Rainbows and Sand Angels – Pondoland, South Africa

We packed up quite early hoping to get a jump start on the day when all of a sudden we were inundated by the monkeys! They were everywhere and after nicking a potato they decided it was a free for all. We scrambled about trying to guard not only our food but our shoes even. Oh no! Not another pair of shoes stolen!

I really felt like we were in a scene from planet of the apes. We hastened our packing but not before the mischievous critters crawled right into the front of the land rover grabbing a bag of nuts. They threw the bag to each other from tree to tree as if to play keep away. Ah but I fooled them! Somehow I managed after shaking the tree up and down to get the bag of nuts back. Ya! Victory over the monkeys!

As we drove through some towns and villages, I noticed that in Pondoland (transkei) the houses were of higher quality and there were big brick schools being built. I can still hear the children running out of the fields and townships at top speed, holding out their hands and yelling “Sweeeeeeeeeeets!” after the vehicle. Sometimes we were going so fast that all you would hear is a faint “…..eeeEEEEeeee…..” building then fading.

When we did meet children at stops we didn’t give them sweets but nutritious snacks from our lunch. I was so happy to have brought the little Canada stickers because the kids just loved them. I am not sure why but they all seemed to automatically slap them on their foreheads.

We stopped at Luphutana where the others went ahead to Waterfall Bluff while I hopped from rock to rock finally settling down as close to the water as possible. I sat mesmerised by the crash of the ocean onto the rugged coast. A matter of meters away from my chosen rock perch, I watched the miniature (15 meters) rainbow appear and dissipate before my very eyes, again and again, one side ending right in front of me. I thought about it…my very own rainbows…never seen by another. And I felt fortunate.

The power of the ocean sent grand fountain like spray so high I would get them confused with the white puffy clouds. I licked my lips and tasted the salty droplets of sea misting my face. I crept through the spirally coils of trees making up the fairytale like forest, popping out through a clearing to be greeted by the sandy dunes, jagged rocky coastline and churning ocean. I laid down in the sand and closed my eyes listening to the water lapping at the boulders next to my newly rebroken baby toe.

After lunch on the beach, I collected some tiny shells and demonstrated how to make sand angels which are like snow angels but warmer. Arriving back at Buccs was really strange after being away from civilization for 4 days. I felt like a bit of an alien and had to really concentrate on peoples words…they spoke so fast and loud! We all felt a bit out of sorts with all these people milling around but the adjustment period was short. It wasn`t long before we were back into the swing of things telling all about what a great trip we had.

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