Fol­low your heart

Getaway (South Africa) - - INBOX - – Vos Senekal, Cape Town

We were trav­el­ling in pour­ing rain on the dirt roads some­where be­tween Jozini and Mabibi in our Land Cruiser. Not one of those fancy new ones you see on mag­a­zine cov­ers but a 1984 fj62 sta­tion wagon – no air con, no airbags, no rooftop tent, stan­dard ex­cept for a winch and snorkel. We were rough­ing it like in the old days. The one piece of tech­nol­ogy we thought we must have was the main rea­son for us be­ing hope­lessly lost. The GPS in­sisted on tak­ing roads that did not ex­ist. In short, it had more trust in our Cruiser than I had!

In the end the GPS iden­ti­fied a nav­i­ga­ble route, the rain stopped and we found our­selves in the most beau­ti­ful for­est. We drove in a tun­nel of trees, with Lake Sibaya vis­i­ble only here and there. The road wound through vil­lage af­ter vil­lage un­til at last we saw the first sign point­ing us to Mabibi Beach Camp. Re­lieved and happy, we booked our­selves in for the next five days.

It was the most beau­ti­ful and pri­vate camp­site I’ve ever had the plea­sure of pitch­ing my tent. The sea was the only mu­sic, and changed with the tide. It’s a good idea to take such trips while one is still mo­bile enough to ne­go­ti­ate the 137 steps to the beach. There were no life­guards and only a few peo­ple around; the beach be­longed to us and the blue bot­tles. Here you could al­most for­get about a place called Civil­i­sa­tion.

Be­fore this trip, we were just a nor­mal fam­ily. Then we de­cided to take a gam­ble: we cashed in ev­ery­thing in or­der to do what we had al­ways wanted to do – now, while we are still able. Sadly, even in that re­mote place, sea pol­lu­tion was ev­i­dent in the plas­tic that washes onto the once un­spoilt Ele­phant Coast. That’s an­other rea­son not to wait for ‘one day’ be­fore you travel – we don’t know how this will look in 20 years, as hu­mans al­ways seem to leave more than their foot­prints be­hind.

We left Mabibi with no def­i­nite idea of where we were go­ing to sleep that night. But that’s what ad­ven­ture means. If we had known what the next few months had in store, the friends we’d make, the places we’d see, we would not have been able to sleep from ex­cite­ment. And now we have mem­o­ries and pho­tos to last a life­time.

MABIBI

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