Tuesday, March 29, 2011

HIGHS AND LOWS OF A WILD COAST HOLIDAY



Just popping in to tell you about our holiday at the Wild Coast before  starting my carving commissions.








A young hunter with his hunting pack. He proudly showed us the cane rat and rock rabbit he was taking home for dinner.

Most Transkei trips are not without drama but the magic allure of the Wild Coast keeps calling us back and my husband who has been fishing there for well over 30 years is completely smitten.



The highs:

1. Perfect weather ( though sometimes it was a little hot in our tented cabins).

2.Amazing beaches populated by comical goats.... and cows .... and donkeys.

3.Long energizing walks gathering pebbles (you should see my pebble stash) and quiet moments sitting on driftwood logs contemplating the sea.

4. Paddling in the warm water while the men fished at sundown.

5. Savouring the view from the high boma where we spent most of our time when not on the beach.

6. Sipping wine in the evenings while watching the moon come up from behind the hill.

7. Laughter, good conversation and new friends from Australia.

8. Fresh crayfish braaied on the fire every day.

9. Dear sweet Pammy, my friend who was such an easy person to spend a holiday with.

10. An extremely well organized week thanks to our friend Dave.


We ate all our meals at this thatched boma. There was always a breeze and the view was spectacular!
Happy wood gatherers on the beach.

Tented cabins with thatched roofs.

View from the boma. You can see our vehicle parked behind our cabin.

The Lows 

1. Though the trip down was interesting and picturesque it was slow and a bit hairy in places with livestock, nose to tail for the last 40 kilometres. We stopped counting after 30 dead dogs and various other animals on the road.




2. Tarantulas under toilet seats ..... well only one but after that my imagination got away from me. It is also Black Mamba country so I have to admit to being a bit skittish about long snakey shadows.
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3.A broken toilet and no hot water for the first 3 days.
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4. A burglary in the cottage nextdoor when EVERYTHING was stolen from right under the noses of the sleeping occupants. A sleepless night followed ..... wondering if it was our turn next.
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5. Several nerve racking hours when the outboard motor failed miles away from camp on a murky, deep, green river inhabited by God only knows what. A little further down coast there had been several fatal Zambezi shark attacks so I was feeling particularly vulnerable.  I hadn't been too enthusiastic about going on the "cruise" in the first place since I had a bad feeling ...... and the plug for the boat was a champagne cork!!?? .... but hubby had promised it would be an unforgetable experience .... which it was! When the boat came to a sputtering hault far up river we noticed petrol pumping out into the water. After many failed attempts to get going again and numerous "rests" in the mangroves one of the men managed to hold the broken fuel pipe together while another pulled the starter cord and finally the boat limped back to camp.
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6. Near the end of our holiday a couple from KwaZulu Natal were hijacked just down the coast from us .... Gerald was killed and his wife Ingrith was shot in the stomach. My condolences go  to the Roberts clan who have lost a beloved member of their family.

*All photographs are mine except for the top one which I found here.

64 comments:

  1. the lows sound panic inducing..wow. a cork in the boat????
    the highs...glad you had them. your pictures are great and good luck with the commission!

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  2. Wow! What a trip. And it is always such a sobering reminder that your country is not always as safe as it seems to us tourists. Regardless, I'm glad you recharged and made it through all the mishaps okay.

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  3. I many reactions to this post.

    You live in an amazing land. It is sooo different from where I come from that I can't even imagine. The land is gorgeous.

    Taking time to relax and ponder the sea is not only a necessity but, a joy! Good for you.

    Spiders? YIKES. And snakes. double yikes.

    So sad about the couple that was killed. My heart goes out to the family.

    Enjoy your carving!

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  4. Despite the beauty of your surroundings, I always wondered about the dangers (from limited news stories in US newspapers) - which you describe later in the post. The boma looks fantastic - the animals amazing, the little boys' balancing of sticks is incredible!!! You were brave to go out in the little boat- ignoring your inner voice!!LOL I love the clothesline photo too. Thanks for sharing!

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  5. "Tarantulas under toilet seat"
    that sums it up.

    On seeing the images, esp the earth/mud--Cry the Beloved Country comes to mind. And at last thought, Cry the Beloved Country comes to heart.

    Blessings to that family.
    This is so Sobering, all the way over here. Glad you are home, Big Thanda.

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  6. Brilliant photos but what a story! Enough to scare anyone off. What an adventure. Thank God you are safe.

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  7. I feel so lucky to live in a peaceful and calm country after reading this Robyn - although the scenery looks so wonderful - the unrest is a tragedy.

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  8. Wow, a true adventure, and tragic, too. Glad you are home safe! Good luck with your commissions.

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  9. Goodness Robyn. Thank heavens you got home without mishap. I think the list of "lows" would have tipped me over the age into panic. Tarantulas, black mambas, hijakers. Scary stuff. The good stuff must have outweighed the bad for you though. Your photos are great and I am pleased you had a relaxing??? break before settling down to work. You live in a beautiful country but with some very scary aspects to it.

