As some of you may know Fiona and I decided some time ago that we would make more of a concerted effort to enjoy our time together. One of the steps we put in place, is to get out and explore our country every three weeks. Let me try explain. The nature of Fiona’s employment is that every three weeks she gets a long weekend. So instead of letting that time slip by with half baked ideas or plans, we made a deal that we would stick to. We would use that time to get out and unwind, a short holiday. Nothing fancy or expensive, more of a get out and do something on a set budget. Each and every time visiting a new place on the map. Pick a town or a place as a base camp and explore everything we can in the surrounding area. Walk, climb, crawl or what ever it takes but we would endeavor to know our home not on reports from friends or the internet but from memories and personal experience.
This rotation we decided to do something close to home with my family. We managed to convince them to spend two days and two nights with us in a nature reserve not far from where we all live. This was definitely going to be interesting for us as we are all very different people.
Once we had unpacked and settled in, one of the first activities we planed for ourselves was to go for a swim. Well…this place is on the rougher side of the Cape Of Storms so to be honest I was not shocked when you could hear a pin drop when I asked who else wanted to join us. Not fazed by the lack of response, we set off. All excited and ready to kick the weekend off we both stood at the waters edge. This is how the conversation went…
Fiona/ Hmmmm this water looks a bit rough and sharky….what you think?
Dan/ Ok.. Well. Its Not Not sharky.
Fiona/ Please rather don’t be honest..I actually don’t want to know. Lets just go for it. We will be fine.
Dan/ Sure… why not, lets just try not go to far off the sand bank, I don’t want the current to suck us away into the deep….Because of the hmm.. rocks.
The water was rough and cold but it was really great. We managed to catch a few body surf waves and just generally had a bit of fun. Making my way out, back to where Fiona was swimming, I saw the inevitable. A dark grey fin cutting like a knife through the surf, just in her blind spot only a few meters away, closing in fast. Not anything to fuss over but still not anything you would want to be surprised with (now at this point I would like to make it clear). Fiona expressly told me not to tell her or be honest! So in the interest of doing what I am told, I just said: maybe we should call “last wave” and make our way in. I knew what it was and what was going to happen so I just waited. I waited like a school kid who passed wind in an elevator, grinning with anticipation as to who would smell it first.
Needless to say moments later a scream erupted. Fiona had been bumped, then stood on and some how kicked this shark in one swift move. They both shot off in different directions in a explosion of steel cable like taught muscle and sea foam. She looked at me with a face filled with horror only to see me laughing, laughing hard she must have then realised it was not serious and cracked up herself (I felt no shame as it was not long ago Fiona nearly collapsed with laughter at me when I barked my shin with a chunk of wood!!).
A picture of the offending shark species I took a while ago.
Well it must have been quite a loud pitch scream as she seemed to have attracted to attention of a more terrestrial animal, who seemed quite keen to investigate the goings on. As my dad called it…A striped donkey.
I am always amazed how animals like this can evade large predators like Lions with knees like that. Its like a cartoon zebra
This chap seemed to like Fiona but was not so keen on me. We quickly got changed and grabbed the camera. Its not often you see these guys on the beach.
As I said he seemed to be very curious about Fiona, however as soon as I pointed a camera at him he would walk away. Oh Well, I think we all have days like this sometimes.
As this is a place that we come to often and the fact that we were with my family we had a bit more of a relaxed attitude towards exploring the surrounds and taking pictures. Making the most of the solitude and lack of cell phone reception.
I had taken loads of wood along, so we had the indoor fire flashed up most the time keeping the house just the way my parents like it. A steady 30-35Deg C with all the windows and doors shut!
Even though one of my sisters was suffering with the flu she still managed to suck it up, get out and even pick up litter that had washed up on our beach.Well done Nicky!
My Dad also managed to tear himself away from the heated comfort of the house to enjoy a great walk as well and do his bit in assisting with the beach clean up.
I could tell he enjoyed himself and relaxed to the point that he even tried some of our Kudu and Springbok we had made for supper!
After supper time Fiona and I did some animal tracking in search of the elusive Cape Clawless Otter. We got frustratingly close but never managed to actually get a picture. Its like a game. I am convinced they are aware of when I have a camera and just toy with me. I have been lucky enough to have had a few really special encounters, even swimming with them but never getting a decent picture. I did not give up instead I just went to plan B
I have never been into or have I ever bothered taking sunset pictures but I decided to try.
Fiona is helping me find my focus point and my resolve the way she does.
I think I finally got it.
I really believe that a great life is made up of a series of moments that we remember not the day to day grind and or the self inflicted drama. Perception as well as flexibility has played a huge roll in some of the best times in my life. Even if you are on a train to nowhere, you may as well make the most of it and enjoy the ride.
As for our family getaway. All in all I think we all really enjoyed it in the end. The house we stayed in was not exactly awesome, having a few small issues, never the less it was great to try something different. We all laughed from our bellies, slept like the dead, relaxed in the day, ate way to much, spoke openly and enjoyed each others company around a big orange flickering fire. Six people went in and Six people came out. A special thank you to everyone who tried and did their bit to add to our memories. I really appreciated it all. Thank you to everyone.