Cape of Good Hope - Cape of Good Hope NP, South Africa

On the edge of the Old End of the World


a lonely quest
A juvenile ostrich roams the white sand in search of its parents.
beach days
Powerful waves, currents, powerful winds and icy water make Praia de Dias impractical for bathing. But there are always those who try...
That's the Cape
The Cape of Good Hope, well designed beyond Praia de Dias.
for later recall
A group of visitors is photographed behind the emblematic plaque of the Cape of Good Hope
wild coastline
Basalt pebbles and a dense colony of logs of algae fill much of the coast north of the Cape.
A solidary search
Young ostrich golden by the light of the last sun of the day, they keep together in the distress of seeing blocked access to their parents.
light to navigation
The Ponta do Cabo lighthouse, on one of the highest coastal points of the Cabo Peninsula.
Golden Cape
Ostrich roams the sand of a beach near Cabo da Boa Esperança, at the end of the day.
Days Beach II
Another perspective of Dias Beach, with the Ponta do Cabo lighthouse in the background.
History of Gold
Bartolomeu Dias' pillory at sunset. Not far away is the one dedicated to the navigator Vasco da Gama. Both were ordered to be erected by the Portuguese state
We arrived where great Africa yielded to the domains of the “Mostrengo” Adamastor and the Portuguese navigators trembled like sticks. There, where Earth was, after all, far from ending, the sailors' hope of rounding the tenebrous Cape was challenged by the same storms that continue to ravage there.

According to the calendar, when we arrive in Cape Town from a long South African crossing in a truck, winter must have already set in.

And, however, the days succeed each other with clear skies and heat at around 30º, nothing to warm the frigid waters, always full of thick algae that punish the cliffs and hyperbolic sands of these parts. Thanks to the Adamastor by meteorological benevolence, we delight in its dreaded territory.

Even if the atmosphere is sunny, the wind blows furiously every time we approach the abysses so that it lurks the Table Mountain, the imposing and crude plateau that the black continent exhibits as its ultimate orographic work.

Lock us up with the remnants of the waterhole blown from the southern horizon, from where the mountain unfolds in even more capricious forms and immerses itself, as if who doesn't even want to know, in the painful collisions of the sea.

There, where in a no less poignant mission, the History He brought them together in a long, strenuous embrace.

It was impossible for us to resist the appeal of that other place. We wouldn't be long in chasing him.

Ostrich, Cape Good Hope, South Africa

A juvenile ostrich roams the white sand in search of its parents.

The Lusitanian Epic of Cabo das Tormentas Passage

At the turn of the XNUMXth to the XNUMXth century, Portuguese men embarked on a southern route feared the silhouette of this plateau like no other elevation they had passed.

They regarded it as a bad omen of afflictions and more than probable misadventures caused by the battle between the two vast oceans: the Atlantic which they already tamed; and, to the east, the Indian Ocean of which little or nothing they could guess.

The heightened fear of Terra Incognita below Cape Bojador aroused in their minds a panoply of mirages and paranoia. Gradually, at the cost of much experience and collective resilience, Portuguese sailors learned to defend themselves.

With Bartolomeu Dias at the helm, they rounded Cape Tormentas and thus began to demystify the unknown. The feat had the continuity it deserved. Not for that reason the crossing became easy.

Forty-five years had passed since Dias' achievement. Fear was already secular. Halfway through the newly opened Way to the Indies, the almost supernatural coast that had caused it for so long also left Luís de Camões in trouble.

It was the spring of 1533. Camões continued on board the ship “São Bento”, part of the fleet of Fernão Álvares Cabral that sailed the route previously traveled by Vasco da Gama.

Around the Cape of Good Hope, the “São Bento” and three other vessels found themselves engulfed in a brutal storm.

Only “São Bento” was saved.

Luís Camões' Homage to the Pioneer Crossing of Cabo das Tormentas

Camões had fortune on his side, but he felt on his icy skin and goosebumps the inspiration to perpetuate, in the V song of “Lusíadas”, the monstrous imagery that frightened even the most intrepid sea wolves.

