Thursday, May 17, 2012

I'LL KEEP IT SHORT .............. ISH

We have just returned from a wonderful holiday on the Wild Coast (Eastern Cape, South Africa). It is with out doubt the most stunning place I have ever been to on the coast.

This is the view that met us as we came over the rise after a tiring 8 hour trip through mist and potholes. We have spent many holidays on the Wild Coast and this is the first time we have stayed in a hotel, which meant that I didn't have to cook. Yay!

I'll try not to bore you with too many details but to set the scene, here is the view from our bungalow. Looking from our patio to the left....

straight up the river at low tide....

... and to the sea on the right.

The black horse was always waiting like a guardian angel.... horse. When I woke early in the morning or after a nap ..... there was the black horse watching me through the window. A tri-daily scratch had nothing to do with it ;-)

We rowed across the estuary every day. I took brisk 10km walks along the beach while M fished.

Most of the anglers practice "catch and release".....

... and this Lesser Sand Shark was returned unharmed to the sea.

I practiced a little "catch and release" myself with the shells I found..... though I kept the precious cowrie.

Those who've been reading my blog for a while may remember that my family regard cowries as messages from our departed loved ones and especially from my daughter who loved cowries. We scoured the beach for days and found not even a shard, but on my birthday I sent up a little prayer ... "Listen Bron, this is clearly not a cowrie beach, but just one would be nice.... ". Low and behold, a perfect pink cowrie rolled up the pristine sands with the next wave. My day was complete.

We threw left-over bait squid for the gulls and like magic hundreds of sea snails popped out of the sand and made a beeline for the bait.

Fishing in the mist .....
We often watched a pair of Crested Cranes dancing on the sand bank to the right. Definitely one of the highlights of our holiday. 200 Cranes once flocked to this beach but they have dwindled to 2 after being poisoned by treated corn. Apparently the corn is treated for beetle before planting and the cranes eat the newly planted pits. It breaks my heart.

The vintage car club leaving after spending a few days at the hotel. We quailed at the thought of these beautiful cars driving over really rough dirt roads, but they seemed to make it without much consequence.

All photos are mine except for the second one which is credited to Wavecrest Hotel.


  1. what a great adventure! love seeing your friend, the black horse. glad to hear you had a vacation from cooking! What a beautiful spot you stayed in!

  2. Rich-just so rich in images it makes my mouth water, my pores open. I can almost smell the sea.

  3. I am so glad you received the pink cowrie and were guarded by the black horse. Happy birthday!

  4. Thanks for taking me along on this beautiful get away...I could almost feel the mist on my face! Love all the pics, cried when I read about the pink cowrie and I would frame the picture that is 7th from the bottom-rocks just mingling together like the original artwork they are!

    And, though it has come and gone, Happy Birthday!

  5. What a gift of the cowrie shell, lovely. Beautiful place wonderful time - if it was your birthday, happy birthday!

  6. Precious in so many ways.
    Thanks once again for sharing

  7. Wow, that really IS a stunning place! I love the horses peeking in and the mists in some of the photos has me pining for my brushes.... beautiful! And what a gift to find the cowrie, wonderful!!

  8. This seems like a truly magical place, and a such lovely spot to spend some quiet time. I loved the part about the black horse, and the part about finding the cowrie shell on your birthday. But the fate of those beautiful cranes breaks my heart, too.

    Wishing you a belated Happy Birthday!

  9. your photos are fantastic, so glad you had a good time robyn! a well deserved break and you even found your cowrie :)

  10. Looks like an amazing place. Love the pics and so happy that your wish for a cowrie was answered.

  11. What a perfect holiday with the gift of the cowrie too. I saw a bit of green sea glass in one of the pictures.I've never visited a beach which is such a delight for beach combing. Someday, in the mean time thank you for sharing your holiday in pictures and words.

  12. Robyn, Happy Birthday! These photos are stunning, you have given me some inspiration for painting, these days I am finding it everywhere, but here there is treasure!So happy your daughter brought you the cowie, made me teary. xoxo

  13. You're beautiful! I will remember the asking...

    Happy Happy Birthday Robyn.

    (you got some stunning photos)


  14. what a lovely holiday
    and happy birthday fellow Taurean!
    so much beauty here
    I too
    got to put my feet in the sand
    carry that pink cowrie
    in a pocket for a while
    feel the love...

    xox - eb.

