Re­flec­tions on Kleinemonde

Talk of the Town - - Classifieds Advertisements - ASH COLLEN

THE place where I live is called Kleinemonde, mean­ing “small mouth”.

Some­times, I like to call it Bocchina, which is what Kleinemonde is in Ital­ian. Boc­cha is mouth and bocchina is the diminu­tive form.

Nancy Mur­ray in her quotes an ear­lier trav­eller who refers to it as “Kleine-Mon­t­jes”. Later, the two rivers were named the Welling­ton and the Lyne­doch, but we just call them the East River and the West River re­spec­tively, which makes it so much eas­ier for ev­ery­one, es­pe­cially if you re­mem­ber that the sun comes up in the east.

There is an­other pe­cu­liar­ity about this name, Kleinemonde. For most of the year the rivers do not, in fact, flow into the sea. They are clogged up, like a nose with a bad cold, so that one might think that it would have been more ap­pro­pri­ately called Kleineneusie. But I guess that’s just be­ing mis­chievous.

The rivers are very low at the mo­ment, but you still see small barges, mo­tor-boats and ca­noes on them. It is not pos­si­ble to nav­i­gate very far up th­ese rivers, but the West River is re­ally more suit­able for this. Barges can get up-river about 5km, and many a night­cap and braai has been en­joyed in this way. Ca­noes are able to ven­ture about 9km up­stream – from there groups can hike (with per­mis­sion) to overnight at Lily Pad, in the Nyala Game Re­serve.

Kleinemonde is about 15km from Port Al­fred, head­ing to­wards East Lon­don.

The first res­i­dents are on the West River, be­tween the bridge and the sea. Af­ter cross­ing the bridge, the Is­land is be­tween the road and the sea and the penin­sula is on the left. Af­ter cross­ing the sec­ond bridge, one turns right into the vil­lage.

On the left is the po­lice sta­tion, on the right the well-known Lala Lapa Restau­rant. Op­po­site are the shops. Turn left into Na­ture’s Way and soon you will have the vil­lage church and our club on the left. To go to the beach, one needs to turn right.

The car park has braai fa­cil­i­ties, with the East River la­goon be­low it. From there walks along the beach will take you east­wards to Clay­ton’s Rocks, the Light­house and the Fish River; and west­wards to Stinky Bay, Three Sis­ters and the Riet River.

The other day there was a bit of a flap and a flurry: an old whale car­cass had been ex­posed on the beach be­tween the East River and Clay­ton’s Rocks. A few nights later, Dave JP told us at the club that about 17 years ago a whale had washed up on the beach and, to avoid the stench that fol­lows such an oc­cur­rence, they piled a whole heap of sand on it. Now, with the re­cent pow­er­ful, high seas ex­pe­ri­enced here, it has even­tu­ally been laid bare once again – just a bit of skin and bone, and no stench!

They say that af­ter read­ing an ar­ti­cle of about 500 words the av­er­age per­son’s con­cen­tra­tion goes awry, so thank you for your in­dul­gence.

SCENIC RE­FLEC­TIONS: Kleinemonde res­i­dent Ash Collen re­flects on his home and the beau­ti­ful scenery that sur­rounds him. Pic­tured are the two rivers named the Welling­ton and the Lyne­doch, or the East River and the West River re­spec­tively

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