No 14 POST – CAPE AGULHAS LIGHTHOUSE
A lighthouse at the Southern tip of Africa is what the early mariners needed. This is it, where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet. It was built from locally hewn limestones blocks in 1848, largely at the insistence of the public. Today it is a national monument and in good condition, as seen in the views from the land side and sea side.
Hold your hat, as the wind is still blowing. High seas and strong winds all along this Southern coastline explain the high number of wrecks. A more recent one is the Meisho Maru, a Japanese fishing vessel, which came ashore in 1982. The bow section is still standing and is much photographed by the tourists. All 17 seamen managed to swim ashore.
This area is well frequented by tourists, so there is plenty of accommodation. We stayed in one of the SANP chalets, all of which have a seaview. A must of course, for all tourists, is a photograph at the Southernmost point of the continent.
The lighthouse is open to the public for a small fee. After a steep climb, there are good views from an outside walkway below the light. Tidal fish traps are visible to the East. While at the lighthouse many visitors miss two interesting features.
The grave of Daisy Rowe is in the island in the car park. She was the daughter of the lighthouse keeper and died of diptheria. Her exact date of passing is uncertain, as the tombstone and the cross show different dates.
There is also a small cave in the limestone just to the West of the lighthouse.
When one is in the area, a visit to the Shipwreck Museum in Bredasdorp is certainly worthwhile.