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. 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 these 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 a ‘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.