2015 – The Final Episode

It’s taken me a long time to get around to writing this, since it has such a feeling of finality.  I may never see my beloved South Africa again.

And especially after reading Paul Theroux’s book Last Train to Zona Verde, which I got as a Christmas gift – somehow that made it even harder.  To read someone else’s words that echo your own joy and sadness, your thoughts and questions, makes it hard to get down to this last page.

However, I really have to tell you about Marina Beach.  WOW!! What an incredibly beautiful place.  Miles and miles of white sand beach – and my apartment was *right on*  the beach. It’s a very small condo development called Coppins Cove and they don’t really advertise, so if you’re ever going give me a call and I’ll put you in touch.

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View from Kitchen

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View from my balcony.

Lots of animals, and it was birthing time (spring there) and the babies were too cute.  Monkeys and dassies carrying their young all day, and the condo cat watching from her sunny bench, interested but enjoying the spring sun too much to actually do anything about it.

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Dassie mom and baby

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Dassie baby

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Monkey mom and baby

I would just love to find someone(s) who would like to split the cost of buying a place in this small development and sharing it.  It was so beautiful, clean and quiet.  A nice fish restaurant across the road on the beach.  Not too far to town.  Just about perfection.

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Condo cat. There is a whole colony of feral cats across the road in the bush, too.

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Lunch with some local ladies at the beach resto.

The drive from Marina Beach to Durban when I had to leave, was just a comedy.  I took the inland road since the winds were very bad.  I was later told that they were just under hurricane force.  Anyway at one point on the meandering road the police were warning drivers that there were trees down on the road and to drive slowly.  I did see a couple trees down, but the one I saw best was the one that came down on the hood of my car.  It bounced up over the windshield without doing any damage that I could see when I looked later. I was so busy trying not to drive off the road that I didn’t really take in too much about the tree, but when thinking about it later think it must have been one of those huge 30 ft tall bamboos.  I think it was too light and bouncy for a tree.  But anyway, I eventually had to get on the highway, and about an hour from Durban, my car started giving me emergency messages that the battery was not charging.  I pulled over as soon as I could and called the rental company and asked it they thought I’d have enough battery to get to the airport, but no one there or in the shop knew.  So they sent a car out from the nearest town to trade me.  They looked in the engine compartment to see if they could find a loose wire or something and what they found was two dassies – one alive and running back and forth, too scared to get out of the car even when we banged on the sides, and one fried on top of the battery wires he had eaten the insulation off of.  I did get the trade car and got to the airport in time for my flight to Johannesburg and home, so it was all good, except for the poor dassie who should have chosen his snacks better.

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Fried dassie

So off I came home, having loved my trip and my time in Kenya and South Africa so much, loving the countries and my friends there, and sad to be going home, but still looking forward to my own bed.  SuperMax mixed emotions.

The best thing about the trip home was that I managed to snag a cheap(er) upgrade to first class on one leg of the homeward bound trip. My grief, what a difference that made! To arrive not feeling like a pretzel is a beautiful thing.  To fly and have a menu that lets you choose the parts of your dinner, to have a proper blanket and pillow, and to be able to recline is so different from the way I usually fly that I was in awe that people could actually travel this way all the time.  Just WOW!!

All I can say is, do it if you can.  Travel (NOT tourism) changes you in very deep ways that can only be good.

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