Starting Thursday it was mid-term break for Baby's school. So on Friday I impulsively packed a bag and stuffed Baby and I on a bus to Durban.
It was one of my better decisions – the road trip brought a sense of fun and adventure that sometimes gets buried under the responsibility of work and parenting.
It was also great to watch the towns, hills and valleys from Gauteng through KwaZulu-Natal provinces speed past. Baby learnt quite a bit about South African geography.
Spending 7 hours in a moving bus (one way) also gave us time to chat and hang out without the pressure and distractions of daily life.
My sister and her husband, and some of my Durban-based friends were thrilled by our arrival. We spent Saturday at uShaka Marine World (http://www.ushakamarineworld.co.za/). As usual, Baby was hypnotised by the water and we had to drag her out for lunch before she went back in. At the end of the day, she still didn't want to stop the wet rides and I had to remind her of the mild cold she caught after Sun City ( she swam despite the lousy weather, and I told her I didn't want a repeat after this trip.)
I did spend some time in the water and went on a ride on the lazy river a couple of times. I also spent time in the ocean with Baby, riding very small waves. But I mostly sat on the beach catching up with my sister, taking a nap and doing a bit of creative writing.
I spent a lazy Sunday morning, sitting on my sister's garden watching the valley down below her house and reading novels while everyone else was at church. Her house has an incredible view of a valley, which has residential developments and some lush vegetation.
Another good friend, who I've known since I was about 23 and she was in high school, came over for lunch. Time and distance has no impact on that relationship and it felt wonderful to spend hours with smeone who knows and accepts me exactly as I am. It was just what the doctor ordered, but our stay was too short.
I want to do a children's story about travelling from Gauteng to KZN. When I was growing up, going to see the ocean seemed like an unattainable dream, and I want to share the magic with other kids for whom this journey seems far-fetched.
And for those kids who have travelled the route, I want to share snippets of information about the towns and wild spaces that they may have seen but not known much about.