Human Origins: A Significant Cave On The Beach: Affordable Stuff

However. Before nailing down Joburg plans, there is this social pressure of his school-mates and their holidays. From my admittedly adult perspective I think what better than a beach or camping holiday with mates for children, something for once other than Jo’burg. Which sends me off exploring both options, how I could fit it into our half of the holiday, combining a little exploratory ‘adventure’ with the needs of family.

I’d been meaning to visit a friend in BoggomsBaai (bay), outside Mossel Bay on the southern Cape coast. To make it sound more alluring, not that it needs it, I could mention that BB is a nature conservancy, and that it is around the coastal corner from Pinnacle Point, which houses a collection of live archaeological digs, among them cave 13B, discovered in ; in here are the first examples of modern man learning to fish, honing tools and using ochre for decorating purposes.

Ok, so that’s probably sounds a bit academic for a 6 year-old. But it was the size of cave 13B that I knew would interest my son Plus the restricted-access walk (stepped) down a relative cliff-face to get there, with waves pounding the rocks below.

So I decided we’d do both. We needed to get to Johannesburg and George from Cape Town. The only airline I found flying to both without asking an exorbitant price was that relative new entrant to the low-cost runway, FlySafair. With legal fees these days ever-present in my mind, and knowing the two-day drive would rob us of half Fynn’s time with his family, I contacted the airline and offered a true editorial – critiquing the flight in exchange for our tickets. They said yes, and this is the way it was.

I’d always known it in my younger days as Safair, the commercial arm of South African Airways, which, however complex and Machiavellian the goings-on at our national airline, meant it wouldn’t be a fly-by-night.

The decision was an easy one; a five-hour drive to George is fun, and as Fynn’s aunt and cousin had meanwhile decided to join us for three days, we could drive up together, stopping for refreshment and adding to his bank of memories along the way.

The CT-Joburg leg we flew, and the reason was simple. At about R500 one-way (the same as the George flight), it was far more cost-effective than filling my car’s tank at least six times (at roughly R700@) and adding significantly to the wear and tear of a ten year-old car. Plus, if I remember correctly, it beat the other low-cost offerings by roughly R300 per flight.

Most importantly though, driving would’ve stolen two days of four with his family.

As it happens the flight was good, in what looked to me like a Boeing 737 maybe two years old. The food on offer was the standard low-cost offering of a refreshments cart being pushed up and down the aisle (although I prefer to make our food at home, in a possibly vain attempt at demonstrating that we don’t have to buy everything.

They even had a kiddies box which we didn’t end up buying (R60), as when he wasn’t playing with his Star Wars lego troopers I would read to him, and he played a little on the iPad.

Nevertheless, the box had contents suitable for children from 3 to about 9, colouring and drawing games included, giving them the option to be creative. For that reason, if their fares remain competitive, when I next need to fly up with my kids I will choose this airline again.

The Perfect Co-Parenting Model ?

I’ve made a bundle of questionable decisions in my life, but I am so grateful that I everyday learn to be more conscious. Primarily conscious of our environment, of life, and how the effect of what we consume on a daily basis impacts on the life of so many – as immediately seen with the water crisis we have in Cape Town, and doubtless replicated around the world.

But I’ve also become conscious of how we treat each other, how we act as humans. It’s the reason I didn’t really mind driving all the way up the N1 to the baking arid centre of Worcester, rubbing shoulders in a courtroom with abusers, murderers (well they sat a bit further away) and guys whose luck had run out. I went to plead my innocence, rather than ‘just pay it’, because for me, despite the cost of the journey in time and petrol, we should allow ourselves to respect and nurture our principles and values.

So when a friend sent me this article, I felt it would be responsible to share it, hoping that it speaks to the many of us who need to see it. After all, we don’t know what we don’t know.

It’s about being conscious of how we act as ‘grown-ups’, because we set an example to little people, of how to live life. I can’t think of anything more important. We have the choice; let them grow up with our own baggage and complexes that they don’t deserve, or let their souls be happy in love and respect, free to create and pursue a remarkable life.

