Can I confess something just quickly? I’m feeling absolutely depressed today. Like cry-about-the-undone-laundry depressed. Worry-that-I’m-not-enough-for-the-kids depressed. Holy-crap-I-need-to-work-more depressed. And it’s damn hard to get anywhere when I’m feeling like this. It’s hard to not want to do anything but sleep. I get that it’s not real. I get that it’s in my head. But it’s here today.
So I need to try and think of something that brings me actual joy. And I need to damn well remember that even though 2016 has been a shithole of a year for the world, in many ways it has actually been a kind of awesome year for me.
Remember that, Nadine! Dammit! Remember that this is the year that you started to take your love of travel seriously. You made it work. You ARE making it work. For the first time you have moved from that’s not possible to how can I make this possible? And that’s a big deal. And even though the state of the world pains you to no end, it has also served as a very grave reminder that life is to be lived now because later might not exist. And you’re getting better at it. Which is something.
Travelling is what I love. Talking about it. Thinking about it. Doing it. These are the things that help to keep niggly feelings of being overwhelmed at bay. Travelling is the big thing in the sea of little things that I use to breathe easy. It is the one that works the best. But it is also the one that is the hardest to maintain. It takes all the time. And all the money.
Lately I have realised though that local travel works too. No, it’s not quite the same as jumping on a plane and watching 12 hours worth of not great movies before touching down in another world, but it does still work. And it works really well.
I mentioned a couple of months ago that I was lucky enough to win a Nelson Mandela Bay Pass from NMB Tourism (see: #nayesuseshernmbtpass) and shockingly we kind of got too busy to make use of them until just recently. In the spirit of getting to know our own city a little better we decided to stick to the PE portions of the pass. We’re going to get to know this place better! I’ve lived here for nearly 17 years now. It’s time!!
Enter Alan Tours. (pg. 43 in the pass booklet)
Alan Tours offers a variety of all sorts of tours, most probably geared at foreign tourists rather than locals like myself, but the pass tour is a great half day tour of SAMREC, Cape Recife Lighthouse, and the Cape Recife Nature Reserve, and it’s a worthy way to spend the day even if you’re already familiar with the area. (pics: #nayesexploreswithalantours)
Ty and I have already been to SAMREC many times, but we love the place so we didn’t mind going again. I adore photographing the penguins and marvelling at the great work these folks do when it comes to their conservation. For the first time I got to experience the penguins feeding. It’s a bloodier affair than I imagined it to be! Another first was that I actually got to do the proper SAMREC tour for a change. (pics: #nayesexploressamrec)
I’m not sure how else one goes about taking a visit to the Cape Recife Lighthouse but hanging out with the Alan Tours folks is definitely a great way to do it. I particularly loved this part of the tour because my husband seemed to be in his element. We went right up to the top of the lighthouse, up the steepest not-a-ladder steps I’ve ever climbed. And the view? *sigh* Unfortunately it was a little rainy and a lot wet so I wasn’t too inspired to go around the other side to take better pics of the lighthouse itself. We’ll have to go back sometime – with the kids! – for better photographs! (pics: #nayesexplorescaperecifelighthouse)
Third on our afternoon agenda was a 4×4 ride through Cape Recife Nature Reserve. Of course, as South Africans, we’ve been through nature reserves before. We know what buck and zebra look like. Funny enough, I am starting to enjoy these sorts of drives, even though there was once a time when I found them a little dull. Perhaps age has brought me to a place of just revelling in the peacefulness of these sorts of places. (pics: #nayesexplorescaperecifenaturereserve)
I do have one question though: why are there so many dead snails in the reserve? It is covered in little while snail shells. They’re everywhere! Am I the only one who finds this a bit alarming? Or am I being naive?
I wish I’d taken a picture of the things. I should really be more science-minded instead of creative-minded sometimes.
Seriously: what happened to the snails?
No really. If someone could tell me about the snails that would be great…