  15. Looks like such a wonderful trip! It's so beautiful there.

  16. Love, love love this pictorial of you vacation!!! The horses out the back door - that alone would make me happy!! I don't know if I would have had your restraint in catch and release where seashells are concerned. I have never heard the "tale" of the cowrie - how very sweet that one showed up for you. TFS

  17. Wonderful photos, gorgeous place, lucky you for being able to rest there.
    I often wonder at the variety of coastlines. Yours is different than any I've seen around here on the West coast of the USA. Both are lovely.
    Our NW Oregon beaches have very few shells other than limpets, clams, and sand dollars.... someday I'd love to beach comb where shells abound.

  18. What a holiday! I have never seen such beauties, Robyn, so THANK YOU for sharing! The place is magical - the mist and the black horse are enough to prove it!:)I truly understand why your husband didn't keep the "catch".
    Happy (belated) Birthday! I wish you new adventures and discoveries along your path! Health, love and inspiration!
    The sign from the cowrie touched me deeply!...

  19. I simply relished this post Robyn. Some of the things you've shown are so gorgeous they are almost unreal - the black horse by the window, the snails going at the squid, the abstract patterns on the rocks, the shark, the handful of shells...I was touched to read the story of the cowrie.

  20. really looks like you've been to a paradise, the pictures are amazing and the horses and textures ... I loved this post!

  21. Thanks for walking me through your beach days. Gorgeous special time for you. Thanks for sharing.

  22. I haven't visited your wonderful pages in ages and here I happen upon it again on your birthday! Happy Happy Birthday to a amazingly talented artist. What a wonderful place to vacation. I am ready to chuck my vacation dreaming of France and travel there instead. Just lovely! You have captured the spirit of the place (horse and sea) so well. Thank you for sharing it.

  23. After such a rich post, I don't want to comment, I want to have a conversation with you. What a beautiful area and you came back with stories like the horse and your daughter's shell. The pictures are gorgeous and I'm glad you had a good time.

  24. Lovely post. We are off t0 Coffin Bay to morrow. My laptop died yesterday so I am on the tiny notebook, not sure how we will organise blogging! Hoping our computer wizz will fix things in time.
    So glad you found the cowrie, I havent found one for a while.

  25. The horse, the shell, the beach, the mist, the walks...and no cooking. Beautiful times to celebrate your birth.

  26. What a special time at a special place. And I love that you found the cowrie on your birthday. The best gift of all!!

  27. what a stunning place to spend your birthday Robyn, looks gorgeous - happy birthday :-)

  28. Happy Birthday Robyn. Your country and ours look so much alike, even down to the shell collection. So glad you found the cowrie.

  29. Soulfood! Of the most nourishing kind.

    I LOVE that the little pink cowrie found you - we used to call those "baby toes" - a special and treasured find!

  30. What a wonderful way to spend your birthday. This post leaves me "almost" speechless! Such beauty to soak in . . . and the horses . . what a gift to be able to have the animal kingdom near you . . elephants, birds, monkeys, giraffes, and horses!

  31. Your photos are wonderful. Thank you for taking us with you, Robyn. Happy Birthday - I send warm, sweet thoughts in your direction. (I am confident they will travel.)

    p.s. A wood quilt - that is just about the coolest thing I have ever heard of.

  32. Robyn - these are my favorite types of your posts! I am blessed to have been able to see you beautiful country in person and your photos always make me smile! (PS - I had no idea about the cowrie shells - I shall look at those in my sculpture of yours with even more fondness now.)

  33. Wow, stunning place! The view you saw first looks a lot like many parts of NZ. Your shells were delighful, I hardly ever see kina (sea egg or sea urchin) shells intact. Beautiful story about the cowrie shell too.

  34. Magical lingering memories of gentle hugs ~

  35. Happy Birthday. What a great day it was. Such a wonderful place to enjoy. Thanks for sharing it.

  36. africa--someday i will see you, or at least a tiny bit of you! thanks for sharing robyn!

  37. Hey Robin! You have found sea glass!
    "Fishing in the mist" Wow!! You are a superb photographer Robin.
    My friend is using hooks without barbs, then the rays can go (almost) completely unharmed back in the ocean

  38. I forgot to say: "This log suits my fancy"

  39. What a beautiful holiday getaway!
    The places you visit are stunning and your surroundings are breathtaking! Thanks for sharing!

