Saturday, December 23, 2006

Where I wish I was this Christmas!

Finding SA's secret beaches

With a coastline of 3 000 kilometres, South Africa has enough beaches to accommodate thousands of sun lovers without ever getting crowded. The beaches near the larger coastal cities get most visitors, of course, and in high summer bathers might have to negotiate a tangle of tanned limbs to get from the sea to their towels.

But there are dozens of other beaches along the country's coastline where you can find space, privacy, soft sand and clear blue waves.

Cape West Coast

If you want to avoid Cape Town's main beaches, head up the west coast towards Namibia and you'll find one spectacular seascape after another. The coastline has stunning wind-lashed scenery and may at times look dry and barren. But in spring the region's world-famous wild flowers transform the area into a magic carpet of colour.

A West Coast fisherman

A West Coast fisherman, with crayfish (Photo: South African Tourism)

The long white beaches and rocky outcrops provide some of the most private beaches, not to mention best surfing waves. Secret places to visit include Eland's Bay, Paternoster, Lambert's Bay and Yzerfontein. Lambert's Bay

Lambert's Bay is one of the West Coast's secret places (Photo: South African Tourism)

In summer you can enjoy fresh crayfish at reasonable prices in local eateries. As this side of South Africa is on the Atlantic Ocean, the water is a lot colder than in the warm Indian Ocean to the east. But that doesn't stop swimmers from enjoying a bracing dip.

Cape Peninsula

While the fashionable Cape Town beaches - particularly Camps Bay, Clifton and Llandudno - are overrun in summer, visitors can still find sandy solitude. Noordhoek's Long Beach is a serene sweep of sand over two kilometres long, backed by beautiful fynbos-covered mountains.

Cape Point

Cape Point likes to think it's the southernmost tip of Africa - but actually it's not (Photo: South African Tourism)

Sandy Bay, just next to Llandudno, is similarly isolated and lovely, as long as one doesn't mind the nudists for which this beach is notorious.
Blaauwberg offers the best views of Table Mountain and is long enough to avoid people, if that's what you're after. Or travel just a little way to the dune-fringed beauties of Betty's Bay, Kleinmond and Pringle Bay.

Cape East Coast

East of the Cape Town, the coastline offers one sleepy seaside town after another, each with its own personality and beaches. Here the Indian Ocean laps the continent with its warm coastal currents. The further east you travel from Cape Town, the warmer the sea gets.
Hermanus is a popular weekend and holiday spot, and the beaches can be crowded. But a five-minute drive out of the village takes you to the more peaceful Grotto Beach.


Arniston, a restored fishing village, is particularly beautiful, and out of season is all but isolated (Photo: South African Tourism)

Follow the coastline north and the gems of Gansbaai, Pearly Beach and Arniston beckon. Arniston, a restored fishing village, is particularly beautiful, and out of season is all but isolated.

Eastern Cape

Those allergic to crowds will want to avoid the seaside havens of Plettenberg Bay, Knysna and George in high season, but again there are beaches just out of town that offer space and scenery aplenty. Port Elizabeth and East London have places of historic interest as well as some good swimming spots. East London's Gonubie Beach is one of the country's prettiest, as yet unclaimed by hordes of beachgoers.


Knysna in the Eastern Cape (Photo: SA Tourism)

Cape St Francis and Seaview Game Park, both near Port Elizabeth, are similarly untrammelled.

The Wild Coast

Formerly known as the Transkei, this is a breathtakingly beautiful region. It has many remote, rural locations offering unspoiled velvet-green hills and pristine beaches.

Bashee Point

Bashee Point on the Wild Coast (Photo: South African Tourism)

Some parts are harder to access, but places with facilities include Mazeppa Bay, Coffee Bay, Hole-in-the-Wall, Trennerys, Mngazi and Presley Bay.


Hole-in-the-Wall has a unique rock formation out to sea (Photo: South African Tourism)

Locals are friendly and hospitable and these are ideal holiday resorts for those wanting nothing more than a beach, a few good surfing waves and perhaps the odd fishing trip.


Nestled between the Indian Ocean and the Drakensberg mountains, KwaZulu-Natal is hot, humid and subtropical. These are the best beaches for those who like to float in the sea for hours on end, and the mild temperatures in winter make it an all-year-round holiday destination. Durban's beaches can leave one jostling for elbow room in season and nearby towns such as Southbroom and Ballito have recently exploded with holiday homes, but you don’t have to go far to avoid the crowds.

Sodwana Bay

Sodwana Bay National Park in KwaZulu-Natal (Photo: South African Tourism)

On the north coast, near the Mozambique border, is the ecotourism paradise of Kosi Bay, a pristine estuary surrounded by lush marsh forest, mangrove, ferns and orchids. Take a walk between tanning sessions and you could spot a hippo, a crocodile or a loggerhead turtle. Nearby St Lucia, a protected nature reserve and one of South Africa's seven World Heritage sites, has beautiful long beaches and lukewarm water. Other secret spots include Mtunzini, Zinkwazi and Blythedale. The south coast beaches aren't quite as isolated, but small towns such as St Michaels, Hibberdene and Umkomaas are less inhabited, particularly in the mild winters.

Source: South African Tourism

Monday, December 18, 2006

Christmas Poem

taken from the Sunday Papers...

"It was the first Christmas and…

God giggled
God farted
God burped
God gurgled
God needed a cuddle
God was a baby…

Christmas reminds us:

That we don’t have to find God – he finds us in our humanity –
We don’t have to go up - he came down
We find God in the physical, in our bodies, in material, in humanity.
God became one of us…."

by James Hawes

Sunday, December 10, 2006

To Share or not to Share?

It is so difficult to find resources to use when teaching. Maybe these are some of the reasons we do not share them as teachers...

  1. I don't have time to check the online site since I'm too buy creating materials.
  2. My stuff is not good enough to share.
  3. I don't want anyone else using my great writing technique.
  4. I've heard that blogs and other collaborative programs like that have porn so I'm staying away from them.
  5. Other subject area teachers don't teach like I do so their materials or ideas won't help me.
  6. I've used the same materials for the last 20 years and I won't change now.
  7. I have all the transparencies I need.
  8. Once I close the door, it is my private world.
  9. I am an expert in my subject area.
  10. My students like to listen to me lecture each period.
I am sure I have something to learn from this list.

interesting observation

There has been much debatein the UK about the show of old SA flags at the recent Springbok rugby matches. A leading SA rugby website displayed the following pictures and asked for comment. Me thinks they might have been "fixed"

!The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

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Saturday, December 09, 2006


South Africa is set to break its tourism records again in 2006, with almost 4.7-million foreign visitors arriving in the country between January and July - a 15.8% increase over the same period in 2005 - putting the country's tourism growth rate at three times the growth rate for tourism worldwide.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Good news for EL

There are seven new investors in the new Automobile Supplier Park at the East London Industrial Development Zone in the Eastern Cape, it was announced on Wednesday. They will inject R395-million into the industrial development zone (IDZ), bringing the total investment to R755-million since its inception - link

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About me

I am an African living in Scotland. A son, a father, an ex-husband, a boyfriend, a teacher and friend trying to piece together the stories that my God, my parents, my ex-wife, my girlfriend, my pupils and my friends are telling me, so that I can tell my own story. Thanks to all for your support and advice. I still love good coffee and popcorn.



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