BE­HIND THE SCENES

Zigi Ekron ex­plored the KZN South Coast for this month’s is­sue (see page 110). Along the way he met some in­ter­est­ing char­ac­ters, from town­ship surfers to a don­key that likes Coke…

go! - - Ed’s Letter -

It’s a bit of a drive from Cape Town to the KZN South Coast – about 1 500 km – but who doesn’t like a long road trip? I trav­elled via the Ka­roo and it was won­der­ful to watch the land­scape change around me. The rocky ridges be­came grass­land and mielie fields, which were then drowned out by sub­trop­i­cal, so-green-ithurts-the-eyes veg­e­ta­tion. I was born and raised in the Cape so hol­i­days at the sea­side have never been a pri­or­ity. In­stead, we usu­ally went to my grand­fa­ther’s farm in the Eastern Cape Drak­ens­berg. But when I vis­ited the South Coast for this story, I fi­nally un­der­stood why peo­ple are so en­am­oured by the sea. No mat­ter where (or when) you go, there’s a hol­i­day spirit in the air: Hawk­ers sell sou­venirs, farm stalls of­fer a range of trop­i­cal fruit and the long beaches lead to warm waters… I soon be­came a fan of Trafal­gar Beach near South­b­room. One day I met a group of boys there from Bhokodisa in the Gcil­ima town­ship. They had walked 11 km, car­ry­ing their surf­boards, to ride the waves. They made me re­think my idea of surfers. They weren’t cool dudes wear­ing Oak­ley sun­glasses. These guys be­longed to clubs like the Trafal­gar Saints or Wave of Hope. They meet on the beach and be­fore they head into the ocean, they pray for pro­tec­tion and show their ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the sea. I sat on the beach for hours, lis­ten­ing to their sto­ries and tak­ing pho­tos. An­other un­ex­pected find was Pis­tols Sa­loon in Rams­gate – well known to many but not to me. The place was fun and quirky, and when the res­i­dent don­key walked through the door it be­came even more so. Don’t be alarmed if he tries to take a sip of your cooldrink! Ev­ery time I visit KZN I re­alise what a won­der­ful and sur­pris­ing place South Africa can be.

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