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.


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
savuti, botswana, elephant-eating lions
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.
Yak Kharka to Thorong Phedi, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, Yaks
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit 11th: yak karkha a Thorong Phedi, Nepal

Arrival to the Foot of the Canyon

In just over 6km, we climbed from 4018m to 4450m, at the base of Thorong La canyon. Along the way, we questioned if what we felt were the first problems of Altitude Evil. It was never more than a false alarm.
coast, fjord, Seydisfjordur, Iceland
Architecture & Design
Seydisfjordur, Iceland

From the Art of Fishing to the Fishing of Art

When shipowners from Reykjavik bought the Seydisfjordur fishing fleet, the village had to adapt. Today, it captures Dieter Roth's art disciples and other bohemian and creative souls.
Tibetan heights, altitude sickness, mountain prevent to treat, travel

Altitude Sickness: the Grievances of Getting Mountain Sick

When traveling, it happens that we find ourselves confronted with the lack of time to explore a place as unmissable as it is high. Medicine and previous experiences with Altitude Evil dictate that we should not risk ascending in a hurry.
Ceremonies and Festivities
Look-alikes, Actors and Extras

Make-believe stars

They are the protagonists of events or are street entrepreneurs. They embody unavoidable characters, represent social classes or epochs. Even miles from Hollywood, without them, the world would be more dull.
Jerusalem God, Israel, Golden City
Jerusalem, Israel

Closer to God

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Obese resident of Tupola Tapaau, a small island in Western Samoa.
Tonga, Western Samoa, Polynesia

XXL Pacific

For centuries, the natives of the Polynesian islands subsisted on land and sea. Until the intrusion of colonial powers and the subsequent introduction of fatty pieces of meat, fast food and sugary drinks have spawned a plague of diabetes and obesity. Today, while much of Tonga's national GDP, Western Samoa and neighbors is wasted on these “western poisons”, fishermen barely manage to sell their fish.
MassKara Festival, Bacolod City, Philippines
Bacolod, Philippines

A Festival to Laugh at Tragedy

Around 1980, the value of sugar, an important source of wealth on the Philippine island of Negros, plummeted and the ferry “Don Juan” that served it sank and took the lives of more than 176 passengers, most of them from Negrès. The local community decided to react to the depression generated by these dramas. That's how MassKara arose, a party committed to recovering the smiles of the population.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.
Boat and helmsman, Cayo Los Pájaros, Los Haitises, Dominican Republic
Samaná PeninsulaLos Haitises National Park Dominican Republic

From the Samaná Peninsula to the Dominican Haitises

In the northeast corner of the Dominican Republic, where Caribbean nature still triumphs, we face an Atlantic much more vigorous than expected in these parts. There we ride on a communal basis to the famous Limón waterfall, cross the bay of Samaná and penetrate the remote and exuberant “land of the mountains” that encloses it.
Barrancas del Cobre, Chihuahua, Rarámuri woman
Barrancas del Cobre (Copper Canyon), Chihuahua, Mexico

The Deep Mexico of the Barrancas del Cobre

Without warning, the Chihuahua highlands give way to endless ravines. Sixty million geological years have furrowed them and made them inhospitable. The Rarámuri indigenous people continue to call them home.
Sunset, Avenue of Baobabs, Madagascar
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio

days like so many others

Amboseli National Park, Mount Kilimanjaro, Normatior Hill
Amboseli National Park, Kenya

A Gift from the Kilimanjaro

The first European to venture into these Masai haunts was stunned by what he found. And even today, large herds of elephants and other herbivores roam the pastures irrigated by the snow of Africa's biggest mountain.
Island of Goa, Island of Mozambique, Nampula, lighthouse
Goa island, Ilha de Mozambique, Mozambique

The Island that Illuminates the Island of Mozambique

Located at the entrance to the Mossuril Bay, the small island of Goa is home to a centuries-old lighthouse. Its listed tower signals the first stop of a stunning dhow tour around the old Ilha de Mozambique.

