Summer is in full swing in South Africa – Christmas is around the corner and it is time for the sun and the sea – and for lazy evenings around the fire enjoying a good old South African braai.
Fredo Blog has its new jacket and we hope you are going to enjoy it. We are at Stilbaai along the South African south coast – about 300 kms from Cape Town. This is the place that all the up-country tourist travel to this time of the year.From one day to the next the population of this small sleepy place with a good number of permanent residents gets massively inflated to around 80 000 people. They arrive in caravans and with tents, or rent some of the local houses at exorbitant prices.
The two super markets are overwhelmed and if you do not get there before eight in the morning you will stand in queues for long periods. But the local business are not complaining – the visitors brings the cash injection that will keep them going for the next year. Most irritating is when hordes of the visitors gather in one isle of the super markets to greet those they had not seen since last year. You can simply not move.
The beautiful Goukou River will see dozens of speed boats travelling some 12 kms upriver where the holiday makers frolic in the water, ski or hold their famous ‘booze cruises.’
Stilbaai has magnificent beaches maintained according to the highest standards and fishermen go to see every day to bring a catch home which holiday makers are ready to buy on the slipway.
This year all summer school holidays in South Africa have been restricted to a three week period – instead of the normal six weeks. Holidays have always been staggered between the Cape and Northern schools so that the country’s roads have less peak times. This year there is going to be mayhem as everyone arrives within the next two days and all pack up on 7 January to go home.
Sadly, during this time of the year the wild life disappear. The two seagulls at the beautiful Riverside resort where Fredo and Janey have their cottage on the banks of the river, will leave and spend the next three weeks on some lonely coastal spot. So will the duikers, herons, weeders and plovers which frequents the sandbank and sleep on the river bank in front of our house. They will return only late in January to settle with us again.
When man moves in, nature departs. So sad, as we get ready to celebrate Christmas!
However, let’s remember that it is the festive season and we will bring out that Christmas meal and that very good Fredo Trifle which we enjoy every year. Despite the upheavel, it is the time to take a break and rest a bit – re-charge the batteries and get ready for the New Year. We are privileged to have this peace of heaven all year round and others should see it too.