The Surrealness Of South Africa’s Uilenkraalsmond Will Blow You Away…

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After attending a two-hour service and being enriched among the green spires at my Forest Church at Platbos Forest Reserve in South Africa, eating lunch with Niel and Gabi at Baardskeerdersbos — and buying a Niel Jonker painting of Central Park — it was almost an afterthought to motor towards the ocean for a sniff of precious ozone.

I fell upon Uilenkraalsmond, an estuary, river mouth and beach and dunes and light and magic, of which I had hitherto had no experience. Unfathomably.

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I would be well advised to simply let the pictures roll before your eyes at this point but I want to add a little bit more. When I parked Lucille on the bridge and scrambled down to the dunes to start a pioneering perambulation of the estuary’s edge, it came to me that perhaps I had stumbled across Mars or Jupiter. Or some as yet unnamed planet.

I have visited many breathtakingly beautiful places in South Africa… but, here, in this wild and and slightly edgy, even harsh place, there was magic in the air. There was salty seaspray, a skin-goldening gentle light, yellow dunes, black oystercatchers, red-rust and canola-yellow ripples and no humanoids in sight.

I mused that it was I who had been delivered by the Starship Lucille to a strange beachscape of rainbow hues and slowly shifting sands as an ebullient rain-swollen river burst forth into the sea, collapsing sand on either side of it.

I was entranced. And all I could do was to wander there, wonder at it all and capture what I could on camera for the humanoids back home.

Please come to roll with me in a glorious embrace of nature’s magic…

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Time to fly home.

 

Fred Hatman
Fred Hatman (AKA Howard Donaldson) knew he wanted to be newspaper journalist at age 13. He has worked as a reporter and sub-editor for the Daily News and Cape Times, both based in South Africa and Wimbledon News, Today, London Daily News, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mirror, all based in London .
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