39

It didn't end, when a figure
If it shows us in the air, robust and valid,
With shapeless and very large stature,
The heavy face, the scrawny beard,
The sunken eyes, and the posture
Ghastly and evil, and the earthy and pale color,
Filled with dirt and frizzy hair,
The black mouth, the yellow teeth.

40 (...)
A tone of voice speaks to us hideous and thick,
That seemed to come out of the deep sea.
Goosebumps on flesh and hair
Me and everyone, just by hearing and seeing him.

We continued in search of what, over the centuries of Discovery, had caused it.

From Cape Town to the Cape that Gives it its Name

We departed the coastal district of Sea Point on a misty Saturday morning. We follow the road that winds, almost always by the ocean, at the base of the cliffs south of Cape Town.

We detoured to the wide cove of Hout Bay at that hour, full of sportsmen dedicated to getting rid of the bad energies of the week.

We continue up the M6 ​​road. We cross to the east, aiming for Simons Town, a town that attracts hordes of outsiders intrigued by the penguin colonies resident around Boulders Beach.

From there, heeding repeated baboon crossing warnings and the eventual presence of apes, we made our way down the east coast.

Cape Lighthouse, Cape Good Hope, South Africa

The Ponta do Cabo lighthouse, on one of the highest coastal points of the Cabo Peninsula.

The first clue we have of the Cape is the red and white lighthouse on the highest of the headlands. We ascend to its heights. During the climb, on each balcony where we try to peek at the scenery below, we are almost swept away by the insane wind that punishes the west slope.

We descended the steps we had previously conquered and cut back to the path that led to the northern section of the Cape, the one that sailors had to pass first.

Dias Beach II, Cape Good Hope, South Africa

Another perspective of Dias Beach, with the Ponta do Cabo lighthouse in the background.

The Storm Beach of Bartolomeu Dias

Soon, we reach the top of Praia de Dias. A warning warns of the dire danger of any attempt to bathe in those waters. This same danger was drawn into the sea as we had seen it in few other places.

Masterful waves rushed over the beach with disconcerting violence and the wind pushed the water behind them into the sea so intensely that their action produced large white radials, similar to those left by helicopters when they glide, shallow, over the Water.

Dias Beach, Cape Good Hope, South Africa

Powerful waves, currents, powerful winds and icy water make Praia de Dias impractical for bathing. But there are always those who try...

We sit and enjoy the breathtaking maritime wildness.

As we do so, the hardships experienced by Bartolomeu Dias, Vasco da Gama and all the navigators and sailors who followed them come back to mind. Bartolomeu Dias, the pioneer, ended up giving his life to Cabo.

D. João II and the Crucial Mission of Bartolomeu Dias

In 1488, D. João II commissioned him to look for the Christian king Prestes João and to find a route to the Indies. The two caravels of about fifty tons that he commanded sailed smoothly along the always busy Angra dos Ilhéus (next to the present Namibian city of Lüderitz) and Cabo das Tormentas.

But then they entered one of the terrible storms characteristic of the area.

The chronicles say that the boats were left out of control for thirteen days, struggling with the wind and the waves. When the calm arrived, Bartolomeu Dias ordered navigation to the east, in search of the coast. It only found sea and decided to head north.

Lighthouse, Cape Good Hope, South Africa

Bartolomeu Dias' pillory at sunset. Not far away is the one dedicated to the navigator Vasco da Gama. Both were ordered to be erected by the Portuguese state

In that hit, it detected several ports off the coast of South Africa today. After passing the bay of what is now Port Elisabeth, he came upon a river. Bartolomeu Dias called it the Rio do Infante. Then, worn out by the many days of agony he had lived through, the crew forced him to return to Portugal.

On his way back, Dias realized that he had skirted the southern tip of Africa.

King João II decreed the famous change of the name Cabo das Tormentas to Cabo da Boa Esperança. The epic of the Portuguese Discoveries continued to flow, aimed at the Orient as never before.

Bartolomeu Dias' feat proved so revolutionary for the mercantile order that prevailed between the Old World, Africa and Asia that the Cape of Good Hope received all the attention and its visit by travelers – sailors or mere laymen of the sea ​​– is still celebrated today.

