A Nectar And Pollen Beach Café

The birds and the bees enjoying a feast of nectar and pollen provided by this winter-flowering Greathead Aloe.

65946969_2359841110738911_5730260965920866304_n

Only one more day left here at the beach before our 600 km drive up to our daughter’s house in Johannesburg. It’s been a wonderful month with lots of time spent with my sister and good friends. The sound of the crashing waves is music to my ears, something  I’m really going to miss,

 

Six Word Saturday: What A Difference A Day Makes

Here are my ‘Six Word Saturday’ photos.

Thursday: The beach was full of holidaymakers enjoying the warm winter weather.

IMG_3905

Friday: Quite a different story.

IMG_3910

Thursday: Sun Umbrellas were out in force.

IMG_3906

Friday: Looks like a different sort of brolly will be needed.

IMG_3911

We got quite wet on our way back to the apartment yesterday, but today is dry and sunny.

Tomorrow, I’ll be seeing my sister for the first time in over a  year.

Wishing you all a perfectly relaxing weekend.

6wsbutton

 

 

 

Balancing Acts for Ailsa’s Travel Theme

“Step with care and great tact, and remember that Life’s a great balancing act.”  ~ Dr Seuss

Ailsa has some great photos for her Travel Theme Balance this week. Here are a few of mine.

Woody wood stork obviously has a good head for heights and a great sense of balance.

DSCN1958

I really admire the amazing ability to balance on a surf board when surrounded by huge waves.

DSCN4482

This beach vendor in Umhlanga has a great sense of balance too.

DSCN4533

I know some of you have seen this one before, but I cant resist popping it in for the theme. Balance doesn’t get much better than this, does it?

1558439_675060112550361_1954740802_n

At the moment, hubby is doing his own balancing act up on the scaffold.

DSCN7948

Now I’m off to balance a few weights at the gym. Wishing you all a perfectly balanced Tuesday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

B&W Sunday: My favourite landmark

Paula is back again with her “Black and White Sunday Challenge” and this week the theme is ‘Landmark’. What a great excuse to post a photo of my favourite landmark in Umhlanga Rocks. I do miss seeing it, since we moved away from our lovely seaside town.

IMG_7718

This 21 metre tall circular concrete tower, painted white with a red top, was completed in 1954. An interesting fact is that the lighthouse has never had a keeper, as the nearby Oyster Box Hotel has always been the official warden, with the lighthouse controls housed in the hotel office and monitored by the staff.  It’s been the subject of numerous paintings and memorabilia, and stands guard to some of the most treacherous waters of Southern Africa. It not only warns ships of the dangerous rocks closer to shore, but the flashing light is also a welcome to the cargo ships sailing into the safety of the Durban harbour.

mergeyes_widget

Bench Series June: Listen to the ocean

This month, Jude is looking for bench photos with some post-processing. Here’s a bench photo from Umhlanga Rocks. At the far end of the promenade, there’s a newly-built deck with four benches where one can sit and contemplate the restless, ever-moving ocean. I feel that the sepia processing gives timeless feel to this scene.

DSCN4423

“Every time I stand before a beautiful beach, its waves seem to whisper to me:
If you choose the simple things and find joy in nature’s simple treasures,
life and living need not be so hard.”  ~ Psyche Roxas-Mendoza

See more bench photos for June when you click here.

B&W Shoes and Feet at the Beach for Cee’s Challenge

“Anything with shoes or feet as the main focus of your photo” is Cee’s B&W Challenge this week.

I’ve chosen to be nostalgic and take a look at some shots from my beach in Umhlanga Rocks.  I’m really missing those almost daily walks along the promenade, when I could do a bit of people watching.

DSCN8700

There were many different kinds of beach attire to be seen, but bare feet were usually the order of the day.

IMG_4973

It was a great place to relax and read the Sunday papers,

IMG_4983

or to just veg out and do nothing.

IMG_5968

The perfect place to take the family pets for a walk.

IMG_5335

If your feet get tired,  just kick off your shoes and watch the waves for a while.

IMG_5088

The more energetic would go running along the promenade,

IMG_4974

but the majority were more than content just to have a bit of relaxation from the daily grind.

IMG_5181

I hope you’ve enjoyed my B&W trip down memory lane, or should that be “memory beach?” 😕

082713-bw-banner-1

My smokey journey to Johannesburg

Yesterday was a very full day indeed. The new occupants of the apartment we were renting, arrived much earlier than expected. By the time we left,  there was a a mass of furniture and boxes outside on the patio. They were moving from another apartment in the same complex, and wanted to swap out their own stuff for what was already there. We loaded up our car, and were soon heading out of  Umhlanga, away from the beauty of the beach and the Indian Ocean.

IMG_5718

It’s a long drive up to Johannesburg, and we expected to be at our daughter’s about 4pm. The roads weren’t too busy, and after stopping for lunch, we were driving through the Free State Province, when we noticed plumes of smoke in the distance.

