Sunday, December 23, 2007

Bulungula IV

Greetings from Cape Town,

Let me start with a dove update. We returned to our flat on 12/22 from an overnight with the kids, checked on our dove, and we have babies, or baby, I don’t know yet. All we can see is a lot of yellow fluff and one small head. Mom is keeping the details a secret.

“lots of things to do before breakfast is ready at 8:30” was the phrase that kicked off the last segment of our Bulungula adventure. Those include beachwalking, reading, staring idly into space, talking with the other guests, and drinking coffee. Did I mention this was a pretty laid back place?

We started out by taking this walkway over the dunes to the beach. Needless to say, we were tempted by the swing. Those are rocks in the distance; hence “Wild Coast.” We soon learned about a shorter, more direct path to the beach.

Once you get to the beach (in low tide) you get to cross the mouth of the small river. In high tide the current can be difficult and the water is a bit high. At low tide the river mouth is safe for small children as you can see below.

Shelling was a fun and time-consuming activity and I picked up a lot with the intent of incorporating them into some kind of beadwork.

Another beach activity is horseback riding. We did not participate but our new friends did and thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

One activity that we did pursue was fishing. I took the camera and Betsy took the pole. The lodge organized a guide whose first job was to locate some bait. He waded out into some tidal pools to spear this octopus for us to use as bait. I have some graphic pictures of him disentangling and disemboweling the calamari if you need them.

Then he led us on a treacherous (to us) walk out to the furthest, slipperiest, most difficult rocks, surrounded by ocean with the tide coming in, that he could find to begin fishing. Betsy enjoyed the adventure, lost baits a couple of times, and we called it a day.

All was not in vain. One of our group eventually came up with fish which he donated to one of the village boys. We had been hoping for a 30 kilo tuna to feed the entire lodge, but no, it was a rather ugly relative of a flounder.

Carlo celebrated his success with another 750ml beer.

That night I had an absolutely amazing experience. After dinner and sunset we gathered around the fire and brought out the drums. The sounds and the rhythms (and the beers) get into your blood and I mentioned that I had been a drummer in my youth. The next thing knew Carlo was placing a drum in my lap and daring me to join the drum circle. It took a few minutes but I caught the fever and played for quite some time. One of the guys was a professional musician and that helped a lot.

The music the previous night was better, but I’ll always remember my night in the circle, sharing with my new friends, black, white, and brown.

Cheers, Floyd

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