Friday, May 29, 2015

Wonderfully Wild!

One of my goals this year is to explore the Wild Coast and this week I made a start. Its the perfect place for V and I to meet so we don't have to do the 10 hour drive to KwaZulu Natal - this time he drove 6 and I drove 4 and we met in Butterworth and then made our way down the road to Mazeppa Bay - well you can hardly call it a road - its 65 Kilometers and took the best part of 90 mins to get down to the coast! A sturdy vehicle is needed and we arrived shaken but not stirred! A stiff drink was needed to recover form the bumps!  Its called the Wild Coast for a reason and we arrived to the sad news that a farmer out fishing had drowned - swept away and as yet not found! Another drink was call for!
I had heard about the cows on the beach but seeing is believing! They seem to spend the day lazing and grazing in the sun and then meander up the path to where ever at sunset. the cows are not only on the beach though - they are everywhere! Even in peoples homes!
The coastline is mind blowingly beautiful - Wild as the name suggests and pristine. Apparently there are centuries of shipwrecks resting on the seabed here and you can imagine the treachery of having to navigate the huge waves that thunder against the shore.

Inland is just as beautiful - Rolling hills dotted with the traditional colourful huts that are typical of the Xhosa. Thatched and painted Turquoise, Coral, Green and Peach - some quite fancy with face brick fascia and some with metal roofs that the sun bounced off. Colourful washing hung on the kraal fence - a days labour using precious water - no mod cons! Life for the people here is tough but all we saw were smiling faces - just about everyone waves as you pass or salutes you with a stick.

Mazeppa Bay has its own island accessible via the bridge which makes a stunning backdrop to the sunrise. I set my alarm on day 2 to capture it and when V saw me heading out of the door with my camera in my fleecy pyjamas he thought he had better join me! Nothing like seeing the sunrise in your PJs and we had no need to worry that we looked like two bergies who had spent the night on the beach - no one batted an eyelid. It was not the clear skies of the day before and we were disappointed that the clouds obscured the sun ,,,,,until it peeped through and started dancing on the waves - Beautiful! Several fishermen were out and about eager to see what they could land and we saw at least one metre long fish being carried home.

Children! Everywhere! We bought a bag of sweets and a huge box of 120 Wilson's toffees and set off  south to Wavecrest after breakfast. On the journey there we mostly saw small children who shyly came and took their sweets and then ran back to the comfort of their mothers skirts...The journey back was a different story and the bakkie was mobbed by school children when they realised there was an opportunity of a treat. All in smart school uniforms, most obliged with a photo and the smiles were wide and sometimes gappy! Unbelievable we ran out of sweets half way back and the kids chased us to no avail!

We saw men on horseback, women carrying firewood and groceries on their heads, herd boys cracking whips to get the cows into the kraal and teenage girls collecting drums of water from the dam - As daylight drifted away then the smell of woodsmoke filled the air and we headed back to the inn before dusk obscured the road and enjoyed our own catch of the day - the many photos that we had taken were reviewed.

Next month we are exploring Coffee Bay and I cant wait to enjoy a walk on the Wild Side again.

Friday, May 1, 2015

A Peek at my Week

Hi there - Happy Workers Day! I wonder if all our SA Citizens without work will be celebrating today! I am more than grateful that I not only have work and a source of income but that I really enjoy what I do too.
I have been back at Ascot Bush Lodge this week where there is always work waiting for anyone with two hands and a brain - and always a space for me to recharge my batteries and reflect on life's gifts.

Where have I been?
I went to the Save Our Metro Rally where hundreds of Port Elizabethans gathered to lament what is happening to our city and, while the speakers did their best to uplift our spirits,  I left with a sense of  despair as it will be ONLY votes that will change this nation. Our government is corrupt and incompetent and being kind to one another, volunteering to do good things will not change that - like putting a plaster on a fractured skull! But I did feel appreciative that PE is not only the friendly city but the caring city too.
Who I have met?
I had the privilege of facilitating a group of Ward Councillors who shared some of the challenges of their work and the long hours they put in. Also touched sides and enjoyed chilled times with old friends which I always appreciate. I have also met Poldark - A BBC drama set in the 18th century - about a Cornish family and filled with murder, mystery, mining and mayhem. In fact I have spent a lot of time enjoying excellent British TV - The Best!

What I have read?
I read a book called the Widows Confession set in a coastal town in Victorian England and filled with murder, mystery and mayhem. In contract to the book I am reading now called False River, a family drama set in South Africa in the 1970s filled with murder, mystery and mayhem!

What I have learned?
I am learning how to be on my own seeing as circumstances mean that V lives and works in Natal and I cannot live there. As I am really not designed for solitary confinement, loneliness is a great challenge for me but one, I am please to report, I am conquering! I have learned that independence is gift worth treasuring. I have also learned to manage load shedding by taking notice of the schedules and being prepared. I am quite enjoying the stillness of candlelight - although I have also learned that ghost DVDs are not suitable to watch in the dark!

So its been a time of Peace, Purpose, Poldark and Prose and Public Holidays! Enjoy yours today!