My sister had moved here about 6 months before to do her year of Community Service, and she wouldn’t stop going on and on about the place. From the moment she moved there I had every intention of visiting her, but life happens, and time flies, so when I realized she was more than half way through her year staying there and I had better make a plan to visit her, I reluctantly set aside a weekend and made the arrangements.
First impressions weren’t great, the drive from the airport up the north coast is a hair raising one to say the least! It was pitch dark and there were road works, and you driving down this one lane highway with huge concrete barricades on either side of you. To make it worse, it seems like turning on your car lights on the North Coast isn’t really a thing that is done. So here you are trying to drive at a decent speed because you have a bmw on your ass flashing his lights at you, on this pitch dark road where the only lights are your own headlights and the constant flashing of the cars behind you, on this stupidly narrow highway that has been closed down to one lane, the concrete barriers also feel close enough that you worry your side mirrors are going to be squashed any second, and then BAM! suddenly you realize their is a something big and slowly moving in front of you – and you sign a breath of relief that you are assholey enough to not have listened to the angry bmw driver and you didn’t go flying down the terrifying highway.
I turn off the highway towards the sea and make my way down a lonely road, and even though I have been told that I just go straight and there is no way I can get lost in the small town, I’m still expecting to come across a confusing turn, or something, but I just continue along the road, past the grocery store, and the pharmacy, and the real estate agency, and past a restaurant (the best restaurant ever- more about that later), past the golf course and then there you are, at the gate to the estate, you have, in the matter of a few seconds, driven through the entire town!
Saturday morning was miserable, cold and rainy and we weren’t exactly too excited about going exploring in the rain and getting sick, so we decided to try go exploring in the car. Ker gave us a very detailed and informative tour of the town, but that only lasted about 10 minutes, so we explored a bit more, just outside the town where we found a beautiful forest!
Forests of course mean photoshoots!
and when you own the worlds cutest dog, of course he has to get involved!
I’m sure I’ve mentioned little Flapjacks modeling career in previous posts, but the poor little guy was subjected to photoshoots from a very young age, and after awhile he seemed to catch on and quite enjoy being the main focus on any little photography assignment I was doing growing up, and later the main test subject whenever I was trying out a new lighting technique, or new lens or whatever, and he became brilliant at posing. In these pics below, I just picked him up, plonked his bum down on the pile of logs and he just made sure he looked at me where ever I moved or if I pointed in a direction he would be sure to turn and look in that direction.
My sister (she is such a nut case) decided she also wanted to play on the logs and have some photos taken (she’s a much more wild and easily distracted model and needs lots more training!)
The rain chased us away from the forest and unfortunately led to us being stuck indoors until much later when we decided to take a chase between showers and take Flapjack exploring.
When the clouds started to clear and the rain stopped we missioned up to Richards Bay to see the harbor!
Sunday we woke up to an absolutely beautiful day! Of course we headed down to the beach. I grew up on the coast and although we had to walk up a dune before we could get to the beach, I was fully expecting to get to the top of the dune and see the sea right there, a few steps in front of me. It was a breathtaking moment getting to the top of the dune and just seeing beach and sand for 100s of meters in front of you and these long stretches of straight beach on either side.
Whenever I spoke to my sister before the trip, she would tel me how she had gone to the Mangrove swamps. So of course I was rather intrigued about these swamps that my sister seemed so fascinating. I get it now! They are amazing!
Next stop was exploring the palm nuts – where we were supposed to see palm nut vultures, we didn’t unfortunately, but my sister and I were lucky enough to see one in one of my trips back down to Mtunzini not long after this one.
Then came the most fun! Paddling up and down the river (in beautiful light!).
(My model got distracted again)