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  • Writer's pictureTim and Lindsey

Renewing vows and seeing beached whales? - Day 400

Yes, we have now been travelling for 400 days. Quite a momentous occasion, and so we celebrated it by renewing vows and seeing beached whales? Or are they?

Our last full day in South Africa. I felt a twinge of melancholy, similar to when we left New Zealand. We have had such a wonderful time in this incredible country. It has surpassed our expectations. Quite a few people seemed concerned about us coming to South Africa. Yes, there is crime, there is severe poverty, and there is corrupt people in power. But the other side of South Africa is beauty, incredible views, delicious food and the most friendly and generous of people….oh and lovely weather. In the morning we went to visit Nikki, who is my friend Julia’s best friend from when they were at Edinburgh University. Well, they may look different, Julia with her dark wavy hair and deep brown eyes and Nikki with her blonde straight hair and blue eyes (I think they are blue!), however they sound similar and had a way about them that was the same. It was rather uncanny. No wonder they are best friends – kindred spirits. We had such a lovely chat and it was a shame that it was our last day that we finally got together. Nikki’s youngest son was playing indoor hockey in a tournament nearby, so after our coffee we went to watch him play in the first half. I’ve never seen indoor hockey. With 6 in a team it is very fast paced with the players able to knock the ball off the sides, like snooker. At half time, we said our farewell and hope that we will meet again one day.

Before we left South Africa, we wanted to meet up with Keith and Cicely. We are both so fond of them. Cicely made us lunch and we had a good natter about what we have been up too and our usual fascinating conversation with her. Cicely’s father sounded fantastic and worked with many safari animals when she was a child. She shared how he had discovered that the sweat of the Hippo is a fabulous sun screen and high in antibiotics, so repairs itself. He loved these animals and at Cicely’s wedding said that great marriages are like hippos, you need to be thick skinned and quickly quick to recover from wounds. It has now become a family tradition to include some form of hippo (usual in the sweet format) at weddings and anniversaries. And talking of weddings. You may be surprised to hear that Tim and I renewed our vows while we were with Keith and Cicely! OK, let me explain. When we met fellow travellers Lisa and Andre in Langaaband, Tim noticed that they both wore wedding rings made from silicon and thought this was a good idea for us. I certainly don’t want a bandit chopping off my finger! So we bought one each last weekend. Tim’s is black and mine is turquoise (they didn’t do an orange version!). This morning, I spent quite a time putting ice around my wedding finger, rubbing in lots of washing liquid, holding my hand in the air to drain the blood and somehow, after 26½ years, managed to get my wedding ring off! So here we are, standing on ceremony in Cicely’s lounge with Keith looking very formal, Cicely being the chief photographer and us two recalling our vows; I even included the bit in our original wedding when I was supposed to say “My lawful wedded husband” but it came out as “My awful bedded husband”! haha. (Can I, for the record, say that Tim isn’t!).

We said our fond farewells and after getting our faithful, yet very dirty hire car cleaned, returned to Woodbridge Island for another beach clean-up withCape Town Beach Cleanup and Clean C. There were a lot more people this time, many with Christmas hats on which was nice to see. I have been amazed how little Christmas spirit there is here in Cape Town; no jiggle bells in the shopping malls, no houses covered in twinkly lights and reindeers on their porches. It hasn’t seemed like Christmas at all. We had a nice walk along the beach, chatted to a few people, filled up another dustbin liner with rubbish. I was glad that I’d put on leggings as the wind was giving poor Tim a sand blast on his legs. This time we managed to walk as far as the ship wreck that marooned here in 1904. From a distance it looks like a whale, and quite often the sea spurts out of a hole on the top, resulting in people often phoning the coast guards as they really do think it’s a beached whale. By the time we walked back, it was sunset and what a beautiful one it was, very fitting for our last evening in this wonderful country of South Africa.

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