#singleparenting #singleparent #singledaddays #parenting #childmag #famsa

Road-Tripping South Africa with My Boy: Part 2

And so we set off for Boggomsbaai, 20 minutes shy of Mossel Bay, in South Africa’s western Cape province, for the first part of our December school holidays. Me and my seven year-old road-warrior.

In our language we had the scent of a real holiday coming up. Although only a few days, it was the type where a little boy gets to play at the beach, discover stuff and ride his new bike on quiet holiday-village streets.

Afterwards we would head for our ultimate destination, upcountry Johannesburg, to see what remains of our tiny family there – a gran, an aunt and a cousin. But any plans to head inland from our southern Cape beach breakaway had been scuppered by a co-parent insisting (with the assistance of our facilitator) our son return to spend a night with her before we headed upcountry.

That meant returning to Cape Town for a night, and then engaging that long, flat and hot Karoo road with the son in your eyes. That’s the single-parenting package for you, unless you strike it lucky and can have your ex as your best friend, as many do. Luckily I love the Karoo, and my son had loved his first cross-country road-trip to East London earlier in the year. But that was for later.

First up was Boggomsbaai (pictured top of page). We stopped, many times, wherever we wished, for a coffee or diesel or just to shoot some snaps. After 45 minutes, with the N2 urban traffic crawl and the steep climb over Sir Lowry’s Pass behind us, we stopped at Houw Hoek farm-stall for things we like; a quiche and a pie (for later), a swing, a pee and a stretch. Mutual need. Mutual appreciation. Appropriate father-son democracy in action. No squabbling.

Spying with new eyes, inventing new games, discussing wind farms and renewable energy and making up ridiculous stories, the time flew by. That’s how we got there.


We rode bikes, visited an archeaological dig at a cave where the origins of modern man were discovered, got to dissect a squid with his fingers, and took a boat-trip around an island. It would’ve been better for him with a mate, but planning ahead can diffiuclt in separate parenting world if  both parents are on the same page. We stayed in a really cool cottage, (‘Mosselkraker); from the kitchen window, surrounded by nature, I took this image, looking to the corner of the bay in the top-left corner, with the ocean and largely empty beach just to the left.

Live with it, show love and affection, that it’s ok to be vulnerable, and move on. You can still have happy times in beautiful places.



Annemarie Beukes
Tel+27(0)44 699 1204
Fax to Mail 086-2281985(SA only)
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Blended Families: One Step to Success

“It’s been a helluva year, and it’s only January 12 !’ What with looking for a house, organising a wedding and starting a new job, OMG I’m stressed. The wedding is just around the corner…three months is just ‘round the corner !
Stress? I’m just like that, having to organise dresses, colours, outfits, making sure that everybody is happy and then the family circus follows. It started out relaxed, but y’know, too many chefs in the kitchen…so that’s changed now.
He has a five year-old son. I met him when he was two, he’s a wonderful child, and he’s a wonderful Dad. Navigating the waters of a blended family has been a real journey, but I am also a child of divorced parents, and that’s maybe one of the reasons why we have a very special bond.. Y’know it’s the questions of the year-old, who will become my son, that helps put things into perspective. Yes, we’d like to have kids, and his son has put in a order for a little sister.”

This is Robyn as she featured in my #humans_of_cape_town Instagram post. Prospective partners and parents must think extra-carefully when combining families. I was a newbie at being a dad, but simultaneously being a step-dad, and it’s not easy.

Blended Family Checklist:

Have you lived together?

Is your new partner willing to really let you parent?

Are they willing to let you establish your own relationship with their child, or do they insist on governing it?

Do they shout in front of their own kids – it’s not easy, but important to know how he / she is when you’re not around.

Check how their childhood was, how their parents treated them. That – and how they dealt with issues they might have had with their folks – is a major indication as to what you can expect. It can also raise necessary flags.

Values – they have to be in synch. As you wil have your own idiosyncracies, so the most normal seeming people can turn out to have their own challenges in particular circumstances. You need to understand and be able to deal with each other.


I have an idea that Robyn has done her homework.