As the next half of the year runs away with us and before we speed off on our next holiday adventures, let me update you on how fabulous it was to be a tourist back in our home country, South Africa, for the July holidays.
The first two weeks were spent helping Dad out at home, so less tourist and more family time was spent in Jeffreys Bay. We managed to sort out a lot of admin issues from Mom’s estate to funeral policies. Menu’s were set up, shopping lists created, Margaret taught what and how to cook and grocery shopping outings with Dad accompanying us and then going on his first solo run. We ate pancakes, chocolate and carrot cake on the beach front; played mini-golf and cycled in the soft sand along the breakers. Mom was missing though and we all felt the void.
The Tsitsikama Canopy Tour down the coast just past Storms River towards Knysna, was our first Tourist outing for the holiday. Between the shrieks echoing from ours and other tours, squeals of laughter, and the exhilaration of the speed and wind – we had the time of our lives. The village of Storms River is picturesque, dwarfed by the hundred year old Yellowwood, Stinkwood, Hardpear, Ironwood and many other species of trees. Just down the road we stopped in to walk through the forest to the oldest, at 1 000 years, Yellowwood tree in the area. As a tourist it is part of the country where I would like to take a leisurely drive and stop along the road to enjoy all that the Cape Coast has to offer.
A quick flight to KZN, had us as a captured audience to everything the Durban area had to offer. Shopping was on the top of the list and Gateway in Umhlanga had us spending far too much moodles, rock climbing inside the center, which saw Jess heading to almost three quarters way up the wall. She is a natural little climber.
We spent time at the wave pool where Sean surfed to his hearts content, and visiting the old Umhlanga Light House brought back memories of family holidays.
Visits to Durbs would be incomplete without seeing family and friends of course 🙂
The Shark Tank was none the wiser for our visit, but the kids were awe struck at just being there, the World Famous Flashers, spending time with their Uncle Andrew and the Shark’s win 🙂 were certainly highlights!
Scooting down to Ushaka, we cycled down the beachfront to have a closer look at Moses Madihlaba Stadium and a quick peak at all the reptilian fiends which we all love so much. NOT.
Leaving early in the wintery morning, we drove 2 hours down the coast to Park Rynie where my old friend from Primary School, John, took us out through the breakers to meet with the dark shadows of the deep.
The ocean surface was brooding and dark, clouds looming on the horizon and the swell sitting at 4m’s. No small fry out there.
Going out approximately 7km to Aliwal Shoal, he stopped the boat, mulched some sardines, whacked the water for vibrations and within a short while the sharks were mulling around the boat. Mainly Blacktipped, Dusky and Spinner sharks.
We were allocated weights and goggles and within minutes the cage was in the water and the four of us floating inside it. As the fins circled round, I saw John jump into the water with the sharks and had to giggle nervously at how absurd the situation must look. Sharks twinkling eyes and thoughts of: Those monkeys are here again guys, lets circle round and check them out!”
The four of us sucked in our first gasps of breath and ducked under the water line.
The view was awe-inspiring, humbling, with crystallized blue rays of sun sprinkling through a proliferation of fish, the sharks mere meters away. Beautiful, majestic creatures of the vast ocean, surreal heart stopping moments prevailed. Surfacing out of the majestic deep blue encounter, with the swells growing in size both Steve and I turned green. After the next group completed their dive, we were bounding back racing the dolphins that had surfaced close to us, breaking through the breakers back onto the shore.
A slow drive from the coast through Mooi River – where Steve reminisced of younger days gone by – onward to the Drakensburg and old haunts and hikes flitted through the memory banks. Joburg lit up before us as the sun set with shades of oranges and yellows, as only an African sky can in the fading light.
We. Were. Home.
Hugs. Kisses. Giggles. Roaring Laughter. Sisters. Cousins. In-laws. Nieces. Nephews. Friends. Sunny Skies. Winter Mornings. Home.
Need. I. Say. More?
Joburg was complete with a tourist trip into Soweto and to the Apartheid Museum. Another surreal Experience.
Soweto Uprising. Hector Pietersen. Sophiatown. Apartheid. Sharpeville. Sobukwe. Mandela. Tutu. Barangwanath. Chris Hani. Diepkloof. Verwoerd. Smuts. NP. CP. ANC……
Slowly. Mind. Blowing. Exhaustion.
Liese, our amazing guide and another friend from school wowed us with her knowledge of all things South African. Not only did the tour overwhelm us but the information was insurmountable. Tel: 00 27 82 774 8732. Safari Lodge Shuttle Services.
Best. Tour. EVER!
My special pre-birthday day was spent with one of my bestest friends, Aline. She spoiled me to an unbelievable day at my favourite Nursery, where we ate, chatted and walked between the greenest most colourful assortment of plants.
She knows what I miss, when we are in the desert 🙂
Leaving was tougher this year.
Does. It. Ever. Get. Any. Easier.