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  • Writer's pictureTim and Lindsey

Kalk Bay is the Talk of the Town - Day 387

Do you know why Kalk Bay is the Talk of the Town?

In the 22nd June edition of the Forbes Magazine, an article called “The 12 coolest neighbourhoods around the world” written by Ann Abel put #KalkBay on the map. This old fishing village snug between False Bay and mountains of the Cape is now the talk of the town. The writer describes Kalk Bay as “a seaside haven…blanketed with quaint cafes, rustic fishing boats and colorful storefronts”. Did she go to the same place as us? We visited Kalk Bay today (pronounced “Cork) and, yes, it has a few colourful bohemian style shops, yet walking along, we experienced a rather unpleasant smell of diesel from too much traffic driving through. And where were these quaint cafes?

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a sweet little place, but I cannot imagine why it’s nominated as one of the coolest neighbourhoods around the world. What neighbourhood would you nominate? Stoke Newington, a London neighbour and its vibrant Church Street comes high on my list. OK, I'm biased, we used to live there back in the late 1990s.

We managed to find a parking place at a backstreet parallel to the main road, and our first shop was Papagayo, my kind of place, an Aladdin’s cave full of rainbow coloured quirky clothes, jewellery and bits and bobs. The strapline of the shop is “graceful imperfection”- Love it. And amongst this plethora of colour we were both looking for white clothes, would you believe it! Tim managed to find a nice shirt, but I like choice, and it was far too early in our search for me to make up my mind. After trawling some of the shops with no luck finding an outfit, we stopped off for lunch at The Courtyard Café.

Now, it may sound as if we only have delightful food, from what I write – that’s because we research and the food in South Africa is of high quality. This café certainly did not disappoint. Far from it. Tim had four ostrich meatballs and a lentil salad, and I had a medley of 5 salads, all in separate small dishes, and each were divine. I know a good salad, I used to have to make 3 a day many moons ago when I worked at The Green Door Café in Dalston, NE London. Let’s just say I left working there before I was asked to leave!

I asked who the chef was that made the salads and was introduced to Noreen. She looked a bit bashful when I thanked her. She didn’t need to be, she has a great talent when it comes to combining flavours, something I struggle with.

I left Tim at the café for a while, I think he was getting a bit bored rummaging around rails, and searched the rest of the clothes shops, finally locating long shorts for Tim. I returned to Papagayo, having a lovely chat with Debbie who works there. I shared with her the reason why we needed to buy white clothes, and she said that when she went to visit her son in the UK, he announced that they were going to a white party, and she only took black clothes with her. It sounded like she and her husband had a similar dilemma to us. She confessed that she hadn’t taken any white underwear. Nor have we. We had a laugh deciding whether I should wear my orange, green or purple bra under my white outfit.

Tim liked the shorts I found him; rather groovy for him, and serendipitously they had the same buttons as his shirt. I finally returned to Papagayo, buying some wide-legged white trousers and a pretty white blouse. Can you guess why we need white clothes?

We returned home for a constitutional stroll along the beach, watching young children playing in the cold sea, dogs chasing balls and sadly seeing three starfish stranded on the shoreline. I suddenly saw movement in the water, something black. Was it a whale? No, too small. A seal? No. We did laugh when two scuba divers popped up and waved to us. Early bedtime for us, it is Saturday tomorrow, so you know what that means…Parkrun!

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