Cape Good Hope, South Africa

The Cape of Good Hope, well designed beyond Praia de Dias.

The Ends of the Cape of Good Hope

We leave Praia de Dias. We proceeded up a new headland. The more we climb, the more the wind recovers the aggressiveness that it had already revealed to us at Ponta do Cabo.

Still, tourists imitated themselves in chilling photographs, in the riskiest corners of that extreme landscape.

Only another long trail separated them from the base of the Cape, where those less suited to steep hikes or over sharp cliffs were content with the usual photos behind the wooden plaque that identifies them, in afrikaans and in English, the ultimate southwestern point of the African continent, not the south.

Cape Good Hope, South Africa, group photo

A group of visitors is photographed behind the emblematic plaque of the Cape of Good Hope

This one is located in the much less exuberant and trendy Cape Agulhas, 150 km to the east.

On the path to discover Dias, Vasco da Gama got used to overcoming successive storms and the Cape of Good Hope in general: once, twice, three times, the same number of voyages that he took to a good port for India.

He ended up dying in Cochin at the age of fifty-five. As for Bartolomeu Dias, fate and the Cape of Good Hope proved cruel. In 1500, Dias was one of the captains of the second “Indian” expedition led by Pedro Alvares Cabral that discovered Brazil and continued east, towards India.

On the 29th of May, four of the ships on this expedition were faced with another huge storm off the Cape. All disappeared, including the one captained by Bartolomeu Dias, then fifty years old. For Dias, Cabo has never ceased to be Tormentas.

Ostriches on the Beach. Unexpected interaction with Cape Fauna

When we remember this fact, we keep double admiration for both. We continued to explore the scenarios of those confines until darkness took us the privilege.

wild coastline

Basalt pebbles and a dense colony of logs of algae fill much of the coast north of the Cape.

A forest of great algae, like the ones we had seen off Cape Town, filled the sea there, much grayer and smoother than on Dias beach.

With the sun about to set, we leave the area of ​​the plate that is always crowded and head towards the park exit.

We don't even do three hundred meters.

Two ostriches roamed the seashore in search of food. We stopped and photographed them from a distance, not as much as the one in which we glimpse several others, trying to overcome a rocky barrier that separated them from their parents.

A trail of surfers leads us to their surroundings and allows us to appreciate their behavior in that uncomfortable situation.

Always as close together as possible, the young birds lined up and stretched their heads in such a synchronized way that they seem to us to be a single frightened creature, a kind of winged Indian goddess Shakti.

Ostriches, Cape Good Hope, South Africa

Young ostrich golden by the light of the last sun of the day, they keep together in the distress of seeing blocked access to their parents.

The sun begins to get rid of the purple clouds that imprisoned it. Focuses on the beach and on the flock of birds. These, grouped by Nature, show themselves, also yellowish by it.

When the big star breaks free, it dyes the entire beach a resplendent gold and generates magical silhouettes of birds.

These were the last and most unusual images we kept of the Cape.

Ostrich at sunset, Cape Good Hope, South Africa

Ostrich roams the sand of a beach near Cabo da Boa Esperança, at the end of the day.

Table Mountain, South Africa

At the Adamastor Monster Table

From the earliest times of the Discoveries to the present, Table Mountain has always stood out above the South African immensity South African and the surrounding ocean. The centuries passed and Cape Town expanded at his feet. The Capetonians and the visiting outsiders got used to contemplating, ascending and venerating this imposing and mythical plateau.
Graaf-Reinet, South Africa

A Boer Spear in South Africa

In early colonial times, Dutch explorers and settlers were terrified of the Karoo, a region of great heat, great cold, great floods and severe droughts. Until the Dutch East India Company founded Graaf-Reinet there. Since then, the fourth oldest city in the rainbow nation it thrived at a fascinating crossroads in its history.
Ilha de Mozambique, Mozambique  