Northern Lights, Laponia, Rovaniemi, Finland, Fire Fox
Winter White
Lapland, Finland

In Search of the Fire Fox

Unique to the heights of the Earth are the northern or southern auroras, light phenomena generated by solar explosions. You Sami natives from Lapland they believed it to be a fiery fox that spread sparkles in the sky. Whatever they are, not even the nearly 30 degrees below zero that were felt in the far north of Finland could deter us from admiring them.
Baie d'Oro, Île des Pins, New Caledonia
Île-des-Pins, New Caledonia

The Island that Leaned against Paradise

In 1964, Katsura Morimura delighted the Japan with a turquoise novel set in Ouvéa. But the neighboring Île-des-Pins has taken over the title "The Nearest Island to Paradise" and thrills its visitors.
Dark day

Lake Cocibolca, Nicaragua

sea, sweet sea

Indigenous Nicaraguans treated the largest lake in Central America as Cocibolca. On the volcanic island of Ometepe, we realized why the term the Spaniards converted to Mar Dulce made perfect sense.

Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Serengeti, Great Savannah Migration, Tanzania, wildebeest on river
Natural Parks
Serengeti NP, Tanzania

The Great Migration of the Endless Savanna

In these prairies that the Masai people say syringet (run forever), millions of wildebeests and other herbivores chase the rains. For predators, their arrival and that of the monsoon are the same salvation.
Kongobuji Temple
UNESCO World Heritage
Mount Koya, Japan

Halfway to Nirvana

According to some doctrines of Buddhism, it takes several lifetimes to attain enlightenment. The shingon branch claims that you can do it in one. From Mount Koya, it can be even easier.
In elevator kimono, Osaka, Japan
Osaka, Japan

In the Company of Mayu

Japanese nightlife is a multi-faceted, multi-billion business. In Osaka, an enigmatic couchsurfing hostess welcomes us, somewhere between the geisha and the luxury escort.
Sesimbra, Vila, Portugal, castle
Sesimbra, Portugal

A Village Touched by Midas

It's not just Praia da California and Praia do Ouro that close it to the south. Sheltered from the furies of the West Atlantic, gifted with other immaculate coves and endowed with centuries-old fortifications, Sesimbra is today a precious fishing and bathing haven.
Bride gets in car, traditional wedding, Meiji temple, Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, Japan

A Matchmaking Sanctuary

Tokyo's Meiji Temple was erected to honor the deified spirits of one of the most influential couples in Japanese history. Over time, it specialized in celebrating traditional weddings.
Executives sleep subway seat, sleep, sleep, subway, train, Tokyo, Japan
On Rails
Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo's Hypno-Passengers

Japan is served by millions of executives slaughtered with infernal work rates and sparse vacations. Every minute of respite on the way to work or home serves them for their inemuri, napping in public.
Magome to Tsumago, Nakasendo, Path medieval Japan
Magome-Tsumago, Japan

Magome to Tsumago: The Overcrowded Path to the Medieval Japan

In 1603, the Tokugawa shogun dictated the renovation of an ancient road system. Today, the most famous stretch of the road that linked Edo to Kyoto is covered by a mob eager to escape.
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.
Sheep and hikers in Mykines, Faroe Islands
Mykines, Faroe Islands

In the Faeroes FarWest

Mykines establishes the western threshold of the Faroe archipelago. It housed 179 people but the harshness of the retreat got the better of it. Today, only nine souls survive there. When we visit it, we find the island given over to its thousand sheep and the restless colonies of puffins.
Passengers, scenic flights-Southern Alps, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Aoraki / Mount Cook, New Zealand

The Aeronautical Conquest of the Southern Alps

In 1955, pilot Harry Wigley created a system for taking off and landing on asphalt or snow. Since then, his company has unveiled, from the air, some of the greatest scenery in Oceania.