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Taking It Easy in Port Shepstone

The following blog is from an entry I made in my travel journal on June 16, 2018 while we were staying at the beautiful guest apartment – at4Umzumbe in Port Shepstone.

Interior Photo courtesy of at4Umzumbe’s Facebook Page

Now I am sitting on a couch in the living room of a beautiful beach apartment called at 4 umzumbe. We are about to walk down through the complex, take the path around a crocodile-free lagoon, go under a bridge and down to Banana Beach. We can see surfers from our balcony. Hopefully this beautiful beach will make up for the scary 5-6 hour drive yesterday (the usual pedestrians walking along the highway). Last night when we drove to a nearby restaurant, I was so scared! No pedestrians but the roads were so dark and everyone drove too fast and if it hadn’t been for google maps we we wouldn’t have known where to turn off. Bill was very calm, I just made things worse. They say not to drive at night in South Africa and I can see why!

Looking Up from the Path down to Banana Beach
Masked Weaver Bird Nests

Anyway, the apartment is lovely but there is one thing wrong – no water! The whole neighborhood is suffering from a broken water main (I found out later that striking workers were sabotaging the pipe repairs). This morning I asked for more water to be brought so we could flush the toilets. The management brought a small trash barrel full of pool(?) water. Hopefully the water will come back on today but I’m not counting on it.

Note: The water remained off the three nights we were there. It was NOT the fault of the apartment owners, it was just typical South Africa. Our apartment owner, Lucinda, was calling the city daily, trying to find out what was going on. I felt bad for her because it was completely out of her control. Going without running water for three days was actually a good lesson for us. We hated it, but people living in poverty in this country (and other 3rd world countries) live without running water all the time!

Gorgeous View from our Balcony
Another View from our Balcony

Today my husband went to the store and bought lunch and dinner food so we wouldn’t have to drive anywhere. šŸ™‚ Now he is cooking dinner – broiled chicken that smells so good! My son is helping with the salad and my daughter is reading in her room. I don’t have to cook. Nice!

We did go to the beach today. it was really windy but still warm. South African winters are warm for us Americans. It’s funny to see the locals all bundled up while we are wearing shorts and t-shirts. Usually Californians are the weather-weenies! Anyway, we walked on the beach, and later my husband was the brave one and went swimming, but not far out as the waves were coming one after another and the tide was strong. I waded in this big rock pool; it was shaped like a huge wading pool and was pretty cool. I waded across it and got up on the low wall. From there I could look across more tide pools and the waves that were breaking on them. It was really nice. But then a fat man came wading out with a beer, a bag of snacks and a cigarette, so I left! LOL

Late afternoon my son and I went back with our cameras to take photographs. It’s been great spending so much time with him on this trip.

The tide had come in and covered my rock wading pool.

Photo by Chris Gough
All you can see is the stair rail and perimeter of the rock pool. Photo by Chris Gough

Last night our family went to the game room and played paddle tennis and pool. It’s been wonderful just hanging out here in this beautiful apartment – playing cards, going to the game room, walking on the beach, reading, spotting birds and looking at the view from the balcony. One day we watched a great “show” of humpback whales breaching off the coast. Except for the lack of running water, it’s been a great place to relax!

Egyptian Goose Photo by Chris Gough
Sunrise on our Last Morning

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