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Sj visit 2017    West Coast National Park. Day two.

   Saturday July 15

Cj enjoying the glimpses of wildlife found all around but frustrated that he can name so few species. [Now at home, using on-line links for birds: Wikipedia good habitat and species description and Warwick Tarboton excellent photographs.]

Cj had been up with the dawn in hopes of seeing animals but was disappointed to report there wasn't much out out there. [Actually, there was nothing to be seen at all so it was a good job they had not been relying on him to bring in something for a breakfast braii.] There were lots of places for things to hide though in the fynbos

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up with the dawn

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Lots of places for things to hide in the fynbos.

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The weather forcast was predicting rain (something they desperately needed) so it seemed foolish to attempt much of a hike so opted instead to leave the park and try our luck at the fossil park for a second time.

Did make a short detour on our way out of the park to visit a lookout. All excited to see dassies (rock hyrax) a large rodent like animal that despite resembling a large rabbit was most closely related to an elephant. Disappointed to learn that dassies don't really do much. Watched them for awhile but they barely budged.


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All excited to see dassies (rock hyrax)dassies

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Various contortions were needed to photograph them.

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Disappointed to learn that dassies don't really do much.

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Then on to look out over Langebaan Lagoon keeping our eyes peeled for wildlife in the fynbos


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A group of elland

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Perhaps it might have made a rather too substantial breakfast.

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In the carpark a juvenile shikra. Or try this link.

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Langebaan Lagoon

Then off to the West Coast Fossil Park. Where our guide, a woman, who told us her name was 'Windy' showed us the open pit dig that was full of hundreds of animal bones of all sorts. Apparently we were standing in what had once been a sandbar at the mouth of a river with the result that animals that died upstream had been swept downstream and washed there and sea life out in the bay, had been washed ashore there too. The result was a pit full of bones that ranged from the terrestial like giraffe and bear to marine animals like whales.


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The West Coast Fossil Park

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Cape weaver bird nests near to the reception area

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'Windy' showed us the open pit dig that was full of hundreds of animal bones of all sorts.

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The dig

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The fossils came in all sizes, even down to pollen grains.

After the fossil park, we decided that our best plan for the rest of the day was to stop for a substantial lunch and then buy a variety of nibbly bits for dinner. As such stopped at a restaurant in town for lunch and then headed to the grocery store and off license to acquire provisions. A cold day so hot chocolate and amarula (the South African take on Irish creek which was made with a fruit liqueurs) to go in it. Also bought 5 bags of fire wood as we weren't willing to take any chances with the cold.

Started a fire at s/js, chimney still having trouble drawing and it was not until the end of the night that we discovered that the secret was to build the fire in the corner of the (giant) fireplace instead of in the middle. Alas entire cottage hopelessly filled with smoke before we finally sorted it out.


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The secret was to build the fire in the corner of the (giant) fireplace.


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