Slangkop Lighthouse is like a colossal magnet the way it keeps pulling me back to try and capture the perfect shot. I should have waited until there were dramatic clouds and a blazing autumn sky to photograph, but this iconic landscape still gives me something different every time I drive there at sunset.
Kommetjie’s Slangkop Lighthouse is one of those iconic Cape Town landmarks that is photographed to death, but I still return time and again hoping for something exceptional. This time it was a spectacular autumn sunrise I had in mind. Instead, a low bank of mist and muggy skies over the ocean greeted me. As consolation though, I saw formations of migrating birds and my very first pied kingfisher ever, who kindly hung around the Kom just long enough for me to stop my car in a cul-de-sac and grab my camera. Such is life 🙂
We thought it was all over. The skies had cleared, we could breathe properly again and the ash that whirled around like snowflakes seemed to have settled after some gentle, welcome rain. Then Hell’s furnace erupted again.
Barely a day after firefighters stopped the blazes that ran rampant across the Southern Peninsula for four days, more fire broke out, this time at Cape Point, Cape Town’s southernmost extremity. As if on cue, the wind picked up reaching galeforce by evening and fanned the blaze across more precious hectares of fynbos and nature reserve. Weary firefighters and volunteers were pulled back into the fray. Out at sea behind Kommetjie lighthouse, a long trail of smoke blowing from Cape Point resembled a low cloud bank, which looked like an angry bruise as the sun set over the ocean. It was strangely beautiful, despite the tragic circumstances. Behind me, as the fire rescue choppers returned to base before nightfall marred their visibility, Noordhoek and Hout Bay recovered from four days of flames that saw properties damaged and families temporarily evacuated.
After a storm that battered the Peninsula for almost a week and a day of on/off rain yesterday, the sun finally reappeared today, allowing me to get out and see a large pink and white cloud of feathers – visiting Greater Flamingos that settled in the old Kom tidal pool in Kommetjie a week ago. Apparently it’s been about 50 years since flamingos have visited this part of the world.
St Norbert’s Catholic Church on Slangkop Hill overlooking Kommetjie village offers a magnificent view of Long Beach and Hout Bay. Note the interesting tiled entrance to the church grounds, including a mosaic inlay.
Dating back to long before the Norbertine Fathers came to Kommetjie to establish a Priory for their Order in 1967, the Church began as a small chapel – the Chapel of St. Joseph – built in 1948 in memory of a wealthy Italian immigrant, Joseph Rubbi who settled in the Cape in the late 19th century.
Kommetjie is an unspoilt fishing village on the Atlantic side of the Cape Peninsula about 35km from Cape Town. The Kom, within easy walking distance of the village, consists of a sheltered bay which is virtually fully enclosed by a ridge of boulders that were once part of a Stone Age fish trap. In good weather conditions, the Kom is one of the best sites on land to view seabirds from, including several migratory species. A caution — the pungent aroma of rotting kelp can take your breath away at times!