Monday, March 30, 2009

Across the lagoon: some Knysna pics

Yesterday afternoon, I went on an expedition around Knysna's famous lagoon-lake thing. It primarily involved going to places where I technically wasn't allowed to travel, but it gave me a bunch of pretty pictures which I have an urge to share. So today's storytime is going to revolve around some pretty illustrations. Gather around, kids!

So yeah, Knysna is around a lagoon. Which means that it has a nice little Waterfront set up for the tourists. It's reasonably busy here, but the town itself is eerily quiet on a Sunday afternoon. Like, Silent Hill quiet.

For some reason, the locals have this thing about a bulldog named Bondi. He served with some ship or another for a few years, and died on a really hot day. Not the most heroic of historical figures, but they made a statue out of him anyway. I was always more of a cat person anyway.

As mentioned already, Knysna surrounds a lagoon that's hidden amongst some mountains near the ocean. Ferries and yacht tours are the main attraction for visitors here, but my aversion to guided tours and “standard” sightseeing (and the lightness of my wallet) urged me to investigate what appeared to be a very long bridge stretching right across the lake.

After walking around the lake a bit, I discovered that the “bridge” was a railroad that hopped over several islands in the middle of the water. The sign clearly indicated that I wasn't allowed to cross ...

... so I did anyway.

It turns out that my actions were vindicated by a multitude of local fishermen scattered across the lake's islands. The old railroad seems to be a popular gathering spot for these aquatic hunters – the presence of these individuals combined with the fact that I saw several cars parked across the railway lines near the waterfront urges me to believe that Knysna's railroad is now defunct.

The wind picked up rather fiercely as soon as I left the shore. Cro-magnon Nandrew wasn't very happy.

I only realised just how big Knysna's lagoon actually was when I tried traversing it. The lake crossing took me a full half hour, but I got some distance shots of the settlement in the process.

Approaching the other end of the lake, I was confronted with something akin to a shoreside desert: an oddly barren area of the bay occupied by sand and clusters of moss-like plant matter. It seemed that the lake had, at its apex, covered this whole area.

Further evidence of the water's rise and fall. A lonely puddle sat in the middle of this barren wasteland, and plays home to a whole menagerie of aquatic bugs. They all scuttled away and hid in the nearby sand when I tried getting closer, but it was pretty impressive to see this nucleus of activity for just a few moments.

Toto, I don't think we're in Knysna anymore. I was sure that I'd seen some sporadic housing from the other side of the bridge, but when I followed a path off the railway I was only confronted with wilderness. I started feeling truly adventurous, and sallied forth.

Oh, wait. Picture taken two minutes later. After discovering this strange land of “Brenton”, however, I realised that it was getting rather late and started backtracking to the railroad.

When I emerged by the lakeside again, I was astounded to see tidal flow in action: fed by the sea, the lake was slowly reclaiming the marsy desert near its shore. I was actually able to observe the water crawling steadily over the wasteland.

The above was just sand and moss a few minutes ago.

Considering my trip a great success, I took this final sunset picture just before my camera finally hacked, wheezed and breathed its last. With a pair of flat batteries and a full memory card, I put it away and headed back to my lodge.

No comments:

Post a Comment