Mouille Point Lighthouse

1 Aug

We went on a ramble to the Atlantic Coast. We drove north through Cape Town and found the Mouille Point Lighthouse at the edge of the city.  Mouille Point is a working light house, as are most in South Africa.  Each light house has its own red and white paint design so it can be visually identified from sea. Mouille Point is diagonal stripes but some are checkerboard, and horizontal and vertical stripes of varying thickness.

Hand built four-story staircase.

This version of the light house was built in 1865. Originally the tower and the light house keeper’s cottage were separate. Now they are conjoined though there is no longer a keeper here. But many of the other light houses in South Africa have a keeper living in the light house, managing repairs and making sure the beacon still guides ships off the rocky Atlantic Coast.

Ships did wreck here. Today you can still see pieces of them embedded in the sea bottom and protruding above the waves.

The interior of the lighthouse was handcrafted by local carpenters. The four-story staircase has a sinuous rail winding all the way to the top with a wave detail at the bottom of every riser.

The refracted light can be seen for many miles.

The timing mechanism on the light used to work like a grandfathers’ clock. It was the keeper’s job to shift the weights through a small wooden door opening with a polished brass knob in the wooden center post running the height of the lighthouse.

The weather on the drive was typical Western Cape. We had sun, cloudiness, showers, rain, sun, rain and more showers. Rainbows frequently appear here. Temperatures vary but usually hover around 60 degrees.

Llandudno Beach

We continued south along the coast passing beaches that are favorites of the locals…Milton’s Swimming Pool, Bantry Bay, Camps Bay and Bakoven Beach. The surf was pounding and the ocean was dark blue with roiling white caps.

The rocky Atlantic shore

There are twelve towering cliffs in a row on at one point in the drive.  They are known as “The Twelve Apostles.”

Houses are perched all along the cliffs reminding us of the feeling of Taormina in Sicily.  Most have unobstructed views of the Atlantic. The homes are built all the way down to the sea.

The day was filled with grandeur and the smell of the ocean.

One Response to “Mouille Point Lighthouse”

  1. Ursula Freer August 1, 2012 at 3:32 am #

    Sounds like a wonderful adventure!

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