The Island of Ali Musa Bin Bique. Pardon... of Mozambique

With the arrival of Vasco da Gama in the extreme south-east of Africa, the Portuguese took over an island that had previously been ruled by an Arab emir, who ended up misrepresenting the name. The emir lost his territory and office. Mozambique - the molded name - remains on the resplendent island where it all began and also baptized the nation that Portuguese colonization ended up forming.
Lüderitz, Namibia

Wilkommen in Africa

Chancellor Bismarck has always disdained overseas possessions. Against his will and all odds, in the middle of the Race for Africa, merchant Adolf Lüderitz forced Germany to take over an inhospitable corner of the continent. The homonymous city prospered and preserves one of the most eccentric heritages of the Germanic empire.
Saint Lucia, South Africa

An Africa as Wild as Zulu

On the eminence of the coast of Mozambique, the province of KwaZulu-Natal is home to an unexpected South Africa. Deserted beaches full of dunes, vast estuarine swamps and hills covered with fog fill this wild land also bathed by the Indian Ocean. It is shared by the subjects of the always proud Zulu nation and one of the most prolific and diverse fauna on the African continent.
Galle, Sri Lanka

Galle Fort: A Portuguese and then Dutch (His) story

Camões immortalized Ceylon as an indelible landmark of the Discoveries, where Galle was one of the first fortresses that the Portuguese controlled and yielded. Five centuries passed and Ceylon gave way to Sri Lanka. Galle resists and continues to seduce explorers from the four corners of the Earth.
Mactan, Cebu, Philippines

Magellan's Quagmire

Almost 19 months of pioneering and troubled navigation around the world had elapsed when the Portuguese explorer made the mistake of his life. In the Philippines, the executioner Datu Lapu Lapu preserves the honors of a hero. In Mactan, his tanned statue with a tribal superhero look overlaps the mangrove swamp of tragedy.
Elmina, Ghana

The First Jackpot of the Portuguese Discoveries

In the century. XVI, Mina generated to the Crown more than 310 kg of gold annually. This profit aroused the greed of the The Netherlands and from England, which succeeded one another in the place of the Portuguese and promoted the slave trade to the Americas. The surrounding village is still known as Elmina, but today fish is its most obvious wealth.
Ushuaia, Argentina

The Last of the Southern Cities

The capital of Tierra del Fuego marks the southern threshold of civilization. From Ushuaia depart numerous incursions to the frozen continent. None of these play and run adventures compares to life in the final city.
Beagle Channel, Argentina

Darwin and the Beagle Channel: on the Theory of the Evolution Route

In 1833, Charles Darwin sailed aboard the "Beagle" through the channels of Tierra del Fuego. His passage through these southern confines shaped the revolutionary theory he formulated of the Earth and its species
Robben Island, South Africa

The Island off the Apartheid

Bartolomeu Dias was the first European to glimpse Robben Island, when crossing the Cape of Storms. Over the centuries, the colonists turned it into an asylum and prison. Nelson Mandela left in 1982 after eighteen years in prison. Twelve years later, he became South Africa's first black president.
Cape Town, South Africa

In the End: the Cape

The crossing of Cabo das Tormentas, led by Bartolomeu Dias, transformed this almost southern tip of Africa into an unavoidable scale. And, over time, in Cape Town, one of the meeting points of civilizations and monumental cities on the face of the Earth.
savuti, botswana, elephant-eating lions
Safari
Savuti, Botswana

Savuti's Elephant-Eating Lions

A patch of the Kalahari Desert dries up or is irrigated depending on the region's tectonic whims. In Savuti, lions have become used to depending on themselves and prey on the largest animals in the savannah.
Aurora lights up the Pisang Valley, Nepal.
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 3rd- Upper Banana, Nepal

An Unexpected Snowy Aurora

At the first glimmers of light, the sight of the white mantle that had covered the village during the night dazzles us. With one of the toughest walks on the Annapurna Circuit ahead of us, we postponed the match as much as possible. Annoyed, we left Upper Pisang towards Escort when the last snow faded.
Sculptural Garden, Edward James, Xilitla, Huasteca Potosina, San Luis Potosi, Mexico, Cobra dos Pecados
Architecture & Design
Xilitla, San Luis Potosí, Mexico

