Sand Between the Toes for Jo’s Monday Walk Challenge.

Jo is away this week, but we can always join in her Monday Walk Challenge. As some of you may know, my home in South Africa is on the east coast, just north of Durban. Not for much longer though, as we have recently sold and will be moving out in just a few weeks. It’s a busy and emotional time at the moment, as of course we must decide what to take with us to our home in Florida, and what to sell or give away. Our place here is already looking quite bare in places, as several items of furniture have been sold. Today, I’m supposed to be sorting through my bookcase, but thought I’d just do a quick post first. My unwanted books are going to help raise funds for the animal anti-cruelty league here, so at least I know that my loss will be the animals’ gain.

Now, if you have a few minutes to spare, you are welcome to come for a walk along the beach with me.Β  Shorts, T-shirt and flip flops will be just fine. Out of the front door and just down the driveway to the beach and the Indian Ocean.


It’s necessary to secure our complex from unwanted intruders, so we have fencing all around it, and a gate which requires an access code.


Until the really bad storms of March 2007, there was a level path which led through trees and bushes onto the beach, but overnight, we suddenly had a ten foot drop and had to put in wooden steps. The benches here are dedicated to the memory of three former residents.


The first two lots of steps got washed away. but things have now been pretty stable for the the past few years, and theseΒ  have survived.


The devastating high tides, were a real wake-up call to the residents along the shoreline, who have since been busy with a substantial dune rehabilitation project, which apart from protecting against further coastal erosion, has also seen an increase in birds and other wildlife.


It looks quite messy, but appears to be working well.


We chose to walk south today, instead of up towards the lighthouse, pier and hotels, which I’ve often showed to you. As you can see, it’s not at all busy on this part of the beach. It’s slightly hazy today, but you if you look carefully, you can make out the city of Durban in the distance, and just to the right of centre, is the roof of the ‘Moses Mabhida’ Stadium which was built for the Soccer World Cup in 2010. This stadium was named in honour of the leader of the South African Communist Party from 1978 until his death in 1986, who is considered by our present government to be aΒ  ‘struggle hero’ of the liberation movement against apartheid.


There are always a few cargo ships out there, waiting to offload their containers at Durban harbour.


This part of the beach is very popular with fishermen who are almost exclusively from our Indian community. I’m assuming that the pink hat doesn’t belong to this man.


Here are two young ladies who appeared to be getting a fishing lesson. This is the first time I’ve seen a long-sleeved white collared shirt and black leather ‘winkle-pickers’ on the beach.


There are some really big houses along here, and this is one that lost much of its back garden as well as its swimming pool, during the 2008 high tides. It must have been rather scary for the owners to wake up and find the waves crashing against their house.


A little further along, is the seaside retreat of South Africa’s best known evangelical ‘Preacher Man’ Pastor Ray McCauley, a former night club bouncer, who after winning the ‘Mr South Africa’ title, went on to come third in the 1974 Mr Universe Championships in London. He is the founder of the most powerful church in the country, with a membership of over 45,000. He has been said to lead a millionaire’s lifestyle, and flies up to Johannesburg by private jet most weekends to preach to his adoring followers. His Harley used to be parked regularly outside our gym, although I haven’t seen it for a while.


Even farther along, hidden somewhere in this forest, is the Oppenheimer’s retirement mansion. Harry Oppenheimer was a South African gold and diamond magnate, and one of the world’s richest men, who used his great wealth and considerable influence in the fight against apartheid. He died in 200o, and his wife Brigitte died in 2013.


We usually turn around and head for home when we get to this dead tree. It’s weird to think that it was once part of the forest, and now stands alone on the sandy beach.


We decided to take a different way home, up a secluded path which leads to the road.


If I’d been on my own, I certainly wouldn’t have gone this way.


Along the road is a house which has been under construction for at least three years, and finally seems to be nearing completion.


My favourite house along here is this one, which must have cost a small fortune. I’m sure that being so high up, it will have the most fantastic sea views. It really has kerb appeal too.


