Highlights – Kenton-on-Sea


24 – 28 January

Once at Kenton, we unpacked and settled in. During our first few days, we did some shopping (basics in Kenton and then a bigger shop in Port Alfred). We also cleaned house and made sure that everything was ready for our visitors.

We had some rain in the first few days, but then it was just windy. We managed to get in some walks. We have decided that this time of the year is definitely no longer the best in terms of weather!

On one of the windy days, we drove the “cheap man’s” game drive past Emlanjeni. It was scary to see that Ghio was almost bone dry.

On 26th Terry bumped into Gavin, Margi & Gigi on the beach (I had stayed in the car as it was too windy for me). We saw them that evening too, as we had been invited for dinner. We had a lovely chicken curry that they had brought from Grahamstown (an ex-colleague’s wife made it to sell). We had a lovely evening and chatted up a storm. In fact, it was after 11pm before we realized that it was time to go (long past all of our bedtimes!)

The next day Terry decided to do what he could to help bring some more rain (the whole area needed it so badly, especially Grahamstown) by having a braai. We only ate at about 4:30pm as we had a late start. But it was delicious!

Mammals: Blesbok, buffalo, rock hyrax, impala, small grey mongoose, springbok, Burchell’s zebra

Birds: Southern boubou, dark-capped bulbul, jackal buzzard, yellow-fronted canary, Cape cormorant, Cape crow, Cape turtle dove, laughing dove, red-eyed dove, fork-tailed drongo, little egret, western cattle egret, Egyptian goose, sombre greenbul, common greenshank, kelp gull, grey heron, hadeda ibis, yellow-billed kite, Cape longclaw, bronze mannikin, rock martin, speckled mousebird, ostrich, African black oystercatcher, speckled pigeon, common ringed plover, grey plover, white-fronted plover, white-necked raven, Cape robin-chat, grey-headed sparrow, house sparrow, red-winged starling, white stork, greater double-collared sunbird, barn swallow, little swift, white-rumped swift, sandwich tern, swift tern, Cape wagtail, Cape white-eye

29 – 30 January

On Tuesday morning we drove through to Grahamstown to fetch Jean. We all went to Saints for lunch, but we were very disappointed to find that they no longer had our pork belly sandwiches on the menu.

Wednesday was power-cut day (they are doing maintenance so the power is taken down for a day every two weeks), so we were up early to shower and get the car out of the garage before the power went off.

Jean went to visit her friend, while we took a drive around the beaches. It was very foggy and the tide was high. We picked up Jean just before lunchtime and took another drive around the beaches. Although it was now sunny, there was still some fog. We watched a white-breasted cormorant wading in the waves on middle beach.

Mammals: Blue duiker, small grey mongoose

Birds: Southern boubou, dark-capped bulbul, yellow-fronted canary, white-breasted cormorant, laughing dove, red-eyed dove, fork-tailed drongo, common fiscal, helmeted guineafowl, kelp gull, bronze mannikin, African black oystercatcher, white-fronted plover, Cape robin-chat, grey-headed sparrow

31 January – 5 February

Terry and I were awake early on Thursday morning so that we could take a walk on the beach at low tide. We then went to PE to pick up Norma and do some shopping. We had lunch at Barney’s Tavern (an old favorite).

After the success of our previous braai, we had a braai for lunch with the ladies on Friday.

On Saturday morning we walked with Norma to Carriage Rock. We had lunch at The Sandbar – Jean’s treat – and, of course, we all had calamari and chips.

Sunday was a perfect beach day, weather-wise. The ladies decided to stay at home, but we went for a lovely walk on the beach.

On Monday it was a little grey and overcast, so we took it easy and then took the “poor man’s game drive”. We started at the turnoff to Elanjeni from the R72 and made our way past Ghio, which was still incredibly dry. A little further along we had a lovely sighting of a secretarybird, spotted by Norma. We then continued across the main road and made our way through the gate and into Sibuya on the main road that is open to the public. We have not done this drive in over 20 years!

