An interlude in Port Edward

Hilton invited us to spend some time with them at their holiday home in Port Edward while we’re here in KZN.  We needed to take Lolz to the airport yesterday so we decided to stop over with them on our way back.

King Shaka International Airport is a three hour drive from Kokstad so it was a crack of dawn start on a beautiful clear day.   We were lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time and had a golf cart come by and give us a lift from the carpark to departures.  It took half an hour for Laurie to get through the bag drop queue and then we went to Mugg and Bean for breakfast.

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Bag Drop was busy!

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Brekkie at Mugg and Bean

The drive from the airport along the South Coast of KZN is one of the most beautiful in South Africa. It has a subtropical climate and everything is intensely green.   The old railway line is still in existence for industrial use but sadly no passenger trains use it anymore.

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A mix of traditional and modern housing

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The railway next to the sea

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A very scenic route

In 1979 I stayed with a friend whose family farmed in Boston.  At that time I had no connections with anybody in KZN!  Together we took the train from Durban to Port Shepstone – a beautiful scenic ride which took about six hours.   Another friend collected us from there and took us to Port Edward.  I still have amazing memories of the mud huts in which we stayed, the trees and the unspoiled beach.   Returning there this year to stay with Hilton and Glynis was a thrill.  Progress of course, is inevitable because those thatched, mud huts which nestled on 640 ha of pristine land, bordered by two rivers and one of the most unspoiled beaches in Southern Africa, have been replaced by The  Wild Coast Sun Hotel and Casino.  Heather’s husband, Gundi, also remembers the site, as he too spent many family holidays there.

Although a lot of development has taken place, the beaches are still unspoilt and it is a delightful area in which to have a holiday home. Hilton and Glynis have one close to a small beach where the kids can mess about in rock pools, there is space for the boat and tractor that pulls and launches it and there is also a pool.

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They usually have this beach all to themselves

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Glynis and the dog

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Just watch out for grass snakes before getting into the pool

Soon after we arrived we went down to the Ski-boat club which overlooks the main beach.   We enjoyed a drink and then returned with Nathan who had just been discharged from hospital and was a little tired.  Recently Hilton and Gareth entered a species competition and they and Earl returned to attend the prize giving.  And Gareth was thrilled to get R2000 in prize money!

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Gareth posing with photos of past catches that line the walls of the living area

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An old landrover is what is used for most of the driving around Port Edward

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Hilton at the wheel – even the windscreen is missing

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It’s a really fun ride

In the evening we went to the spectacular Wild Coast Casino for dinner.  It was busy and full of gamblers but we enjoyed wandering around the place and the restaurant, Chico’s was lovely.   For a set price they serve soup, Mongolian stir fry, roasts, seafood, vegetables, cold meats and salads and a variety of desserts.   You may help yourself and eat as much as you can manage!  We had an amazing evening.

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Chico’s

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Lit up for Christmas

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Tropical Fish in the ponds

This morning we were up very early and met another niece Heather and her hubby Gundi for breakfast at Bobbie’s – which also overlooks the main beach.

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Gundi, Heather, Glynis, Hilton and me

Afterwards we went for a walk along the beach.   The swimming flags were up and a good number of life guards were on duty.  Once again we thoroughly enjoyed our morning bonding with our younger relatives.  We are very keen to visit them there again in the future and when Earl is stronger Hilton wants to take him out to sea – the KZN way!

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View from Bobbie’s

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The sea was 20 degrees C – Hilton said it was cold but it was not!

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Life Guards keeping a close eye on the bathers

It was an hour and a half drive from Port Edward back to Lauren’s.   We took the short cut which involved a game of “dodge the pothole” and watch out for pedestrians, cows and goats but once on the N2 it was smooth going again.

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Tonight we are having a quiet evening and may or may not stay awake to see the New Year in!

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