Before I get to today’s main attraction, I have a little announcement to make…
Yay! Appropriate timing, as the announcement was made during the Oscars—I gave my own acceptance speech inside my head (…or not)—and I’ll keep this brief but just wanted to extend a huge THANKS to every one of you who voted and/or who read this site regularly. You all rock! My heart was aflutter when I saw the Tweet, as I was up against some serious competition. Now, back to South Africa and the Indian Ocean…
After Mom and I had a good laugh over the baboons guarding the golf course, we rushed to the lobby to meet our hiking group. We’d signed up for this two-hour hike and canoe through Pezula Resort where we were staying, which started with a not-too-leisurely stroll through a steep wooded path to observe native plant species. Yeah, not my idea of a fun morning either—nature and learning, who wants that?! (I kid, I kid…sorta)—but once we reached the bottom, there were four two-seater kayaks waiting for us. Physical activity, on the other hand, is exactly how I like to spend my morning.
Having had a bit of experience kayaking in the past, I put Mom up front so I could steer from the back. And yet, she still managed to take control (typical) and steer us into the foliage regardless of the positioning. (Love you, Mom!)
It was a nice serene setting and a warm fall morning to be outside getting some much-needed exercise after eating our way through the Garden Route.
After 30 minutes on the river and only a few mishaps that did little more than scare the avian life stirring by the water’s edge, we arrived at a long, flat spit of sand, which turned out to be the coastline of the Indian Ocean!
As soon as we had successfully disembarked the kayaks without so much as a hazardous spill, Mom and I kicked off our flip-flops and padded across the soft sand.
But not before my mom was armed and ready with her camcorder. Ever since I was a wee tot, my mom has had both the (D)SLR and video cameras pointed on me, which I suppose is what helped me perfect the fake smile at such an early age. My friends in Europe used to make fun of me for this; they said they were unable to catch me in a candid moment without a smile on my face, which is probably true as I don’t want willingly to give anyone blackmail ammo. And my mom is likely responsible for my own upbringing of a camera glued to my hand at every moment. (It goes without saying then that all the video footage from our Garden Route trip is courtesy of her shaky filming and my quick editing—a team effort!)
I’d venture to say that there wasn’t a second of our time in South Africa when my mom wasn’t giddy with the thrill of the newness of everything, but one of the high points for her was stepping foot in the Indian Ocean for the first time.
And that water was cold, y’all. I, on the other hand, was fine just chilling in the sand and enjoying being back on a warm beach—and in a sundress at that. Living in San Francisco makes you grateful for any occurrence when you don’t need a puffy jacket and leg warmers layered over jeans layered over tights to keep warm. Sure, we live a straight three-mile shot to Ocean Beach, but in the three years that I’ve lived here, I’ve been on that beach in a bikini all of zero times.
And so, I leaped with excitement (no big surprise there, I’m sure).
Then, we heard the clanging of the dinner bells from the castle—yes, there was a castle on this deserted spit of sand owned by the resort—and so we made our way up the steep cobblestone steps for lunch overlooking the ocean.
The feast was a royal one, yes, and then we were even given a tour of the other castle, where Nelson Mandela and a host of celebrities have stayed at one time or another, but while pretty and posh, the view from above was the selling point.
Then, it was time to go once more—no rest for the weary. We said good-bye to Pezula and Knysna, loaded up our rental SUV once more, and drove off into the sunset on our long journey back to Cape Town.