Our first sighting was a lovely one – two giraffes, on different sides of the fence. One was in Sibuya and the other in Kariega Game Reserve. We also had a couple of sightings of leopard tortoise – one was really large.

Tuesday arrived and it was incredible to think that Jean had already spent a week in Kenton. The time just seemed to fly past. We drove her home to Grahamstown and then made our way back to Kenton, where we had lunch at The House Kitchen. Norma had the calamari basket and she said that the calamari was actually nicer than what we had eaten at The Sandbar.

We drove around the beaches in the early evening and Terry walked to swimming beach and back (it was high tide). We then drove to Bushman’s River to watch the sunset. We sat on a bench to enjoy it properly. We then noticed that the plaque on the bench was dedicated to someone who was born exactly 40 years before Terry (and had subsequently passed away). This became our favorite bench whenever we sat along the river.

Mammals: Bontebok, buffalo, eland, giraffe, impala, mouse, nyala, warthog, blue wildebeest, Burchell’s zebra

Birds: Southern boubou, dark-capped bulbul, common buzzard, jackal buzzard, Cape cormorant, reed cormorant, white-breasted cormorant, Cape crow, pied crow, African darter, laughing dove, rock dove (common pigeon), fork-tailed drongo, long-crested eagle, intermediate egret, common fiscal, common greenshank, helmeted guineafowl, grey-headed gull, kelp gull, grey heron, hadeda ibis, sacred ibis, giant kingfisher, pied kingfisher, yellow-billed kite, bronze mannikin, speckled mousebird, ostrich, African black oystercatcher, white-fronted plover, Cape robin-chat, secretarybird, grey-headed sparrow, Cape glossy starling, red-winged starling, white stork, white-throated swallow, African black swift, little swift, sandwich tern, Cape wagtail, Cape white-eye, green wood-hoopoe

Other: Leopard tortoise

6 – 7 February

On Wednesday Terry had a quick swim at middle beach. On the way home, we saw a long-crested eagle flying overhead. It was being mobbed by a fork-tailed drongo. These birds really seem to have no fear!

We then took a drive out to Woody Cape. The views, as always, were spectacular. We saw plenty of birds and even a new born calf with its mother. It was still damp and its umbilical cord was visible. It was really very sweet – and wobbly on its new legs!

Another lovely sighting was a field of black-winged lapwings – there must have been over 50 in total.

Late afternoon, we took a drive around the beaches again. On the way to Bushman’s River Norma saw the blue duiker for her first time. It was really very relaxed. We watched the sun set from our bench on Eastbourne Road.

Mammals: Blue duiker

Birds: Bokmakierie, dark-capped bulbul, common buzzard, jackal buzzard, brimstone canary, laughing dove, red-eyed dove, fork-tailed drongo, long-crested eagle, Amur falcon, common fiscal, Egyptian goose, sombre greenbul, helmeted guineafowl, kelp gull, black-headed heron, hadeda ibis, sacred ibis, yellow-billed kite, black-winged lapwing, blacksmith lapwing, Cape longclaw, speckled mousebird, African black oystercatcher, grey-headed sparrow, red-necked spurfowl, Cape glossy starling, white stork, greater double-collared sunbird, greater striped swallow, pearl-breasted swallow, sandwich tern, swift tern, Cape wagtail

9 – 15 February

When we got back to Kenton on Saturday, we took our customary drive around the beaches before making our way home to unpack and settle in.

We had a nice relaxing day on Sunday, having a good rest after our busy time in PE!

Monday we had a nice relaxing lie in (even though Terry went for a run) and then went to The House Kitchen for brunch – we both had a full breakfast.

I slept in on Tuesday morning, but Terry got up and went for his run. It was rainy morning so we relaxed at home. When the sun came out at lunch time, we quickly went to walk on the beach.

In addition to load shedding at 7pm Sunday through Monday, Wednesday was a full day with no power. So, we were up early to get sorted out before there was no power. We then relaxed on the veranda and watched the swallows and swifts flying through the garden and over the house. We were able to identify some common swifts, which were a lifer for us.

We then went to Port Alfred (just missing load shedding!) and did some shopping before having lunch at the Ocean Basket.

