Seeing that it’s still holiday time in S.A., I’m sitting today and reminiscing about a place that’s very dear to me. That place is Tietiesbaai on the west coast. I’ve gone camping there at the end of each year in the vacation time (Decembers) with my family for as long as I can remember.
It’s not a place for everybody though; there is no convenience store (you have to drive a bit), there’s no club, no lights, no recreational facilities and no grass (also, only some spots have cellphone reception). You pitch your tent on a rather sandy and dusty lot and you have to walk a bit to get to the bathrooms. Did I mention there is no electricity? BUT I LOVE IT! Exactly for all the above mentioned reasons. The ocean and surrounding nature is your playground and entertainment. You go diving for crayfish, you go out spearfishing, you try and catch fish from the rocks, you paddle-ski or just go for a stroll along the winding roads next to the ocean.
Every time that I’ve left Tietiesbaai in the past, I’ve felt rejuvenated. It is that kind of place that almost forces you to relax – to let your hair down and to kick your shoes out. The fact that there is no electricity is responsible for the latter effect in my honest opinion.
A typical day goes like this: wake up, breakfast, diving (if the sea conditions permits) or fishing, have drink or two, lunch (usually catch of the day; crayfish/mussels/fish) with drinks, nap after lunch, wake up, swimming or sunbathing, drinks, shower (maybe some hot water left from solar pannels), start fire for the night’s barbecue, drinks, barbecue, banter, drinks, watching stars around the camp fire, drinks and sleep. Next day: repeat.
Tietiesbaai has changed a lot over recent years (not in a good way), but it will always be a special place for me. I’ve had a lot of good times and amazing memories at that place. I just pray that one day I can take my kids there so that they can see and experience the beauty and uniqueness of the place, as I’ve known it…