From the Wild Coast to Wild Animals

May 3, 2016

Sometimes, when I am lacking inspiration, I feel like my posts are just a list of the places we have seen and the things that we have done.  By telling stories that are now 2 months stale, I fear that the “feeling” of a place can be easily lost.  I’m trying to be more connected to the visceral memories and find those kernels to share, but it’s no easy feat.

After Lesotho, we headed back to the South African beaches, specifically to the town of Cintsa on the Wild Coast.  We rented our first tent, because all of the accommodation at the recommended Buccaneers Lodge & Backpackers was already sold out.  It rained every night and most of the day, and we were located downhill from the communal bathrooms, which made for a very inconvenient night’s pee.  We were also camping below the property’s bar, which meant we were serenaded by thumping dance music and drunken laughter into the wee hours.  Needless to say, our stay was not the highlight of our trip.

However, even in the overcast, stormy weather, or maybe because of it, I was completely taken with the beach.  The day that Stella and I spent exploring the shoreline and studying the ocean specimens that were swept up onto the sand, is one of my favorite memories in all of South Africa.  At the time, I waxed poetic about our experience:

Coastlines of treasure,

from the fractured jewel-toned purple, pink and fire orange coral detritus

to the shades and textures of emerald-green seaweed,  

and opalescent jellyfish on golden, titanium flecked sands.

Bleached pirate bones of driftwood,

Ornament-like shells,

limpets and winkles,

rounded jumbo rocks polished by the tides,

all backed by sand dunes glued together with lilac flowering vines,

or lush green forests clinging to rocky cliff sides.

All this beauteous booty lies unconcealed to the appreciative eye.

I want to catalogue it all and create my own diary of coastal specimens along the wild to the garden route. 

We continued our southwest drive, detouring slightly North to visit Addo Elephant National Park.  Although we did see plenty of elephants, gathering together at their most social watering hole, our animal sightings were few and far between. Most notable was a family of ostriches, with both the mother and father looking over their brood of brown fuzzy-feathered toddlers. With an abundance of elephant scat, the roads were also full of dung beetles trying to roll a ball of pachyderm poop across the street.  We were reminded to drive slowly and avoid crushing these mini Sisyphus’, so I found myself frequently screaming at Dan to, “Watch out!, Look out!, Go right!, Go left! Oh no!!”.

After staying a night nearby in the delightful Rosedale Organic Farm B&B, our last stop along the Eastern cape was a lunch break at Jeffreys Bay. This city became most popular among the surfing community after the movie/documentary, Endless Summer, came out in 1966, and declared this part of South Africa to have the most perfect wave. Dan had his eye on this destination for years, but the surfing conditions were not on his side, and a quick detour to stand on the beach was as far as we got.

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  • Reply Janet Storton May 4, 2016 at 7:11 am

    Sarah, I once stayed in a small tent like yours while on Safari, downwind from the communal bathroom. I experienced a large baboon having a stare down contest with me wanting any food items I may have had in the tent, NOT being able to get to the bathroom at 4:00 a.m. due to a large Wart Hog rooting around the outside of my tent. But would I go back and do it again…ABSOLUTELY!

  • Reply Poppy May 4, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    Awesome post sweetie….loved the poetic portion and the kid pics!

    Why would Dan want to go surfing when he can go get those mini-Sisyphuses (or is it mini-Sisyphusi)?

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