On Thursday we juggled washing around the load shedding schedule. We had a relaxing day, running some errands and driving around the beaches in the late afternoon. We sat on “our” bench at Bushman’s River, watching the sunset.

We were up early on Friday to take advantage of the low tide. Once back home, we packed and got on the road to go to Addo.

Mammals: Bontebok, bushbuck, small grey mongoose, vervet monkey, zebra

Birds: Bar-throated apalis, yellow-breasted apalis, southern boubou, dark-capped bulbul, common buzzard, pied crow, Cape turtle dove, laughing dove, red-eyed dove, fork-tailed drongo, long-crested eagle, little egret, western cattle egret, Amur falcon, common fiscal, sombre greenbul, kelp gull, black-headed heron, grey heron, hadeda ibis, sacred ibis, yellow-billed kite, bronze mannikin, speckled mousebird, ostrich, African black oystercatcher, speckled pigeon, Cape robin-chat, grey-headed sparrow, red-necked spurfowl, red-winged starling, white stork, amethyst sunbird, collared sunbird, greater double-collared sunbird, barn swallow, lesser striped swallow, common swift (L), sandwich tern, swift tern, Cape wagtail, willow warbler, Cape white-eye

16 February

We made a brief stop back at Kenton in order to pick up our key for the spare wheel.

Mammals: Nyala

Birds: Common buzzard, Cape crow, long-crested eagle, Amur falcon, helmeted guineafowl, black-headed heron, goliath heron, hadeda ibis, sacred ibis, yellow-billed kite, ostrich, white stork, long-tailed widowbird

21 – 26 February

After leaving Addo, we drove to Colchester to look for the greater frigatebird that had been hanging around while we were in the north the park. We went to the jetty and then drove along the Sundays River to the river mouth. We then walked to where we could see there was a tern roost. While we saw a number of birds, we did not, unfortunately, find the special. Per the reports, it was seen only once more – a day or so later, and then it was gone! We did however pick up another lifer at the tern roost – a little tern.

We then made our way back to Kenton.

Friday we had a relaxing day, which included a massage for Terry and a manicure/pedicure for me. We also popped in to see Mike Wilmot, an old friend of Terry’s, before going to The House Kitchen for lunch.

Saturday morning we actually slept in – it was after 7am when we woke up. We took a drive around the beaches and then had a walk. The tide was really low and there were big stretches of sand everywhere. We walked to Carriage Rock and passed a family playing cricket just beyond Blue Pool – there was so much flat sand!

As we came around the point, we bumped into Gavin, Margie & Gigi and joined them for the rest of their walk. They later came around for dinner. We had drinks and snacks sitting on the veranda, even though we could hear a storm brewing. Gigi was sitting in our laps so that we could protect her!

We moved to the dining table to eat our short ribs followed by banana fritters with caramel sauce. We had a lovely evening, chatting up a storm again, but this time we were all more aware of the time! They left just before 10pm.

Sunday was another lazy morning. A little later, we went to the beach for a walk. We bumped into Gavin and Margie again. Gigi was so pleased to see us that she turned away from her ball and came running full speed to greet us. Gavin hadn’t even seen us yet so he wondered what was going on!

Back home we had a braai for lunch, and then spent the rest of the day relaxing.

On Monday we went to Port Alfred. There we had a slow puncture fixed, got the car washed (it was filthy from the sand roads at Addo) and did some shopping.

Back home we packed everything away quickly as the weather had improved, and then drove to middle beach. Terry swam in Mermaid’s Pool and we had a lovely walk. We saw some dolphins when we were back at the parking area. We only had lunch at about 5pm! Then we relaxed, exhausted after our busy day!

Tuesday was very windy, even at the house. Despite taking a drive around the beaches twice (morning and afternoon), the wind did not let up and it was too unpleasant to go for a walk. So, we had a very relaxing day.

