After exploring Cape Town for a few days we travelled eastward to KwaZulu-Natal where M was born. After landing in Durban’s King Shaka Airport we took our rented E Class and drove a further 20 minutes up the coast to Ballito, an oceanside vacation town on South Africa’s Dolphin coast. In Ballito we stayed at the swanky Coco de Mer Boutique Hotel only steps from the warm waves of the Indian Ocean. Our rooms were luxurious, with beautiful bathrooms; they looked out on a tropical forest complete with blue-balled monkeys screaming in the trees, and lizards basking in the sun. You can read my TripAdvisor review here. Though M was raised in Queensborough, a suburb of Durban, we decided to stay in Ballito because of safety issues in the city and because it’s perfect for a relaxing time away. In the morning we would watch a herd of 30 dolphins travelling along the coastline, frolicking in the waves, as if to great the morning’s visitors to the beach. We spent countless hours in the sand, enjoying the sun and surf, eating at little oceanside restaurants and generally enjoying the local sights and sounds. Hopping into our rented car, we went to explore where M had grown up – his old houses, school, and scout hall. It was interesting to see the things that had changed, and the things that hadn’t. Incidentally the woman that run the tuck shop when mark was in elementary school was still there 25 years later – and recognised him!
Only a few short days in Ballito before the main event – our safari next.