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 a real holiday coming up, the type where a little boy gets to play at the beach, discover stuff and ride his new bike on quiet holiday-village streets.
Our ultimate destination was actually 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. Luckily I love the Karoo, and my son had loved his first cross-country road-trip to East London earlier in the year. But the Karoo would come 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 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.
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