Mammals: Bontebok, bottle-nosed dolphin, red hartebees

Birds: Black-collared barbet, southern boubou, dark-capped bulbul, common buzzard, Cape cormorant, white-breasted cormorant, Cape crow, Cape turtle dove, long-crested eagle, little egret, western cattle egret, Amur falcon, common fiscal, fiscal flycatcher, common greenshank, grey-headed gull, kelp gull, black-headed heron, goliath heron, grey heron, crowned hornbill, black-shouldered kite, blacksmith lapwing, speckled mousebird, African black oystercatcher, grey plover, white-fronted plover, house sparrow, pied starling, black-winged stilt, white stork, barn swallow, Caspian tern, common tern, little tern (L), sandwich tern, swift tern, Cape wagtail, whimbrel

Other: Angulate tortoise

27 February

Given that we had another windy day, we decided to drive to Bathurst (with a brief stop in Port Alfred) – my first ever visit. We stopped at the big Pineapple and had a look around, buying some pineapples on our way out (they were really delicious!)

We drove to the Toposcope. It was interesting, but the wind was really strong so we didn’t stay too long.

We then drove around the Bathurst streets looking for the Waters Meeting Nature Reserve. After some time, we backtracked and found the entrance gate. We drove to Horseshoe Lookout Point and climbed out of the vehicle to enjoy the beautiful view.

We had lunch at the Pig & Whistle Inn. While in the restaurant, we were looking at a poster that showed all the 1820 settler ships and where they had landed. We then found an unframed poster, which allowed us to look at the names on the back – and there was Ochse. Unfortunately, it doesn’t show what boat they actually travelled on.

Birds: Southern boubou, dark-capped bulbul, jackal buzzard, yellow-fronted canary, Cape crow, laughing dove, fork-tailed drongo, western cattle egret, common fiscal, African paradise flycatcher, black-headed heron, hadeda ibis, ostrich, Cape glossy starling, red-winged starling, barn swallow, Cape wagtail

28 February

We were up early in order to be ready for the power to go off at 7am. While we were having breakfast, we heard a Knysna turaco so close that it had to be in the garden, so we went to have a look and found it at the top of the tree. We had heard them so many times, but not seen them.

We drove to PE for the day (one way to avoid a day with out electricity!) En route we had a lovely sighting of a pair of secretarybirds.

Once we got to PE, Terry dropped me off at Greenacres shopping mall (for a change) and then went to have a Thai massage. The shops at Greenacres were generally larger and had more to offer, but the centre itself was really higgledy-piggledy, with different links to other malls. When Terry picked me up later, I told him that I would stick to Walmer Park in future.

We drove through to Richmond Hill and landed up having lunch at Tilting Heads, a taco bar. We shared tapas of nachos and jalapeños to start, followed by tacos for main course. Terry had pulled pork and I had smoke rib, but since we each had three miniature tacos we swapped one so that we could each taste both. They were the best tacos that we have eaten. We even shared a churro for dessert. It was also really good.

Back at Kenton, we drove around the beaches. The sea and wind were ugly! Even the gulls thought so – they were lying down in semi-sheltered spots. There was an oystercatcher on the beach, but nothing else.

Mammals: Small grey mongoose

Birds: Common buzzard, Cape crow, fork-tailed drongo, little egret, Amur falcon, common fiscal, grey-headed gull, kelp gull, black-headed heron, hadeda ibis, sacred ibis, black-shouldered kite, ostrich, secretarybird, red-necked spurfowl, Cape glossy starling, red-winged starling, white stork, barn swallow, swift tern, Knysna turaco

1 – 3 March

On Friday, Terry was up really early in order to drive through to Grahamstown to attend Founder’s Weekend at his old school (Graeme College).

I got some chores done, but otherwise had a relaxing day, while Terry attended the agenda for the day. He had not seen most of the guys he met up with since matric. The reason he had decided to attend was that it was his 40th school reunion! He didn’t stay for the evening function, opting to drive back to Kenton before it was too dark.

Saturday had an early low tide and, although it wasn’t sunny, it also wasn’t windy. So, we got up early and left the house, walking to Kariega River, across swimming beach and middle beach, around the point (all the sand had disappeared and it was rocky again) and past Carriage Rock. We then climbed up to the top of Shelley’s Cove and made our way down on the Bushman River side. We then walked along the river and up onto the road, finally making our way back to the house. The walk took us 98 minutes (including stops) and was a distance of 5.87km according to Terry’s watch.

