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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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. 😕

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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.

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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Wordless Wednesday: Waiting for the Big One?

The waves were very rough yesterday, and I allowed myself a wry smile when I saw this guy standing on the rocks, wearing leather shoes and long trousers.

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Seconds after I’d taken my photo, he was scrambling down the rocks and running like mad across the sand, in order to avoid getting totally drenched. I’m sure his shoes and socks got a good soaking though.

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A great weekend job. This is the life.

“This is the life,” is what came to mind when I passed by this scene yesterday. I’m sure these guys really enjoy coming to work, even at the weekends. Our lifeguards are all ready for action at their temporary station, should the need arise.

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I went to see how the new lifeguard tower is coming along, as it’s supposed to be finished by October this year.

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Disappointingly, no progress has been made at all since it was demolished a few weeks ago, so it would seem that they’ll be operating from this platform for quite a while.

Textures from the seaside for the WPC

“…vicinity to the sea is desirable, because it is easier to do nothing by the sea than anywhere else, and because bathing and basking on the shore cannot be considered an employment but only an apotheosis of loafing.  ~ E. F. Benson

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As I’m still living here at the beach, I decided that a bit of sea and sand would do well for the Weekly Photo Challenge.

I’m sure that most of us are familiar with the gritty texture of sand, and would agree that nothing spells relaxation, quite like the feel of sand between our toes.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed your visit to my beach here in Umhlanga Rocks. To see more entries for the WPC, just click on the badge .

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The transformation from a home to merely a house.

“Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home.” ~ John Howard Payne

The deed is done and the keys handed over. The end of another era of our life together.

My little study at the top of the stairs, which used to be my favourite place to sit and blog,

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today looked like this.

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Our dining room which has been the scene of many a delicious meal and family gatherings,

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is now just an empty shell.

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Someone else will get to walk through the magic gate and down onto the beach.

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Tonight, there’s absolutely nothing to bear witness that we were ever there; not even an eyelash in the bathroom. (I made quite sure of that.) I hope the new owner will be as happy there as we’ve been for the past twelve years.

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Now for the next exciting chapter.

 

 

Landmarks of Umhlanga, and the Demise of the Lifeguard Tower

In 1869, the first beach cottage was built in Umhlanga Rocks. Named ‘The Oyster Lodge’, it had a beautiful ocean view, and tea and scones were served to passers-by in a true spirit of hospitality. The cottage had a reflective roof, which served as a beacon for the captains of passing ships, to help them navigate their vessels around the rocky headland.

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In 1954 Umhlanga’s distinctive red and white lighthouse came into operation, to warn ships away from the dangers of these rocks. The red sun umbrellas of the Oyster Box Hotel, which was built on the site of the original cottage, can be seen to the right of the lighthouse.

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Another landmark for me, has always been the Lifeguard Tower at the main beach. As I walked past, I would often see the young volunteers up there, watching over the bathers. About a week ago, I was really surprised and rather sad, to see that the lifeguard tower which has been there as long as I can remember, was being demolished.

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Every time we went for a walk along the promenade, I would take photos, as it slowly disintegrated.

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At this stage, it was quite distressing to see how this once bright and beautiful tower, was reduced to a pathetically sad ruin with a bad hairdo.

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It didn’t take too long before all that was left, was this forlorn heap of rubble.

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And now the rubble is cleared, and work on the construction of the new one can begin.

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Soon, a new and improved tower will rise in it’s place. It will be ‘C’ shaped, and the balcony will have a 180º view of the beach. It’s expected to be completed in October, but sadly, we will have left long before then. I’m sure we’ll be over again some time next year, so I’ll be able to see  if I approve of the new design. In the mean time, the lifeguards will have to made do with this.

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‘Coastal Candelabra With Cloudy Backdrop’ for B&W Tuesday.

I saw today that Ed had done a ‘B&W Tuesday’ post. His has lovely macro shots of a bee gathering pollen from flowers.  I remembered this shot which I took a couple of days ago whilst walking next to our beach here in South Africa. I thought it would look great in B&W. What do you think?

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I’ve also just seen that there’s a weekly ‘Monochrome Madness Challenge’, over at Leanne Cole’s blog. To see more entries for week 14, just click here.