Friday, 6 January 2012

Fish and chips and sandcastles

On Monday we spent the first half of the day performing the uninspiring task of shopping for the older three kids' school supplies.

We had had no particular plans for the day, but since Mo's leave was coming to an end, he felt particularly restless- as if he wanted to cram as many activities as possible into his remaining time.

So off we headed to Hout Bay for a late lunch/early supper.

We took the Constantia Nek route, as we had preferred the serenity of the drive along that route to the busy (though equally scenic) Camps Bay-Llundudno route.

I love driving through Constantia toward Hout Bay. But just envisioning the plush mansions nestled discreetly behind the dense foliage which lines the road upon which we were driving- I'm ashamed to say- had me uncharacteristically green (probably allowing me to blend perfectly into my surroundings). I sat gawking at the beauty of the lush vegetation, particularly in awe of the magnificence of the vineyards covering the slopes of the Constantia valley.

I  tried to capture some of the beauty which I was beholding on camera, but for some strange reason all my pictures made it appear as if the day was misty, which it wasn't. Later Mo pointed out the reason- my lens was covered in fingerprints (probably mine).

Then in sharp contrast to the plush suburb of Constantia, we were provided with a stark reality check when we drove past the squatter camp at the entrance to Hout Bay- indicative of the unequal distribution of wealth still prevalent in South Africa almost 20 years after the end of apartheid.


Then onward to Hout Bay- toward the harbour where we were to buy our meals at one of the two places which are almost institutions in Cape Town; namely Snoekies and Fish on the Rocks. Our decision as to where to buy would depend on queues. Both places were packed to capacity.

We bought our food and then left the harbour area to have our meals in the car facing the ocean.

As soon as they were done, the kids leaped out of the car and proceeded to build sandcastles. I found it very amusing to watch Mo (who is a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to creating/ building/ restoring things), watch them build their lopsided castle  while trying not to intervene and show them the proper way to build a perfect castle.

Eventually he could no longer resist- and before you knew it, he had pretty much taken over. But the kids were not about to have their creativity stifled, so he was forced to step back as the castle was revamped to include a bridge leading to a castle restaurant.

Then came the best part for my destructive bunch- they thoroughly enjoy building their masterpiece completely and then at the count of 1-2-3, all of them will jump up and down on it until it has been completely flattened. This tradition originated from an incident which had taken place at Hermanus a few years ago. They had spent the entire afternoon building a very elaborate castle- when it was time to for them to leave a bunch of other kids simply moved in and were fortunate enough to enjoy the fruits of my not-so-generous kids' hard day's labour. That was when they decided that they would rather destroy their castles than suffer the invasion by a swarm of parasitic kids just waiting to move in. (They don't get that from me, I swear).

We took the Llundudno-Camps Bay route home. The moment that Llundudno comes into view is absolutely breathtaking. Although it was nearing sunset, one could not help but be impressed with the absolute magnificence of the views along that coastline. It truly is one of the most splendid sights to behold in this beautiful city of ours.

I once again realised that a trip to Hout Bay is about so much more than the destination. The entire journey is a an experience of exquisite scenery and natural wonders, which I am determined never to take for granted.

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