Saturday, June 15, 2024

Eye on Life

Broad interest online magazine

Days gone by

A day in the sun (2013!)

Ten years ago we spent a day in the sun down at Buffels Bay. I have vowed to never again spend a day in the sun – and so far I’ve been successful. The tale I told of the day made it sound magical, and it was, but the after effects of sunburn have cured me! It’s hard to believe a decade has flashed by since this day and so much has changed in the world. These were indeed happier times.

Boxing Day, 2013: Today we went down to Buffels Bay at Cape Point with old friends, to spend the day relaxing on the lawn next to the sea while the men dived for crayfish and the children pottered on the rocks. This was something quite unusual for me, as I don’t enjoy a day in the sun purely because I don’t ever sit in the sun if I can help it and I don’t like to be away from home all day. Being a creature of habit who enjoys a bit of routine (only my own, not anyone else’s!), I feel a bit out of kilter if certain things aren’t done, such as washing(!), watering the garden and making dinner. But today I cast all caution to the wind and off we set in the Mini.

It was a bumpy ride (the Mini doesn’t have shock absorbers and we sit very close to the road) as the narrow road to Cape Point leaves much to be desired in the way of an optimal smoothness of ride. We arrived at the gate just after 9am, ahead of the lengthy queues which formed soon after and were soon belting along the road down the spine of the South Peninsula to the sound of Creedence Clearwater Revival.We were unsure exactly where we were all going to meet and as there was no cellphone reception in the Reserve, we went over hill and dale, exploring places we haven’t been to in years, for about 40 minutes before locating the crowd behind a dense thicket in the place we had first looked!

The men immediately departed for the crayfishing spot, which turned out to be way over on the Atlantic side of the Reserve, and left the women, as usual, to chat, look after the children and make sure the food department had been handled. We sprawled on the lawn under a cerulean sky, the sea sparkling just beyond the jumble of rocks where the children fished in pools and we watched the tide come in…. and the tide go out! It was close to 5 hours later that the brave warriors returned with the kill, a bag full of crayfish, alive and kicking.

 It wasn’t long before they were neatly lined up on the fence, cooling down before we feasted on them. And most enjoyable they were, too. Then it was time to put the meat on the braai – after all, it was heading for tea time – and no sooner did the succulent aroma of boerewors hit the airwaves than the first baboon put its face through the bushes to say hello. We were compelled to deter it with a show of force, and for the rest of our stay we were surrounded by various members of the troop, all waiting their chance, but not quite brave enough to charge into the fray for a quick smash-and-grab. They made do with swinging from the side mirrors of the cars until one snapped off, after which they lost interest.

As you can see, the weather was perfect, the sea temperature definitely over 20 degrees, and we eventually wrapped up the day towards 6pm, when the effects of the day in the sun made themselves apparent. My arms and legs closely resemble those cooked crayfish on the fence; despite wearing a hat the whole day, my face is glowing with a little more than good health, and all I can hope is that the skin doesn’t peel off! I knew there was a reason I don’t like sitting in the sun!

All in all, it was well worth the sunburn – the place was well-populated with people enjoying a day at the sea, and there was nothing but happy groups of children playing on the shoreline, while parents relaxed around a fire or picnic and the only sound was the crashing of the waves against the rocks. Even the baboons were not as disruptive as usual. It was as if the world had learned to live together.

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