Then it’s quick march back up the road towards home for tea and brownies. I hope you enjoyed your walk with me, and I’m sorry you can’t join me for tea.

On the subject of houses, we had a message today to say that our offer on the other house in Florida, has finally been accepted, so now we need to organise a roofing guy, to replace that leaking roof. There’ll be a lot of work to do inside, once we get back there in September. It will certainly keep hubby out of mischief, and give me lots to blog about.

To see more entries for Jo’s ‘Monday Walk Challenge’, just click on the link provided here.










97 comments on “Sand Between the Toes for Jo’s Monday Walk Challenge.

  1. I’ve been catching up with everyone and a visit to Jo’s blog brought me to your lovely Monday walk. I love how that works! I might have to do a Monday walk of my own, soon! Beautiful photographs, Sylvia.

  2. Thanks for the tour, Sylvia. The place is lovely although I do not care for the dangers posed by storms. Though come to think of it, what place is without its dangers?

    Congratulations for the closed deal. It will be exciting to see an old house transform into something grand. πŸ™‚

  3. Ahihihi … some interesting fashion while fishing. πŸ˜† When I wear my Spiderman outfit while fishing, I’ll let you know so you can photograph me too. πŸ˜€

  4. Enjoyed walking with you Sylvia. The tsunami created similar havoc along our coast, and a strict coastal regulation zone has been earmarked since, within which any building is prohibited. Better late than never I guess. Happy to hear your offer was accepted. Good luck with the renovation work.

    • Thanks so much, Madhu. We also have regulations here, some some people re very selfish and still insist on removing the dune vegetation so their house can boast a better sea view. Such foolishness does catch up with them in the end though.

  5. Pingback: Jo’s Monday walk : the Dunajec Gorge | restlessjo

  6. Thanks for the very interesting walk and talk, AD. I am so glad that ‘they’ are trying to recaim the dunes. The sea is really so powerful as it seems not much can be done to stop its encroachment. From what I remember, that is one of the beaches that descends quite steeply down into the water?

    • You’re welcome, adee. Yes, there was a very steep bank here at one time, and we couldn’t walk down to the water from our complex. It’s levelled out nicely now, but is changing all the time.

  7. thanks for the walk AD … we did not get one today, there was too much going on, so I am glad I could step back in time and join you! They do look like expensive houses, I hope the restoration work succeeds πŸ™‚

  8. This has been a very interesting walk, and I’m really sorry that I couldn’t stop in for a cup of tea. I have just recently moved from my old neighborhood to the next one over in my hometown after living in the same home for 40 years, and it was quite a challenge for me. I can’t imagine what it would be like to move to another continent. Wish you much luck, and health and happiness in your new home.

  9. Here we go …. me too. 1 year contract in London and 30 years later still happy here! Hope you have such beauty in Florida too, this is a great beach!

  10. Such turmoil, moving! I don’t think I could ever really face it again – my roots go very deep here where I’m living at the moment, bit one just never knows.
    Good luck with the packing and moving πŸ˜‰

  11. What a beautiful place but very poignant for you Sylvia. A bittersweet time, leaving one home behind and moving into another across the sea…oh I know how that feels…but so lovely for you to have these wonderful memories and thank you for sharing them with us. Lovely too to include it as part of Jo’s Monday walks, which I enjoy so much. I had no idea of the devastating storms you experienced there. My favourite photo? The one with the dried out tree stump, That one speaks volumes to me, beautiful. Hope the packing up goes well, thinking of you…hugs… πŸ™‚ xx

  12. Loved your walk Sylvia and the commentary added to it. At the moment I live in the opposite Indian Ocean beach in WA. Big ocean, small world. Will you miss your South African home?

