August, double prison breakout

August, 5th month of lockdown, and restrictions were once more lifted slightly. The biggest treat was being able to travel outside of ones metro area. What joy! But before that my first break-out was my first trip to a supermarket since March. I chose a store that specialises in fruit and vegetables with many bargains involving buying large quantities. My shopping companion behaved like a prison warden, constantly warning me to move away from people, to stop chatting (I thought I recognised someone but it wasn’t him, blame the mask) and to calm down when my mask caused my specs to mist up resulting in explosive anxiety.

We finally emerged with more vegetables than I have ever bought at one time, including an unnatural quantity of carrots. It seemed obvious to make carrot cake. My cake turned out delicious but I learned two things: it doesn’t require an awful lot of carrots so not really ideal if the goal is to use up many bunches bought on special, and it also requires several somewhat expensive ingredients like nuyts and cream cheese. All of that no longer mattered when one of the dogs jumped on the table and ate the cake that had been barely touched by humans.

The other massive major breakout was .. wait for it .. my first trip out of town. I had complied with the restrictions because I understood why they existed so, until we were given the go-ahead, I hadn’t left town (I don’t know how some of my friends are still alive after ignoring rules because their inconvenience is more important than national safety). Anyway, where to go? My budget was very low but I wanted to be at the coast – because we’d been forbidden from walking on the beach for several months, can you believe that?

Lucky me, I have a friend, Veronica, who lives with her sister in the tiny village of Britania Bay, two hours from Cape Town and has what we call a self-catering unit that she rents out, below the main house. It’s literally on the beach .. you step out the front door, take three steps and you’re on sand. Perfect.

I spent three nights there, I wish it had been more. Morning and afternoon beach walks, sunsets to die for, a trip to the nearby lagoon at the West Coast National Park famous for its flowers at that time of year, dirt roads, open roads, new faces and no cooking! One day Veronica gave me a guided tour of the nearby villages and bays and we even had fish and chips at a restaurant – our first post-lockdown restaurant meal, with a beer, too, seeing as prohibition was partly lifted. Small pleasures.

If you ever want a simple, beautiful and very inexpensive getaway do yourselves a favour, book this. Rustic but comfortable and very well-equipped.

The joys of a supermarket full of fresh vegetables and the most delicious carrot cake – most of which was stolen by a very bad dog. At least I managed to have one slice.

On the way home I popped in briefly to see the Tinie Versveld Private Reserve near Darling. This piece of land has been beautifully preserved with rare and previous Renosterveld. The yellow canola in the distance is very photogenic but mono-cultures like that have destroyed more than 90% of the Western Cape’s very special Renosterveld so this reserve is especially precious.

Almost home again, Table Mountain with Lion’s Head to the right.

Ending off with the link to my crowdfunding campaign in an attempt to save my tourism business. I thank you in advance for any assistance you can give.

Dislaimer: the advertising on this blog is random and chosen by WordPress, nothing to do with me and I derive no income from it.

My first selfie – way ahead of the pack

selfie 1

Full frontal selfie – 2008, cutting edge stuff.

Let me begin by saying I am not big on selfies. I forget to smile,  I look at the camera, and they’re not important enough to bother mastering them. However, trawling through old photos the other day I came across an album showing quite clearly that I was taking selfies before they even had a name. Before smartphones. These photos haven’t been altered in any way – not bad considering how few pixels phone cameras had back then.

I had just got a new phone and I think it was my first with a camera. I went away for a weekend alone so I played. It was a weekend of R&R from a stressful working life so wine and walks on the beach were the order of the day. My cottage was on the beach so in the morning I’d make a cup of coffee and walk on the beach with my coffee – how cool is that? The year was 2008. The location was a tiny village on the West Coast called Dwarskersbos which translates into across candle bush but means a candle-bush being blown over by wind.

It was peaceful, it was cold, I came home relaxed.

beach

The wild Atlantic Ocean.

beach 3

Nothing beats having a long beach all to yourself.

stuff

I still have most of these.

beach 2

Old boundary poles.

styling stuff

Stuff.

selie 3

I suppose this could be called a sneaky shelfie

Goodwill

Dias Beach

My favourite Cape Point lookout spot – often overlooked by visitors.

I swore I would never ever conduct a Cape Point Tour in the week between Christmas and New Year, and certainly not on the day formerly known as Boxing Day and now known as the Day of Goodwill. No way would I EVER accept such a booking.

But of course, this year I did. So sue me, I can’t turn away work and the clients nagged.

I did it on ONE condition: we depart from their hotel no later than 07:30. Late the night before they were trying their luck with emails asking if we can leave at 08:00 because they didn’t feel like rushing breakfast. Not advised, I said, that half-hour could have a huge impact, but you’re the client…. ok ok they said, 07:30 it is.

So of course I had to drag them out of the breakfast room at 07:40 but we were soon on our way. No traffic, no queues, we were at Cape Point by 09:30 … no cars, no traffic, up and down to the lighthouse, not too many people, clients starting to think I lied, that I overstated the road congestion.

Until we drove out of the Cape Point reserve at about 11:30, and saw the queue of cars coming into the reserve.. the line stretched all the way to Smitswinkel Bay. Ha ha ha .. these people were going to sit in their cars for at least one hour, we laughed as we cruised by.

Boulders was busy and the parking lot full because of the popular little beach next to Boulders.  I directed clients and waited for them in an illegal parking spot, in the shade, as they made their way alone to the penguins. 45 minutes later they were back and we were off to Kalk Bay for lunch.

We decided on a short stroll along the beachfront before lunch. The sight of the little beach packed full of bathing bodies and frolicking children and fathers braaing and drinking beer right under the ‘no fires’ and ‘no alcohol’ sign and scolding mothers and pouty teens and passion gappers was something to behold. Almost all beaches were full that day but this is a very small beach with a railway line running above part of it and it is basically inside the small fishing harbour that makes Kalk Bay so pretty and famous – not your ordinary beach.

Lunch at Harbour House was excellent as always and it was a peaceful cool oasis after the heat and throng outside.

Clients were back at their hotel before 6pm happy and tired – mission accomplished and they were thrilled that I got them cracking so early in the day.

Disclaimer

A note to all accidental visitors:

I am not a photographer and do not claim to have any particular skills whatsoever in that department. I have enormous respect for those who can see the potential in a scene and can create a great photo. Good photography is an art, in my opinion.

I am just a happy snapper, I have no special lenses or accessories, my camera is very simple and it's usually best to leave the setting on auto.

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