Edward James' Mexican Delirium

In the rainforest of Xilitla, the restless mind of poet Edward James has twinned an eccentric home garden. Today, Xilitla is lauded as an Eden of the Surreal.
Adventure
Boat Trips

For Those Becoming Internet Sick

Hop on and let yourself go on unmissable boat trips like the Philippine archipelago of Bacuit and the frozen sea of ​​the Finnish Gulf of Bothnia.
4th of July Fireworks-Seward, Alaska, United States
Ceremonies and Festivities
Seward, Alaska

The Longest 4th of July

The independence of the United States is celebrated, in Seward, Alaska, in a modest way. Even so, the 4th of July and its celebration seem to have no end.
Gray roofs, Lijiang, Yunnan, China
Cities
Lijiang, China

A Gray City but Little

Seen from afar, its vast houses are dreary, but Lijiang's centuries-old sidewalks and canals are more folkloric than ever. This city once shone as the grandiose capital of the Naxi people. Today, floods of Chinese visitors who fight for the quasi-theme park it have become take it by storm.
Meal
Markets

A Market Economy

The law of supply and demand dictates their proliferation. Generic or specific, covered or open air, these spaces dedicated to buying, selling and exchanging are expressions of life and financial health.
Saida Ksar Ouled Soltane, festival of the ksour, tataouine, tunisia
Culture
Tataouine, Tunisia

Festival of the Ksour: Sand Castles That Don't Collapse

The ksour were built as fortifications by the Berbers of North Africa. They resisted Arab invasions and centuries of erosion. Every year, the Festival of the Ksour pays them the due homage.
combat arbiter, cockfighting, philippines
Sport
Philippines

When Only Cock Fights Wake Up the Philippines

Banned in much of the First World, cockfighting thrives in the Philippines where they move millions of people and pesos. Despite its eternal problems, it is the sabong that most stimulates the nation.
Kayaking on Lake Sinclair, Cradle Mountain - Lake Sinclair National Park, Tasmania, Australia
Traveling
Discovering tassie, Part 4 - Devonport to Strahan, Australia

Through the Tasmanian Wild West

If the almost antipode tazzie is already a australian world apart, what about its inhospitable western region. Between Devonport and Strahan, dense forests, elusive rivers and a rugged coastline beaten by an almost Antarctic Indian ocean generate enigma and respect.
Singapore Asian Capital Food, Basmati Bismi
Ethnic
Singapore

The Asian Food Capital

There were 4 ethnic groups in Singapore, each with its own culinary tradition. Added to this was the influence of thousands of immigrants and expatriates on an island with half the area of ​​London. It was the nation with the greatest gastronomic diversity in the Orient.
sunlight photography, sun, lights
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Natural Light (Part 2)

One Sun, So Many Lights

Most travel photos are taken in sunlight. Sunlight and weather form a capricious interaction. Learn how to predict, detect and use at its best.
Fort São Filipe, Cidade Velha, Santiago Island, Cape Verde
History
Cidade Velha, Cape Verde

Cidade Velha: the Ancient of the Tropico-Colonial Cities

It was the first settlement founded by Europeans below the Tropic of Cancer. In crucial times for Portuguese expansion to Africa and South America and for the slave trade that accompanied it, Cidade Velha became a poignant but unavoidable legacy of Cape Verdean origins.

Dunes of Bazaruto Island, Mozambique
Islands
bazaruto, Mozambique

The Inverted Mirage of Mozambique

Just 30km off the East African coast, an unlikely but imposing erg rises out of the translucent sea. Bazaruto it houses landscapes and people who have lived apart for a long time. Whoever lands on this lush, sandy island soon finds himself in a storm of awe.
ala juumajarvi lake, oulanka national park, finland
Winter White
Kuusamo ao PN Oulanka, Finland

Under the Arctic's Icy Spell

We are at 66º North and at the gates of Lapland. In these parts, the white landscape belongs to everyone and to no one like the snow-covered trees, the atrocious cold and the endless night.
View from the top of Mount Vaea and the tomb, Vailima village, Robert Louis Stevenson, Upolu, Samoa
Literature
Upolu, Samoa