  13. Thank you for this walk. Years back we loved to go on holiday along the North Coast of “Natal”. You took me way back. I miss SA a lot but with the blogs rolling along I can still enjoy it to go back in my mind

  14. I know how difficult, and emotional, it is to be emptying out your home, severing links and divesting yourselves of pieces of your life – but knowing you have this fantastic project to create a dream home ahead of you helps, I hope – along with lots of walks up and down your beach. The storm damage has been quite extensive, Sylvia – was that because (lack of) planning rules allowed building on that sensitive sandy no-mans land? Best wishes. Hope your Mum enjoys whatever treat you have in store for her tomorrow! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks so much, Meredith. Yes, I remember when you were going through your big move. It’s certainly quite a traumatic time. I think the storm damage was because people have illegally cut down the dune foliage in order to get a better view of the ocean. I hope they’ve now learned their lesson. πŸ™‚

  15. Hope all goes smoothly as you continue with your move. Before you leave – be sure to take a photo of you in front of your house in South Africa. Have it framed & display it in your new home. πŸ˜‰
    Happy & safe travels to FL.

  16. This walk was absolutely wonderful, Sylvia! I’m so excited about the house in Florida and can’t wait to see how it all goes for you. The first thing we did with the RUC was a put on a new roof, very important! πŸ˜‰

    You’re wonderful to donate your books to a worthy cause – well done, my friend πŸ˜€

    • Thanks so much, Dianne. We’re hoping to get the roof done asap. Just need to choose a good contractor. Doing it from this distance isn’t easy, but I’m sure it will all work out. πŸ™‚

  17. Enjoyed the golden sand between the toes walk πŸ™‚ Kind of worrying to see the beach erosion, through high tides and storm surge; happening in other areas along the SA coast. Much luck with your packing and move; can’t be easy to uproot after 44 years.

  18. Such a great walk showing us what you’ll be leaving behind. I don’t envy you the moving process, but I know it’ll be worth it in the end.

  19. What a nice walk, Ad! And when you’ve made the move you’ll be able to re-walk this any time, via your blog, and evoke the memories, won’t you? I like being involved in that πŸ™‚ I presume you’ll still be back to see family on a regular basis, but just won’t have your own base there.
    Thank you so much for thinking of me when you wrote this. I’m feeling quite sad for you, but there must be some not so good memories too? I’ll post this on the bottom of next Monday’s Polish walk. Quite the international set, aren’t we? Hugs, darlin.

  20. Interesting beach walk, Sylvia.Incredible what storms can do to the beach. I have thought about you and your impending move and all that entails.44 years is a long time. Do you have two places in Florida and selling one of them? I remember the new kitchen your hubby put in last year.

    • Thanks, Lynne for the thoughts. πŸ™‚ We were in Johannesburg for almost 30 years, and moved down to the coast just after hubby retired. Our new place in Florida will take some time to fix up, but there’s no hurry once the new roof is on. He intends doing a lot of the inside work himself. it’s very close to our present home there, so it will be easy. We may rent out our present house, once we move to the new place. Of course, there’ll be another kitchen to do, but he says it will be easy the second time around. πŸ™‚

  21. Wow, 44 years there! It’s certainly a beautiful place, and I know many cherished memories. Your pictures remind me of the coastal areas in Central CA not too far from us. The coast is a wonderful place, but it does have its dangers, difficulties and dirty areas as well. Another wonderful post, Sylvia. πŸ™‚

  22. I enjoyed the walk, ad. I didn’t know that that particular house was Ray McCauly’s house. I have seen it a few times before. I feel quite sad that you will be leaving SA for good… Fortunately it is possible to blog from all over the world. ❀

  23. This brings back memories Sylvia. My eldest son and daughter lived in Durban in the late nineties for a few years and I got out to visit it them. They lived opposite the Botanical Garden which was lovely for me! What a lovely beach, I had no idea of the storm damage. A bit like the millionaires’ homes along the Thames that got flooded this year. Money doesn’t mean a thing where nature is concerned.

    So bye bye South Africa then. I confess that I never felt the same about it once the razor wire and electric fences and gates went up. Such beautiful landscapes though. Although don’t you still have family in Jo’burg? If so it won’t be the end of your visits there.
    Thanks for a last walk on the sand πŸ™‚

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