Back home, we showered and got ready to leave for Grahamstown again. We met the other members of his class for lunch at the Pothole & Donkey on High Street. There were 15 guys from the Class of 79. There was also one other spouse – I had met her two years prior.

After lunch, we went to visit Jean at the old age home. She was thrilled to see us (we surprised her as we were not sure what would happen on the day). We had coffee and chatted for a long while. We left just before 7pm in order to go to Graeme College.

The VG girls from 1979 were also included in this function. Terry didn’t think it would make a difference in terms of whom he knew. But he had forgotten about the girls that he had played tennis with and a friend of his mom’s daughter whom he had been friends with from before pre-school. He also bumped into an ex-girlfriend’s daughter. She phoned her parents and they came across to say hello.

We started saying our goodbyes at 9pm but it was nearly 10pm by the time we left. We drove home slowly as it was really dark and we were warned of cattle on the road. We didn’t see any cattle though, but we did see two small antelopes. They were probably Cape grysbok.

We got up late on Sunday morning, but we were ready for two of Terry’s classmates, who came to lunch. One with his wife (they had visited us two years ago) and the other one I knew from university too.

We had a lovely lunch. Terry shared some old photos and discovered that one guy’s mom had been to school with his mom! We spent a lot of time chatting and catching up. Everyone left just after 3:30pm though, as they all still had to travel home.

Mammals: Bontebok, Cape grysbok, vervet monkey, Burchell’s zebra

Birds: White-breasted cormorant, Cape crow, laughing dove, fork-tailed drongo, little egret, kelp gull, bronze mannikin, African black oystercatcher, grey plover, white-fronted plover, Cape robin-chat, amethyst sunbird, Cape wagtail

4 – 11 March

Monday we had a quiet day, fitting in a walk despite the wind.

On Tuesday we decided to drive across to the other side of Bushman’s and walk to Kwaaihoek. It was the first time I had ever done this walk and, while it was longer than our usual walk, it was really beautiful. On the way there, we bumped into one of Terry’s old classmates and his wife – the Sprongs. They continued home and we completed our walk, before stopping in for some coffee at their home (their main home is in Malawi). We then stopped in at The House Kitchen for a late lunch. The rest of the day was spent relaxing.

Wednesday was a beautiful day – 33 degrees and sunny! We got washing on the line and then went to the beach, where we walked on the rocks looking at the pools and birds. We then went to Mermaid’s Pool, where we both swam! (My first swim in the last three years.) The water was cold. We walked on some more rocky shelves looking at the rock pools, before turning around and making our way to Blue Pool for another swim. As we walked back to our car, the wind picked up and it became quite unpleasant. So we spent the rest of the day relaxing.

On Thursday we had a walk on the beach before doing some shopping in Port Alfred and Kenton. We then spent time preparing for our dinner guests (the Sprongs) and relaxing. We had a lovely evening.

The weather app had predicted a rainy weekend, and Terry felt that my swim meant that this was going to be a given! So, we weren’t surprised when we woke up to a grey and rainy day on Friday. We used the time to read and relax.

Saturday morning started with thunderstorms and it was raining much harder than the previous day. We drove around the beaches, but spent the rest of the day at home.

Sunday it was grey but there was no rain. We checked the rain gauge and we had had 46mm since Friday! We managed a walk and a couple of drives around the beaches. We used the rest of our day to prepare for our trip to PE the next day.

