AdventureAfricaSouth Africa

6-25: African Walkabout

Evvy’s alarm was possessed last night.She’d set it for 5:45 but it went off at 2:45.Then – again – at 5:15.And finally at 5:45.So we were more than ready to get up for our early 7AM boat launch.

The Best Laid Plans

Unfortunately our grand plans of sunrise bait balls were thwarted by a cold front with 30-knot winds.çois said we could wait in the lounge and we’d re-assess an hour later but we opted to stay on the shore to observe the massive baptism the locals were doing in the surf.The women sang to the beat of the drum while the priest led his flock into the crashing waves, anointing them one by one.

Baptism on the Beach

In the end our boat trip was cancelled so the crew and guests were all stranded – unwilling landlubbers for the day.Renall – the acupuncturist/masseuse on staff – gave me an hour-long massage during which she cured my lower back of all its horseback riding woes.

During lunch there was an impromptu photo show by the photographers of the group.Eric Cheng runs and edits the well-known website WetPixel, and he brought a group of his photographer friends to take photos of the Sardine Run activity. He has an impressive portfolio of stock photos with shots of tiny marine life I couldn’t find on a good day of diving.Much less shoot through a macro lens.The artistry was amazing.

Rainy Walk

I napped a bit after lunch and then joined Davey – one of our DMs – Matt, Cliff, and Gary on a hike through the local village and among steep hills.It poured on and off, but we hardly cared.The scenery was stunning, and when else will we have the opportunity to hike oceanside hills in Africa?

We topped the crest of one of the hills with a burst of sunlight backed by an oncoming rainstorm.The result was two brilliant rainbows, perfectly parallel to one another and fully stretched from one end of their arc to the other.Another moment of sentimentality and poetry.I lay on the wet ground (my jeans were already soaked – what’s another mud puddle?) to try to capture the entire rainbow in my camera lens but I couldn’t without a wide angle.Instead I lay on my back, looking at the beautiful colors and being introspective.Rainbows do that to you.

Me and the rainbow

We walked back along the beach and found the Mboyti River slightly uncrossable without submerging ourselves in deep water, though Gary plunged through.Davy, Matty, Cliff and I took the longer route through the hills and another sudden downpour. We were absolutely soaked when we arrived at the lodge, and that hot shower never felt so comforting.