Sweet River Life

Over the road and down the path lies our river. A couple of turns and bends away and it meets the sea.  Never complacent to the beauty of our surroundings we are constantly amazed at how lucky we are to live where we do and have a river on hand.

‘Crab Hole’, our swimming spot is where I jumped in, stark naked and eight months pregnant in a celebratory mood over our decision to purchase our funny ramshackled river house.

The river is where Sarah and I (pregnant again) spent long sunny Tuesday afternoons (when the restaurant was closed), playing ‘Mommy Crocodile – Baby Crocodile’, dragging ourselves through the shallow water and sand.

The river is where my hubby spent many painstaking hours by my side teaching me to kite-surf after I sold my restaurant and found time to play.

The river is where hot summer afternoons are spent cooling off with mud-baths and swims when the crowds and wind make the beach a non-option.

The river is what we stare out at while sitting on our stoep drinking our second, fourth or sixth cup of tea as we discuss life, plan our next adventure or just spend time together doing nothing. At times we get to watch the fish eagles hunt and on the rare occasion a buck or even an otto ambles down the river path.

The river is what we wake up to every day.

Chintsa River:  2002 -2012


When I was a kid I went to school in Texas for a year. On my first day while grappling with my locker a sweet boy stopped to help. My strange accent drew attention to my nationality and was followed with the stereotypical question that I was to hear over and over again that year: “Do y’all have lion in your yard?”

Now years later and settled into domestic bliss in the sleepy coastal village of Chintsa East, I can confirm that as a rule there are still no lion in the back-yards of South Africa, even out here in the sticks. But there are other forms of wild-life, in particular – monkeys.

Monkeys that cause constant mischief, sneaking in through open windows, setting off house alarms, stealing fruit or bread that isn’t packed away, and making a general  nuisance of themselves leaving behind a trail of monkey mess.

Managing to get in at times they have trashed the kitchen, breaking glass bottles and ripping open bags of pasta and flour. In their panic to escape they have smashed through glass window panes – like in the movies!

They are not shy these Chintsa monkeys. They know our weakness’ and smell our fear. Soon after my first baby girl was born my brave hubby had a stand-off in the kitchen with an alpha male – both of them in their birthday suits, one of them a lot bigger and wielding a broom – a scary sight indeed. The monkey was far less impressed than I.

As painful as they can be, we still love having them around. Hours are spent watching as they frolic in the garden and lounge around on our stoep, and their presence helps us feel like we still live in the wild. The troops are deeply territorial and they were here first. Having invaded their space, sharing it is the very least we can do. And in the spring the babies come. Ohh the beautiful little babies…….making up for the sins of their parents.

Read more about vervet monkeys here:

Spring in Chintsa East, South Africa 2012

River-Crossing II

 On a balmy late summer evening on Chintsa Beach, time was spent watching folk cross the river. My very first post was on the same topic and I must have read it about 30 times before posting. I am a less nervous blogger now but still very much in love the activity of watching people wade across our river mouth.

 At the moment unless it is spring high, the river is tame: Just enough water to cause a brief commotion but not enough to generate any fear.

 This may not seem like the most exciting of pastimes, but it is just lovely to watch.

 When this couple arrived we were curious to see if she would be offered a ride.

But it went the other way.

It’s the pure joy and laughter generated as people climb on and off each other that does it for me every time.

Late March 2012 – Chintsa Beach, South Africa