Mammals: Blue duiker, vervet monkey

Birds: Southern boubou, dark-capped bulbul, jackal buzzard, Cape cormorant, white-breasted cormorant, Burchell’s coucal, Cape turtle dove, laughing dove, red-eyed dove, fork-tailed drongo, little egret, fiscal flycatcher, sombre greenbul, helmeted guineafowl, kelp gull, hadeda ibis, brown-hooded kingfisher, yellow-billed kite, red knot, speckled mousebird, black-headed oriole, African black oystercatcher, common ringed plover, grey plover, white-fronted plover, Cape robin-chat, sanderling, greater double-collared sunbird, barn swallow, sandwich tern, swift tern, Knysna turaco, ruddy turnstone, Cape wagtail, pied wagtail, spectacled weaver, Cape white-eye, green wood-hoopoe

15 – 22 March

We got home just after 4pm on Friday. We quickly went into town and then drove around the beaches, stopping at middle beach to have a walk. We turned around as the rain started and made our way back home to unpack and settle in.

On Saturday morning we relaxed around the house, while a photographer hired by the estate agent came to take photos of the house for their website (Peter & Val have made a number of changes of the past year or two). We then drove around the beaches, before meeting Gavin and Margie at The House Kitchen for lunch.

We went for a walk on the beach just before 6pm. As we made our way back to the parking area, we spotted Gavin and Margie’s vehicle so we made our way around towards Carriage Rock to meet them. Gigi was really pleased to see us again. We walked back to the parking with them. We then drove around the beaches – it was almost dark.

Sunday morning we were up early and we made our way across to the Bushman’s side so that we could walk to Kwaaihoek again. On our way back, we met up with the Sprongs – only this time his sister was visiting from Australia, so Terry could catch up briefly with her too.

We had visitors for lunch – Terry’s ex-girlfriend from school, her husband and her daughter. We had a lovely time, chatting up a storm. They left just after 4pm and we took a drive around the beaches.

Monday morning we were up early to take advantage of the low tide at a cooler time of the day. We walked from the house to the river, around the beaches to the other river and back home, detouring to “our” cliff on the side of Shelley’s Cove.

We then decided to drive the Woody Cape route. When we got to Boknes beach there was even a shop open – we were definitely in holiday season. In fact, we could see that over our remaining time at Kenton. There were a lot more people, and most of them were not as friendly as the locals!

As we drove back, we turned off and drove the Emlanjeni loop to see if there was any water in Ghio. There was a little, definitely more than the last time we had seen it, but still not enough to sustain any waterbirds. We then made our way home, where we still had no municipal water. We had load shedding at 3pm and then, eventually, the water came back on. It was only after the power came back on at 5pm that we could actually get the dishwasher to run. We opted out of doing any washing, as it was too late.

Tuesday morning we were up and out early in order to take our vehicle in for a service in Grahamstown (the advantage of owning a Toyota). After we had booked the car in, we walked to Brookshaw to visit Jean. We spent the morning chatting.

We drove Jean’s car to Haricot’s Deli & Bistro for lunch (our first visit there). The food was good, but we are not sure that we would rush back there. Once we were finished, we drove to the garage to fetch our vehicle. We said our goodbyes to Jean and made our way back to Kenton.

A funny story – Jean had been telling us how she had had no power for more that 24 hours. We saw the robots were working close by, so we messaged Gavin to see whether they also had no power. They had had load shedding as scheduled but their power had come back on in between. As we were driving home, Terry remembered that Jean has prepaid electricity. So we phoned her to tell her to check her meter. She messaged us to say that she was quickly going to Pick n Pay – and then she had power again! We teased her about her blonde moment and wandered how long she would have gone without before she realized.

Back home we drove around the beaches and Terry had a quick walk. We watched a big pod of dolphins swim past and then sat admiring the moon rising over the sea.

Wednesday was another day without power, so we were up early to get sorted out. We went to the beach for a walk, but the wind made it very unpleasant towards the end. We spent the rest of the day relaxing.

On Thursday morning we had a slow start, but then we decided to walk to Kwaaihoek again. As we drove to Bushman’s though, we changed our mind and drove to Boknes instead. We then walked to Diaz’s cross and back (a total round trip of almost 8km). It was a long, but lovely walk and the first time I had ever done it (Terry had last walked there when he was still a schoolboy). When we got back to the car, we were pleased that the shop was open (so that we could buy something cold to enjoy).

We spent the rest of the day relaxing, going out for a drive after 6pm.

