Thursday, March 08, 2012
Part Three: The Arrival.
Back on solid ground, we bumped on through the last 3 km until, there it was – the ocean. Blue and beautiful, visible through an opening in the hard sandy cliffs. Have you ever been to an unspoiled beach at mid-morning in the summer and found that you had the lonely coastline all to yourself? Glorious. Angola has what I would say is a non-existent tourism industry. Hallelujah! Yes, there are still beautiful beaches in the world that don't have boardwalks or hotels, spas, or millionaires mansions. How refreshing. We parked the vehicles and set up camp. And quite a deluxe camp I must say. Though we slept in tents and cooked over an open fire, we also had a shower tent with a battery powered shower and a small 4- walled privacy screen for our pit toilet. What I do believe may be the perfect mix of nature and comfort. We had a light lunch and then got on to exploring. Some of us swam a bit - though even in summer the water was quite cold. Some of us did a bit of fishing, some napped or just relaxed on the sand. Late in the afternoon we took a hike along the cliffs to a small cove just out of view from where we had set up camp. As the sun grew heavy and started slipping into the sea, we set up our chairs to enjoy a sun-downer before dinner preparations got into full swing. Dinner was an amazing array of pork chops and steinbok shank grilled to perfection over the open flame, foiled wrapped potatoes cooked on the red-hot coals complemented by home made sour cream, and a fresh salad. With heavy cloud cover overhead, no stars, no moon – night wrapped us up it it's blanket or darkness. Around this time, Shelley said, “Let's go see if the ocean is glowing.” What?? Yes. Bioluminescent algae! I have only read about it and I have to say this ranks up there with the coolest things I have ever experienced in nature. With the skies so dark and no light interference, the ocean brightly glowed as algae in its waves hit the shoreline. We marveled at this amazing wonder of God's creation as we walked in the wet sand. Looking down at our feet we saw tiny sparkles of light blinking with each step. The algae in the wet sand reacted as the sand was disturbed and glowed sparkly bursts of light with our footfalls. Shelley exclaimed that she had never seen it so bright before. Laurel, a resident at the hospital here on a short term visit, kicked up spray of wet sand with her foot and we all watched it glitter as it fell. Soon all three of us were kicking up sand, writing our names and jumping around like kids. Phenomenal. Hands down, coolest beach experience ever. God is an amazing artist. That is all I can say.