IMG_5996

At the end of a dry winter, the grass is always tinder-dry and veld fires are very common. As we drove towards the smoke, we saw in the distance, many trucks stopped at the side of the road and a traffic cop standing in the middle of the road, waving his arms around. We were told that there had been an accident involving four trucks and several other vehicles, and it would take many hours to clear the road. There was nothing for it but to turn around and drive several kms back to the last junction and take another route down one of the back roads. Why the traffic police couldn’t have had someone there in the first place, to divert the traffic, is a total mystery. We were bombing along this much pot-holed road, quite merrily, when we saw more smoke and vehicles ahead. Once again the road was blocked, and a truck was on fire. There was too much smoke for me to open the window to take this shot, hence the reflection of my arm.

IMG_6001

We sat waiting for what seemed like ages, and eventually the road was opened, but from the other direction, and dozens and dozens of trucks came slowly driving through.

After a very long wait, we were once again on our way, and finally were passing the industrial outskirts of Johannesburg, which as you can see, isn’t a very pretty sight.

IMG_6041

We battled through the rush hour traffic, and when we arrived at our daughter’s lovely house, the family were all there to greet us, and so was my piano. It was great to see it again. It looked very happy in its new home.  It’s very out of tune after the shaking up it must have suffered on the long  journey up here, but today the piano tuner is coming.

DSCN9188

It’s a most gorgeous spring day here, and the garden is looking so pretty.

DSCN9190

I’ve been glued to the TV this morning, watching the judgement in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial. I really hope that justice will be seen to be done for Reeva and her family.

One last nostalgic walk before we leave this paradise.

Today we took our last walk along the beach promenade. It was a beautiful spring morning, and there were already so many fishermen at the water’s edge.

IMG_5942

We set off towards the lighthouse, which is something I’m really going to miss seeing, as our little lake in Florida doesn’t warrant one. The birds there seem to know exactly where they want come ashore, and without any help.

IMG_5951

The Candelabra Aloes are looking rather sorry for themselves at this time of year. Their beautiful orange flowers have been picked off by the birds, and all that is left are the seeds.

IMG_5949

The huge rocks along the shoreline look sombre in the sun’s first rays, as the beach cleaners arrive to start their day’s work.

IMG_5952

This morning was the only time I’ve seen the pier totally deserted.

IMG_5956

The ‘Pearls’ luxury tower block will soon be overshadowed by more highrise condos and a shopping mall which is due to be built right behind it. This once small village-like seaside resort is now getting far too crowded, especially at holiday time.

IMG_5957

The ever present ‘Dinky Donut’ stand was closed for breakfast. Hubby and I have always managed to resist buying a tray of these calorific  deep-fried morsels. I wonder who forgot to paint the second ‘D’ on the side. 😕

IMG_5958

This little girl looks to be having fun, whilst her dad plays with his laptop, but I’m sure she’d have even more fun if they could build a sandcastle together.

IMG_5962

This one is luckier, as she races after her daddy, down to the sea in the safety area between the two lifeguard flags.

IMG_5963

The sun makes the sea really sparkle, as these two runners pound the sand.

IMG_5969

Here’s that wizened and twisted tree which shades the path so well on a hot sunny day.

IMG_5964

We reach the bench at the end of the path, where I sit and watch the waves for a while, wondering how long it will be before we return here.

IMG_5973

The wind is starting to blow quite hard now, so we head back for a shower and coffee. The guy with his metal detector is a regular along the beach. I’d love to know what his success rate is.

IMG_5976

There is little progress on the new lifeguard tower, which was scheduled to be completed by October. Today the workmen look to be drilling holes in the old concrete base. Maybe they’re going to pack them with explosives and blow it up!

IMG_5977

This sign is definitely worth a photo. We’ve eaten some really great fresh fish caught by various members of our family over the years.

IMG_5978

The two of us walk along in companiable silence, and then I notice our ‘fat’ shadows linked together on the pathway. Must be all the good food we’ve eaten recently.

IMG_5979

There across the water, is a hazy view of the city of Durban.

IMG_5986

Then it’s up the hill behind these two walkers, one of whom appears to have a red tail.

IMG_5980

The bright red, matches the lighthouse and the umbrellas outside The Oyster Box Hotel.

IMG_5981

Then there’s just one lone fisherman and a single boat on the horizon, before we bid the beach and ocean goodbye and turn back into the road.

IMG_5982

Tomorrow is going to be quite hectic as we pack all our belongings into our cases, and other stuff which we’re not taking with us, into boxes for one of our friend’s young married kids. We are driving up to Johannesburg to stay with our daughter for a few days, before flying to England. I’ll pop in on you when I can, and maybe even do a post or two if the internet access allows. Have a great week.

I’m linking this post to Restless Jo’s Monday Walk Challenge. She’s gallivanting in the The Algarve at the moment, but welcomes us to submit our entries whilst she’s away. Just click on the badge below.

barefoot-in-the-sand-e1403814586342