For a kid who lived inland in Johannesburg, the annual trip to the beach was something I looked forward to all year. My folks had a sky blue VW Beetle at the time – each year, two parents, three kids and all their luggage fitted into this small car rather well. Such was the excitement of seeing the ocean that even at the end of an eight-hour road trip we still competed as to who saw the sea first. That’s kids for you.
Now Durban is vast, the third-largest city in South Africa, but the only place I cared about was the beach and the beachfront. It was a place of wonder – pools everywhere: splash pools, deep pools, shallow pools, pools everywhere. Funfair rides, water rides. Vendors selling sarongs, swimsuits and slops of all colours. Hawkers selling carved African statues, leather bags and beaded jewellery. The decorated rickshaws a unique attraction that I never got to ride on (yet), their owners calling to new customers. The Durban beachfront was, and still is, a patchwork of colours, textures, sights and sounds that made this little girl’s holiday.
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