SHORT LEFT (Sho’tLeft) TO KZN WITH THE FAMILY
Like many families around the globe, the whole lockdown experience was taking its toll on us here. Since March we hadn’t been allowed to travel outside our province. We went from totally not being allowed to move around freely to being permitted to move around somewhat freely today.
COVID is still very much around, so we decided to take the gab and take a short left and visit Durban in Kwa-Zulu Natal. It’s a favourite destination for our family. We’ve been travelling down for years now whenever Joburg gets a bit much and we need a break.
We missed the first wave of Gautengers going down to the coast when lockdown hit level 1 in South Africa. The next opportunity we extended the mid-week public holiday by taking some much-needed leave and travelled down to the coast. We up at the crack of dawn and began our trip down. The roads were initially quiet, but by the time we arrived at the Engen in Bergview, it quickly became apparent we weren’t the only ones making a long weekend of the public holiday. It felt like the December holidays when everyone travels down to the coast, parking was scarce and there were queues everywhere. We started our trip at 4 am, what time did everyone else start?
It was a beautiful drive down, although many seemed to have the same idea, driving on the road did not feel that way. Although all the roadworks did play on your nerves. It seems these roads just from outside Pietermaritzburg from both sides, are always being renovated and tends to slow the drive a little as three lanes become two then one.
Our Airbnb “home” for the weekend was easy to find, thanks to Waze, and thankfully it was just like the photos on the app. While Darren headed straight into a conference call, yeah I know, it was supposed to be a break, Jay and I unpacked the car and settled in. It was certainly nice to note that we hadn’t overpacked as we usually do. As soon as Darren was done with his call, we headed down to Umdloti beach for some time in the warm waters and lunch. Nothing beats lunch across from the ocean. Cold beers and coke, and only seafood, chips and green salad at least for Darren and I. What’s a holiday without pizza though right? Bel Punto was our first stop.
Playtime on the beach after lunch, then it was ice-cream on the beach to end the afternoon. Next, we had to get a few grocery items to last us for the next few days and settle in for the night at our home away from home. After breakfast, we drove out looking for some beach towels. Yes, I took the towels out to bring them down, but somehow I left them behind. By the time we were done, it was lunchtime again. Do you find that you’re also just eating all the time when you’re on holiday? We wanted to eat somewhere new, so Darren suggested we try out Beach Bums out in Ballito. Although it looked like a great place it was just too busy for comfort during these times. A quick turnaround and we headed further out within Ballito to Hops Bar.Food! Our first time there and what a gem. Delicious food and incredible customer service. After lunch, we took a walk down the beach before finding a spot and settling down for the afternoon. Jay had a wonderful time, so much so that he was the one letting us know that it was time for us to go home.
Saturday Darren insisted that we needed to go out for breakfast, he didn’t want any of us cooking that morning. Of to Glenwood, we went to a place called Parc.Cafe. We totally fell in love with the place. It’s like one of those local places you see in the movies, where the owner seems to know everyone, and you can even get yourself some farm fresh eggs to take home after breakfast. While there, it certainly felt like Parc Cafe is the place some in the neighbourhood stop at to grab a cup of coffee en route to finish their morning errands. Pop into the Glenwood bakery next door for freshly baked bread. OMG!! We headed to the beachfront in Durban for a walk on the promenade after breakfast. It was beautiful and although some moaned and complained they enjoyed the walk.
When you’re in Durban, you have to have a Bunny Chow right? Jay had never had one before, and Darren was open to the idea. Google search and a few WhatsApp messages, we finally settled on Gouden’s Restaurant, still in Glenwood. Clearly the area with some great eating places. Jay loved the sample of the Bunny we shared with him, and literally wanted more. Was it the best bunny in Durban? Seems the debate is still out on that one. As no two people mentioned the same place to buy one.
Sunday came around, the weather had turned on us fully. It was a little cloudy but definitely not enough to put Gautengers off spending more time outdoors. Breakfast at Circus Circus Cafe on the promenade, I think there’s one at Gateway as well. We were early so we could choose where to sit and didn’t have to wait in the queue outside. It’s very popular with runners and cyclists.
Jay hadn’t ever been on a boat before, mostly because Darren has always maintained that he gets seasick. I managed to talk him into it and we headed over to the harbour. From Darren’s previous life, he was familiar with the different boat cruises, so we headed to Sarie Marais to make our bookings. Initially going for a 30 min boat ride, this changed when they upgraded up to the 1-hour ride. The waters seemed calm, so Darren was ok with it. First on the boat and we head to the bow (front of the boat). It wasn’t too crowded, something we were happy about. Headed out into the ocean waters, at first all was calm, but the further out we went the waters began to get rough. I, not Darren, started feeling nauseous. It didn’t last too long though, thankfully.
Durban was a much-needed break my family and I needed. Managed to switch off from reality and relax a little. Summer holidays are around the corner and hopefully more of the airlines will be back in our skies by then and we get to explore more of our coastal towns. If not, I’m already searching for new destinations for us. Plettenberg Bay? Transkei? Limpopo?
Do you go on holiday to the same places only? Is it out of habit or because you found a place that you already enjoy, so why go elsewhere?