  40. An extraordinarily beautiful place, Robyn. Your photos have taken me on a very enjoyable journey there... and I'm so glad you found a cowrie.

  41. Lyle, It already feels like a long time ago. We are planning to go back.

    Ms, yes I think I can still smell the sea too :-)

    Lori, a good feeling!

    Curio, I didn't mention the bags of rocks I bought home. Couldn't leave those behind.

    Thanks Emma, a precious gift indeed!

    Noela, it was a wonderful holiday!

    Valerianna, I thought of your paintings when it was misty.... and that was often expecially early in the morning.

    Angela, the wild coast has a special feeling I have never felt elsewhere. Perhaps it's the unspoilt, uninhabited space that stretches for miles.

    Thanks Paula, we enjoyed every second of it.

    Kathryn, even sitting quietly on the patio was enough but there was so much more.

    Ramsey, not much sea glass on this beach. The green glass was a surprise.

    Annie, I need to catch up with your posts and see what you've been up to.

    Thanks Mansuetude, yes remember the asking :-)

    eb, the cowrie is on my desk. Feeling the love.

    Lisa Graham, ohhhh I wish we were still there!

  42. Pat, there was a group of 10 twelve year old squash players staying at the hotel with their teacher for the weekend and they were due to hit the beach so I left the shells for them to find. I thought you would enjoy the horses!

    Jo R, I would love to find a sand dollar! It is fun to walk along beaches where there are shells and pebbles. Our walking beach was almost empty except for the clams and limpets but just around the corner it was shell heaven.

    Rossichka, when we arrived, even though it was a sunny day, there was sea mist resting in all the hollows of the dunes. It looked like a diaphanous scarf of mist.

    pRiyA, I wanted to find out more about the big dimples on the slabs of rock but nobody knew what I was talking about.

    Elena, I know you would love all the textures!

    Annie K, you would have LOVED it! Different to your beaches in some ways.

    Hi Ginny, thank you so much! I am already feeling a tugging on my heart strings to go back and sit on the deck watching the mists roll in... and out..... and see the cranes dancing on the beach. A sight that took my breath away.

  43. Thanks Shayla, it would be great to chat. Wondering how you are settling in.

    Penny, Enjoy Coffin Bay! A little further down the coast where we were staying is Coffie Bay.

    Leslie, just bliss!

    Seth, it's the sort of holiday you need after your busy publicity tour!

    Thanks Kim, I couldn't have wished for a better birthday destination.

    Thanks Ro, I believe there are many similarities that our countries share.

    Kenda, I thought of you so much while walking along the long beach, imagining you were doing the same. "Baby toes" .... I like that.

    Jann, actually we do have game farms and a small reserve close to where we live and it's about time we visited the waterhole early one morning to see giraffe.

    Karine, the warm sweet thoughts travelled well. Thank you!

    Heather, the cowries in your totem were found on holidays from Zululand to the Eastern Cape.

    Lucky Dip Lisa, there were a lot of perfect "pumpkin shells" (sea urchin) but I knew they wouldn't survive the long walk so it was better to leave them for the kids to find.

    DJ, absolutely magic!Thank you!

    Helena, indeed!!

    PJ, thank you!

    Velma, my pleasure to share :-)

    Thank you Wim, coming from an excellent photographer I really appreciate your comment. We use barbless hooks here too.

    Carla, glad you enjoyed the photo journal of a stunning holiday. Sighhhh ... oh to be back there.

    Jo M, we dreaming about the next one.

  44. Thank you Robyn for telling me the cowries' provenance!

  45. Aaah, such beauty. For the eyes, and yet also beauty for the heart: The shell from your daughter and the horses.
    Happy Birthday,,,a special day, a special trip, for a special carver named Robyn.

  46. Oh Robyn what a beautiful trip, and to receive the cowrie from your beloved daughter carried upon the sea for your birthday like that...such a blessing.

  47. Wow!!! this is amazing..... Loved every bit of it!

  48. Thanks for sharing all your wonderful images and memories of your holiday.. images of wonder and enrichment.

  49. What a beautiful vacation, Robyn... I love the snails, the precious cowrie shell, the catch and release and how you captured natures abstractions!