Following the trend of trying to get away from Monash each weekend, myself, Sophie, her friend Jarred and his friend Daniel headed, a couple of weekends ago, to Shaka's Beach, about an hour's drive from Durban, seven hours from Johannesburg.
We headed down on Thursday afternoon (we all had 4-day weekends!), into the glorious afternoon sun and made our way to the Indian Ocean.
Living by the beach at home, I was very excited to be able to put my feet into some salt water once more, smell the salt in the air and feel the warm sea breeze on my face. This is something that I have missed living in Johannesburg, but the salt plains nearby sometimes give a false sense that you are near the beach.
We arrived at Shaka's Beach at about 10.30pm, after Jarred and Daniel drove for over seven hours, going at about 130km most of the time. As soon as we got near the beach there was a distinctively different smell to that of Joburg. It was more humid yet somehow fresher. We were getting close to the ocean and we could feel it!
|The view from our apartment, the Indian Ocean|
On the way to our swimming spot (in between the flags), I was looking out to sea and kept seeing these massive splashes about 800m out to sea. At first I thought it was the waves hitting rocks, but then I realised it was in fact a WHALE!! I couldn't believe it! I'd never seen a whale in real life (IRL) and it was sooooo cool to see this one jumping up and landing on its back, making lots of splashes. I kept watching it for about 15 minutes, so impressed that it was able to lift all its body weight out of the water then spectacularly falling back into it. It seemed like he/she was having a blast!
Our time in Shaka's Bay consisted of driving, sleeping, reading, running, watching movies, swimming and relaxing. We also took some rad underwater pictures in the swimming pool at the apartment complex. It's great having a waterproof camera!
|Jarred, Sophie and Daniel|
On Saturday the weather was not so nice, more like a winter's day in Melbourne, so we decided to venture into Durban, about an hour's drive away. When we got there we had a walk around on the city, mostly along the foreshore. We stopped for some lunch at a nice Indian restaurant, but the food was so so spicy that I didn't eat too much, just lots of naan! There wasn't too much to see in Durban so after lunch we headed back to Shaka's Bay for our afternoon naps or reading sessions.
Of what we saw of Durban, it felt like we had been transported back in time to the 1970s. Most of the builidings were big concrete buildings, painted a salmon and grey colour, some were rundown and only a few looked like they had been built in the last 10 years. It seemed like a strange city but we only spent a few hours there so I'm sure there are nicer parts.
|Durban: still living in the 1970s|
Sunday was another perfect day in paradise, with the temperate probably about 27 degrees. Jarred and I went on a 5km in the morning, which was tough but so great to be running along the beach again! Shaka's Bay and surrounding areas is quite hilly so it was hard running up and down all the hills but we both felt pretty good by the end of it. We then all headed to the beach, bathed ourselves in nice warm sun and ventured into the rough seas of the Indian ocean. I always forget how rough the ocean is. The waves have the ability to throw you around like a rag doll in a baby's hand, even when they look so calm. On a few occasions I nearly lost my bathers which was a bit awkward, but I was able to hold onto them so the waves didn't take them out to sea! Again when I saw sitting on the beach another whale came to show off his/her splashing skills, this time with its tail rather than its body. It was about 500m out to sea and I think there could have been more than one because there were a lot of tails flying around the water. I was again so impressed and instantly fell in love with all whales! I couldn't believe that I was seeing a whale and kept exclaiming this to Sophie, Jarred and Daniel.
|Dusk at Shaka's Bay|
Unfortunately on Monday morning we had to make the long drive back to Joburg and leave the loveliness that was Shaka's Bay! It was so great to be able to rekindle myself with the beach and the glorious sea breeze that goes with it. It was also great to relax, read a book or two, watch some hilarious TV and movies and just relax. Thanks to Jarred (and your uncle) for letting us stay in the apartment and for a very fun weekend! Sophie and Daniel you were great company too :)
Next up is our girls weekend in Drakensburg and Lesotho, so much fun!