We recently spent three weeks on holiday in KwaZulu-Natal. The first week we spent in Pietermaritzburg, visiting family and friends and doing family history research in the archives. The second week was at a holiday flat in Margate on the South Coast, and then a few days in Durban and a few more with friends in the Drakensberg on the way home.
The picture shows me and my wife Val on the beach at Trafalgar, on the KZN South Coast.
More pictures and links to pictures behind the cut.
In Pietermaritzburg we stayed at a bed and breakfast place, Aberfeldy, and have described it more fully on our family history blog, with more pictures. My cousin Jenny Aitchison was overseas, but her James and his wife Eloise were in a play, Cabaret, which we went to see and enjoyed. We did family history in the archives in the morning, and visited friends in the afternoons and evening. Sring was just beginning, and the azaleas and bougainvilias were in bloom, which makes it one of the most beautiful times of the year in Pietermaritzburg.
We then drove to Margate on the South Coast in a rather posh holiday flat. A friend of one of Val's colleagues at work had won a week's stay there in a bingo competition, but couldn't use it, and so gave it to us. This is the view from the balcony, looking down the lagoon toward the beach and the river mouth.
From there we went to Durban, where we spent a weekend, and I served at the Divine Liturgy with fellow deacon Raphael Hawkes and Fr Chrysostomos. There are pictures of that on my Khanya blog here.
In our travels we noticed the poor condition of many roads, which is one of the unintended consequences of the privatisation mania of the 1980s (the Reagan-Thatcher years). Before that most heavy goods went by rail, and road transport was used mainly for local deliveries. Anyone wanting to transport heavy goods by roads over long distances had to get a special permit from the Railways Competition Office, and show why the railways couldn't transport it. Deregulation meant there was a huge increase in the number and size og heavy trucks on the road - 26-wheelers, 32-wheelers and 36-wheelers. Many roads weren't designed to cope with that kind of traffic, with consequences seen in the picture below, though someone seems to have attributed it to another cause.
On the way back to Pretoria we stopped in the foothills of the Drakensberg to spend a couple of nights with some old friends, Martin and Wendy Goulding. Martin worked as a chemist in Johannesburg (where two of their children still live in their house) but after he retired went to live in a dacha in Bergview, near Cathkin Peak.
The picture shows Champagne Castle and Cathkin Peak in the Drakensberg.
We also met other old friends, Brian and Laurel Angus, who also have a dacha at Bergview, though they only visit it at weekends. We had not seen the Gouldings for nearly 20 years, and had not seen the Anguses for more than 30 years.
The picture shows Laurel and Brian Angus, Val Hayes, and Martin and Wendy Goulding.
And the following picture shows the Gouldings' dacha at Bergview, with Cathkin Peak and Champagne Castle in the left background, and the september blooming in the foreground (in the northern hemishphere september is called may, because it blooms in May, but here it blooms in September).
And from there we drove 500 km back to Pretoria.
I haven't posted much in LJ for a while, mainly because I find it easier to post pictures in my Blogger and Wordpress blogs, and also have become addicted to the MyBlogLog and BlogCatalog social blogrolling tools, which don't work with LiveJournal, and they show who has visited recently, even if they don't leave comments.
Anyway, I hope this post will be a sort of "catch up" for my LiveJournal friends.