Stevenson's Treasure Island

At age 30, the Scottish writer began looking for a place to save him from his cursed body. In Upolu and the Samoans, he found a welcoming refuge to which he gave his heart and soul.
kings canyon, red centre, heart, australia
Nature
Red Center, Australia

Australia's Broken Heart

The Red Center is home to some of Australia's must-see natural landmarks. We are impressed by the grandeur of the scenarios but also by the renewed incompatibility of its two civilizations.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Autumn
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Salto Angel, Rio that falls from the sky, Angel Falls, PN Canaima, Venezuela
Natural Parks
PN Canaima, Venezuela

Kerepakupai, Salto Angel: The River that Falls from Heaven

In 1937, Jimmy Angel landed a light aircraft on a plateau lost in the Venezuelan jungle. The American adventurer did not find gold but he conquered the baptism of the longest waterfall on the face of the Earth
Bertie in jalopy, Napier, New Zealand
UNESCO World Heritage
Napier, New Zealand

Back to the 30s

Devastated by an earthquake, Napier was rebuilt in an almost ground-floor Art Deco and lives pretending to stop in the Thirties. Its visitors surrender to the Great Gatsby atmosphere that the city enacts.
Visitors to Ernest Hemingway's Home, Key West, Florida, United States
Characters
Key West, United States

Hemingway's Caribbean Playground

Effusive as ever, Ernest Hemingway called Key West "the best place I've ever been...". In the tropical depths of the contiguous US, he found evasion and crazy, drunken fun. And the inspiration to write with intensity to match.
Mahé Ilhas das Seychelles, friends of the beach
Beaches
Mahé, Seychelles

The Big Island of the Small Seychelles

Mahé is the largest of the islands of the smallest country in Africa. It's home to the nation's capital and most of the Seychellois. But not only. In its relative smallness, it hides a stunning tropical world, made of mountainous jungle that merges with the Indian Ocean in coves of all sea tones.
Candia, Tooth of Buddha, Ceylon, lake
Religion
Kandy, Sri Lanka

The Dental Root of Sinhalese Buddhism

Located in the mountainous heart of Sri Lanka, at the end of the XNUMXth century, Kandy became the capital of the last kingdom of old Ceylon and resisted successive colonial conquest attempts. The city also preserved and exhibited a sacred tooth of the Buddha and, thus, became Ceylon's Buddhist center.
Serra do Mar train, Paraná, airy view
On Rails
Curitiba a Morretes, Paraná, Brazil

Down Paraná, on Board the Train Serra do Mar

For more than two centuries, only a winding and narrow road connected Curitiba to the coast. Until, in 1885, a French company opened a 110 km railway. We walked along it to Morretes, the final station for passengers today. 40km from the original coastal terminus of Paranaguá.
Society
Dali, China

Chinese Style Flash Mob

The time is set and the place is known. When the music starts playing, a crowd follows the choreography harmoniously until time runs out and everyone returns to their lives.
the projectionist
Daily life
Sainte-Luce, Martinique

The Nostalgic Projectionist

From 1954 to 1983, Gérard Pierre screened many of the famous films arriving in Martinique. 30 years after the closing of the room in which he worked, it was still difficult for this nostalgic native to change his reel.
Rottnest Island, Wadjemup, Australia, Quokkas
Wildlife
Wadjemup, Rottnest Island, Australia

Among Quokkas and other Aboriginal Spirits

In the XNUMXth century, a Dutch captain nicknamed this island surrounded by a turquoise Indian Ocean, “Rottnest, a rat's nest”. The quokkas that eluded him were, however, marsupials, considered sacred by the Whadjuk Noongar aborigines of Western Australia. Like the Edenic island on which the British colonists martyred them.
The Sounds, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Fiordland, New Zealand

The Fjords of the Antipodes

A geological quirk made the Fiordland region the rawest and most imposing in New Zealand. Year after year, many thousands of visitors worship the sub-domain slashed between Te Anau and Milford Sound.