Friday, July 8, 2011

Kathy's 45th Birthday

The reason we had to leave the mural project is that July 4th is most famously and significantly know as my wife's birthday. Places to go, and all that...

We began with a stopover at the Capulet Guest House:

And we had to visit Pietermaritzburg, the capital of the South African province we were visiting, KwaZulu-Natal (usually called KZN, or "kay zed enn"). This is where Gandhi was famously ejected from the first class section of a train - an event commemorated by a statue:

It really is quite striking how much Gandhi resembled Ben Kingsley...

At Kathy's urging, we also took a quick tour through the aptly named Valley of 1,000 Hills:

This was a detour well worth taking. Our destination, though, was Seascape, along the Dolphin Coast. Here is our room, as seen from the deck:

And here is the view from our deck:

I could have spent the whole weekend at our accommodation, but we did venture into Durban, where we explored the newly renovated seaside promenade:

We also got some Indian food, which was my only real goal in visiting Durban, given the substantial size of the Indian population there.

We also took a quick look at their spiffy new stadium, used for some of the World Cup 2010 games:

And we discovered a new flavor of nut (so to speak):

If that label is accurate, I am guessing that they are decidedly non-vegan!

Going between Durban and our lodging, we drove through the small upscale coastal town of Ballito, where some of the locals looked at us askance:

And in case you were wondering where Gandhi fueled up while he was in South Africa, we also found this on the road between Ballito and Durban:

I did mention that it was Kathy's Birthday, yes? Here she is on the morning of her Day, with a candle in her birthday cupcake (baked by me, of course):

She just keeps getting more beautiful, and her smile more brilliant...

Later during our stay, the skies got a bit stormy, but that did not deter these ultralight enthusiasts:

The mists and surf rose along the coastline that day, too, with striking results:

Sadly, we had to leave the Dolphin Coast all too soon and find our way back home to Maseru. Along the way, we stopped in the Royal Natal National Park (which we intend to revisit during warmer, greener weather):

As we did last year when we took a trip for Kathy's birthday, we saw widespread burning:

As near as I can tell, this is used as a low-cost grasslands management technique. Its benefits for the soil are debatable, and its costs in terms of air quality are painfully evident.

During our return trip, we traversed the Golden Gate Highlands National Park, where I got the distinct impression we were being watched:

(Those are blesbok.) And, after dinner in Clarens, we were treated (quite appropriately, as it was the conclusion of Kathy's Birthday Weekend) to the spectacular effect of the low sun at dusk settling its light across the South African landscape:

I am looking forward to a lifetime of finding new and beautiful places to share Kathy's Birthday with her. Truly, I am a very lucky man!

No comments:

Post a Comment