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  10. Oh my Robyn, what an adventure you were on....I did notice, however, that the highs outnumbered the lows! So sorry to hear of the tragedy for the Roberts clan...that is very sad indeed. Oh, and the thought of a tarantula under the toilet seat....that would get my imagination going! You are a trooper!

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  11. What an adventure, some of the scenery reminds me of Australia, especially the beaches and we have red back spiders on our toilet seats, smaller but more deadly than your tarantulas. How frightening to have the worry of hijackers around.

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  12. Sounds like the perfect adventure..as for many of the lows...i think you've encountered them before as they kinda come with the territory. All in all sounds quite exciting and refreshing in one breath...
    love the photos..
    good luck with your work back home...
    Dexter is coming along slowly...

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  13. first, love photos 2 and 3 very much, the concave and convex of earth and sky and animal/human markings....and second! such a wondrous place you live, how interesting,and exciting it must be to be in that environment that way. ADVENTURE, yes...and then the tragicness that is part of life, especially for us who often find that our adventures are others' daily lives...like tarantulas under toilets seats *^&%$#@!! yikes. thank you for sharing this yin/yang world with us with such clarity!

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  14. Beautiful images but how about if I just take this vacation as a virtual trip, thanks to yoiur photography? Susan was all for it until she got to the tarantula which was a deal-breaker before we read any further.

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  15. I can't decide if I think you are brave or crazy for going back there. It is beautiful. I can see the allure but I will worry about you next year.

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  16. Wonderful scenery, but there sure is a bite in the tail(!) Such a shame that such a country can have so many negatives.

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  17. What a beautiful set of shots. Gorgeous place. So many of them, and the good times you had there remind me of Wales. The dramas are something else, though. Such sad times for your friends.

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  18. Well, don't know if you'll be feeling very relaxed after that! Welcome home, phew!

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  19. I too noticed the 'goods' outweighed the 'bad' in number. Beautiful scenery with wonderful memories...you have dear friends. Thank you for sharing this beautiful adventure.
    My heart goes out to the traveling couple.

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  20. Oh my, Robyn. I've just finished watching a show on angels. I think you have a few traveling with you!

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  21. Glad to hear you arrived home safely Robyn when such sobering events took place in close proximity. Sounds to me that to encounter the beauty and wonder of such an amazing place you must steel yourself indeed...

    We are reminded to leave home can mean many things ...its not all 5 star resorts and and buffet lunches.... your travels asked much more of you than that! Much to take home indeed. Conversation surely deepens and good company matters against that panorama!
    Good working Robyn!

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  22. Thanks for sharing your adventure with us! Your photos are gorgeous, Robyn. It looks like a fantastic trip, but Tarantulas under the toilet seat ... grrr. I hate this creatures.

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  23. Wow. That is a lot of highs...but some of those lows are mighty low. Hope the carving is going well.

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  24. Robyn, what a marvelous trip. Your photos illustrate your adventures so well!

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  25. Wonderful photos of your adventure.
    Thanks for making the time to share them.

    best wishes
    Robyn

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  26. You are much braver than I. I am not sure my heart would take the lows, I look forward to seeing your carvings. Best wishes Blu.

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  27. Hi Robyn, thanks for sharing your adventure with us - great fun to go camping in 'the wild'- I have been watching programmes about man eating cat fish - hope there are none of those lurking in your murky green river, So awful about the Roberts -I am so fortunate and grateful to live in a safe country.

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  28. R-there are just so many experiences and stories in the world - and it is good to be able to share yours through blogosphere.; and glad your challenges became good stories. Really bad for Gerald and tough for Ingrith - thoughts reach out to her. Go well and enjoy life. B

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  29. Your story is so "African" so paradoxical.
    Happy/Sad, Poverty/Wealth, Beauty/Ugliness,Risk/Reward, Calm/Nervewracking, Up/Down, Life/Death
    and life goes on.....Happy carving

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  30. Hola Robin,
    What a nice vacation in the wild nature. Some of the mountainbike pictures look a lot like here on the island. Me too, I would have loved the beachcombing walks in the morning. Nº 4 and 5 in the 'lows' are very sad. But that's Afrika I suppose !?

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  31. Dear Robyn-Oh! I am so so glad you are safe! Tarantulas? NO! Black mambas...uh...hell NO!! And...maybe sharks lurking around while stuck in a sputtering boat???? But I know the beauty of Mother Africa....how SHE seduces you and hold you close. You must have had an amzing trip...I am ever so sorry about the murder and violence...an all too familiar tale in S.A. unfortunately. Happy carving and...Oh! I visited the Wild Coast a couple of times as a kid...I have vague memories. xxx

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  32. What a marvellous if harrowing adventure, Robyn! It is horrid anywhere in the world where things like murder and poverty and general mindless violence is about. However, it's prevalent everywhere - even here in New Zealand..

