Along the coast

Sure there is something about the sea. The whole of southern South Africa, many of the towns and cities are by the ocean.. Whether it’s the climate, the look and the sound of the sea, the waves.. surfing, enjoying the sunshine and the sand.. fishing, collecting sea shells. How it provides us with necessities, and nourishes the soul. Perhaps what makes these regions especially attractive to some is that there are mountains around just by the seaside.. and the coastal forests, plentiful in green life.

Just now I’m in Cape St Francis, by the ocean, staying with a friend. How good to be in this lovely place, quiet now outside of holiday season. There are deserted sandy beaches, and on the Wild Side, the orange rocks make a powerful contrast to the mighty blue waves crashing against them. A light house, little walks in the bushes, penguin rescue centre, empty holiday houses.. a peninsula rather separated from what is happening up on the big road or the big cities. We’ve been playing some music together, and I am discovering my deep delighted urge for singing ever more deeply.. I had my first guitar in Equatorial Guinea and since then it has been almost a relief to be feeling a little bit more at ease with singing and learning to play, little by little. There’s never any reason not so sing or play when one wishes to, no matter if one is “good or bad”, and still quite a few of us don’t find it all that easy to express ourselves around others. There’s really no reason whatsoever for many of the things we feel or the ways we act.. but surely we learn all the time, at our own pace, of just the things we ever need to learn at any moment.

Things seem to change all the time. What a surprise..! In any case I’m quite happy to accept that. There’s been so many options for what to do, where to go.. of course there are always endless opportunities, in truth. Now I’ll be staying here though and it feels wonderful not to feel a deep urge just now to go again, or do any one specific thing as such.. rather just, allow things to arise and give things a chance as they come. Make an effort to find some job hopefully to earn some money.

There was a bit of time on a farm as well, before coming here. With Lisa and her friend we spent one weekend at another friend’s farm house between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay. I decided to stay a few days at least, to help out just a little bit and be in the country side.. It was beautiful, lovely place on the hill, in a small forest and overlooking the Outeniqua mountains. He has got some major problems with baboons eating his macadamia crop these days. Yearly problem, and he’s certainly not the only farmer around with similar trouble.. So, the baboon discussion could go on. They really don’t have all that much space around there anymore; with all the farm houses and fields.. People do acknowledge that, as with any animals.. And yet, it just doesn’t seem easy to come up with any sustainable solutions. People try, and individuals do, but also, the “problem” seems to have always been there. I saw pictures of cave paintings, thousands of years old, in some of which baboons were displayed being chased off by people with spears in their hands. Just one example of this.. and isn’t it like that with all things around us. We see rain as trouble as well, sometimes, while other times it is a blessing. Just as a tree is beautiful to someone, while another finds it ugly perhaps or insignificant..

I helped a bit to chase off the baboons from the fields. Apparently they won’t enter the fields quite that much when the staff is walking around there. Yet, they always try again.. and why not, such an easy and tasty meal. I don’t think I would be very good a baboon chaser though. I was a bit too keen to just sit down and watch them when they were around, rather than try convincing them never to come back again.. I also took pictures of Ginger’s native cows for his breeding files, enjoyed the company of two horses that lived around the cottage where I stayed, and helped a little bit in his garden. He was such a lovely companion, how great to hear his stories from along the way.. he’s been to all sorts of places, and lived and traveled with a heart full of adventure, love, caring and giving.

A few days later my way took me more to the east. I cycled from Plettenberg Bay to Wild Spirit backpackers in the Crags. I had heard a lot about the place and wanted to visit. It sure was lovely. Such a pretty spot in the forest, with the northern mountain range in view from the outdoor bar and lounge area.. Attractive little waterfalls, green gorges and huge yellow wood trees just by the premises, and lots of outdoor activities to do. I helped out in the kitchen and the garden a bit against a free delicious dinner prepared by the fire. Their staff is very friendly and helpful, and it was lovely to sleep in the tent listening to horses grazing outside.

From the Crags I cycled via Nature’s Valley, a small village with its houses hidden under the trees, by the Bloukrans pass to Stormsriver. Just another little town with plenty of outdoor activities to do and right by the Tsitsikamma national park. I didn’t explore the nature reserve this time but enjoyed entirely the views, smells, sounds and feelings on the way. Finally, from Stormsriver I found a lift to Humansdorp, as this stretch is rather long and would have been either a very long day’s cycle, or I would have had to camp somewhere by the road, with not many villages on the way. From Humansdorp it was just another 20 kilometers to Cape St Francis.

Now the bicycle has rested a bit. I pass through the days in amazement and much peace in my heart, and will see with keen patience and love what other things there are on this path..

Knysna lagoon

Lisa and Sam near Plettenberg Bay

Some of Ginger's parrots on the farm

Night adder at the farm

Morning companion

A new born

Mountains and macadamia trees  Nature's Valley

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P1160383  Wild Spirit backpackersStormsriver gorge

Some racing cyclists met on the way

Lighthouse in Cape St Francis

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