Friday was a nice day again, and low tide was during the morning, so we went to middle beach and walked on the rocks. There were lots of little fish in the pools, and lots of people on the beach!

We drove around the beaches again after 6pm, bumping into Gavin and Margie. So we finalized our plans with them for the next evening, before sitting on a bench and enjoying the evening for a short while.

Mammals: Bontebok, buffalo, bottle-nosed dolphin, blue duiker, impala, small grey mongoose, vervet monkey, mouse, nyala, Burchell’s zebra

Birds: Black-collared barbet, southern red bishop, bokmakierie, southern boubou, dark-capped bulbul, grey-headed bushshrike, jackal buzzard, brimstone canary, Cape cormorant, white-breasted cormorant, pied crow, Cape turtle dove, laughing dove, fork-tailed drongo, little egret, Amur falcon, common fiscal, African paradise flycatcher, fiscal flycatcher, Egyptian goose, sombre greenbul, helmeted guineafowl, kelp gull, black-headed heron, grey heron, crowned hornbill, hadeda ibis, sacred ibis, black-winged lapwing, blacksmith lapwing, crowned lapwing, bronze mannikin, speckled mousebird, African black oystercatcher, common ringed plover, white-fronted plover, sanderling, South African shelduck, Cape sparrow, grey-headed sparrow, red-necked spurfowl, Cape glossy starling, red-winged starling, African stonechat, white stork, barn swallow, sandwich tern, swift tern, olive thrush, Knysna turaco, ruddy turnstone, Cape wagtail, emerald-spotted wood-dove

23 – 26 March

And suddenly it was our last weekend in Kenton! It felt like time had flown, but it also felt like a long time since we had been home. We had things that we thought we might do that we didn’t get to, but to be fair we had done things that weren’t in our plans too.

Saturday we walked to Kwaaihoek again, knowing that it would be our last opportunity to do so. Unfortunately the wind picked up on our way back and it become unpleasant.

That evening we went to Gavin and Margie for dinner. We had originally planned to meet on the beach for drinks first, but it was so windy that we all called it off, and just went directly to their house a little later. Gigi was still very friendly and lovable, and happy to see us. We had a lovely pasta dish followed by peppermint tart. We left early in order to get home before load shedding at 9pm, but we all had a good evening.

On Sunday it was two months’ since we had first arrived at Kenton. We started cleaning things like the braai, and doing the final washes of linen and towels (we had some of our own with us that we could use for the last few nights.) We also cleaned the rooms that we weren’t using and closed them up. Afterwards, we went to the beach and had a walk. We bumped into Gavin and Gigi and Terry took another walk with them, while I relaxed on a bench, enjoying the view.

We stopped at Pizzarella for lunch (it was open because it was now in season). The pizzas had a really thin base and some really lovely topping choices. They were delicious.

Back home we finished closing up the rooms and then decided that it was time to relax!

On Monday we were awake early to finish with the cleaning. I also packed some of our clothes. We decided that going out for lunch was the easiest option, so we eventually went to Continental Deli (Gavin and Margie had been telling us about it since we arrived). We had a lovely meal – bobotie springrolls and Camembert & fig springrolls (which we shared), beef lasagna (T) and the most divine spare ribs (J).

Terry went for a massage and I finished up with the packing and then lay down to read. When he got home, it had started raining so we did not go to the beach as planned. We put on the last load of washing and then had a relaxing evening.

We were awake early on Tuesday, but could have a lie in and a nice slow start to the day. We finished the last cleaning, closing up and packing and put everything into the vehicle. We left the house just after 10am and took our last drive around the beaches. We had enough time to also take a last walk, before we got on the road and made our way to Kuilfontein (Colesberg), and ultimately back home.

Birds: Southern boubou, Cape cormorant, laughing dove, helmeted guineafowl, kelp gull, crowned hornbill, hadeda ibis, sacred ibis, African black oystercatcher, speckled pigeon, common ringed plover, white-fronted plover, grey-headed sparrow, common starling, sandwich tern, swift tern, Knysna turaco, ruddy turnstone, Cape wagtail, green woodhoopoe