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  33. Great photos... glad you enjoyed your trip... but I have to admit, the list of lows would have been far too much for me, even just partway down the list.
    Cheers.

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  34. The pictures of your holiday are simply spectacular. I love looking at other countries through blogs. The pictures are so much more personal.
    ...But the last paragraph was horrifying, I remember a post of yours from long ago about the protection you had to enforce to keep your home safe.

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  35. Oh my gosh, they weren't kidding when they named it the Wild Coast! Glad you two are home safely from this trip.

    Thanks for the photo and narrative though. I enjoyed my armchair visit...I probably won't be going there anytime soon myself. I'm a wiener (scaredy cat).

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  36. Looks amazing although the tarantulas under the toilet seat sounds unpleasant...and Mambas! Gee, I thought us Australians had deadly animals.

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  37. My, that's an Adventure with a capital A! Good to know that there were more highs than lows..but those lows were simply awful. Very sorry to read about the hijacking - tragic.
    Your photos are super - love the one of the washing in the middle of nowhere!

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  38. Wow, & I thought 10 French stitches from glass in a recycling pile with the tempting swimming pool nearby was bad! Looking forward to that cup of coffee ;)

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  39. Your photos are magical, nonetheless.

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  40. oh wow! what a lovely place! and wonderful photos! just popping in from soraya's blog :) love your word carvings too, they are beautiful!

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  41. visually beautiful but rather unnerving...

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  42. truly remarkable landscape - just beautiful. i can see why you are drawn back again and again.
    My heart aches for the families of the hijacked couple - such beauty contrasted against equal tragedy leaves me questioning everything...

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  43. Wow Robyn, your beautiful world is so dangerous as well. I'll bet you are happy to be at home again, all safe and sound. I am very sorry for the other family. And I wish you the best in your newest creations. Roxanne

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  44. My goodness. Incredible highs. Incredible lows.What a post! What a country!

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  45. Hi Robyn, What a sad way to end your trip. I can't understand why some people have no regard for others. I really wish your beautiful world that you love so much was a safer place.

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  46. Wow! That was quite an adventure indeed! Glad to hear you made it back home safe and sound!

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  47. Wow! What a trip. You certainly had some highs and lows, both of which were no doubt life changing. I am glad you are back safely!

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  48. I heard about someone being bit by a poisonous spider under the toilet seat of an outhouse and haven't been able to comfortably sit on an outhouse seat since. The boat saga is hair raising!

    It seems like a lovely place all risks aside and I would think life in South Africa is generally this dramatically paradoxical.

    Thank you once again for taking us on your vacation! Happy carving Robyn.

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  49. Thanks for sharing your adventures - both glorious and wonderful, and somewhat skittish times as well.. I am sure the good overwhelmed the not so good and sounds like you had a happy break.

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  50. In spite of some terrible lows...i thought the dead dogs and spiders were bad until you listed the hijacking...it looks like a breathtaking vacation and fills me with wanderlust. Beautiful photos.

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  51. Robyn, brilliant as always. Loved seeing your view on this adventure both in your shots and your lists. Certainly memorable! Brave and a pebble collector's dream. Love the clothes line shot! Happy commission making.

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  52. Arghhh! Bum biting tarantulas..there's a lot to be said for being a hermit and I am content to view the world vicariously thru your ever spectacular blog missus! :)

    Look forward to the commission, happy carving and HAPPY EASTER!!
    x;)

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  53. Very interesting blog,great photos and art,and a very captivating holiday story.

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  54. ...*hic*...like I've ever needed an excuse to crack open a bottle of fizz!

    Hope you enjoyed the wedding as much as I did! ;0)
    Carry on carving xxxx

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  55. Can I just say this blog is what got me through the day today? Every time I read it, I just get more and more excited about what’s next. I’m glad that I came across this when I did. I love what you’ve got to say and the way you say it.

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  56. There are so many caring, enthusiastic, interested bloggers who make my day! Thank you to all who stop by.

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  57. Good to know, you're still alive
    ;-)

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  58. I just found your work/blog/website. Your art thrills and inspires me. I'm in awe of the heart in your work. Just wanted to send you a message and tell you that you have a new fan. I aspire to textile art, something that may take more time than I have left to actually create. Thank you for saying through your art so many important messages.

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  59. Used to live in the Transkei in the 80's, and there is nothing like those trips to the sea, didnt know how lucky we wwere to have had that!

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  60. Robin it shocks me every time I hear of the 'mishaps'...your friend murdered. It must be hard some days ...but you and your husband are so good. You dont let these things stop you from enjoying the beautiful country that you live in.
    I have missed so many of your posts (busy with Pauls mum and a recent exhibition). Time for me to settle down to my blog again for a while.
    Your posts have been wonderful as always. Loved the journal pages. I am always inspired (and interested) to see other peoples journals. I am very sporadic with mine, but love to look back and see ideas sketched, quotes from blogs, where my life was at that time.
    Good luck with your commissions...

    Take care.

    Jacky xox

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