hier aan die stertkant van die somer, net voor die einde van die vakansie-seisoen, was daar nog ‘n paar heerlike warm dae waartydens ons ons nuwe strand kon besoek en geniet. Die vakansiegangers het in die water baljaar of onder sonsambrele rondgelê. Andere het die piekniek- en braai-areas ten volle benut.
Vir diegene wat nie braaf genoeg is om dit in die branders te waag nie, is daar ‘n gerieflike groot getypoel om in te swem. Die grys koppie wat daar in die water ronddobber, behoort aan die ouvrou wat haar verbeel sy is ‘n vis.
Visvang van die rotse af was aan die orde van die dag. Die ou met die seer rug het teen die rotse uitgegly op sy 4X4’s (soos hy sy krukke gedoop het) en my rol was om vismandjie te dra, gereedskap aan te gee en my hart vas te hou oor die kinders wat teen die hoogste rotse uitgeklim het om vis te vang en fotos te neem. Kyk gerus na gister se inskrywing WPC Danger: Rock Fishing om te sien hoe Ouboet sy ma se senuwee-drade laat knoop het.