DAY 2 18 July 2017 Kwelera

 Ripening bananas in the kitchen

Ripening bananas in the kitchen

Hurtling down the longitudes I arrive in Johannesburg at 7am. Here they announce airport security like an exciting and sophisticated fashion trend.

I'm on my way to East London, a city-port in the Eastern Cape 1000Km east of Cape Town, on a domestic flight. It's 18 degrees when I arrive at 11am. I'm met by Claire Cockott,  friend from my York days. She and her husband George run an artist's residency near Kwelera.

Enroute  home is a visit to a seed merchant in the back streets of East London, to buy chicken feed, followed by the St Bernard's Hospice charity shop to buy a present for a neighbours daughter's  birthday. Sadly, they were right out of fairies....

Kwelera is a tiny village with a few shops and from there it's a 15 minute drive to Driftwood Studios. The studios and house are tucked behind the sand-dunes in an area of ancient dune-forest and I can hear the thunder of the Pacific Ocean in the garden.

I remember that exactly a year ago  I reached another ocean. The Atlantic at Finisterra on the Galician coast, at the end of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela.

There, the sea was a peaceful iridescent powder-blue, here it roars dark; sucking and rumbling over black basalt pebbles, strewn with abalone shells and driftwood.


George and Claire beside the Pacific

George built the house on what was an old caravan park behind the dunes; it's a beautiful modern house with long arcades of wooden columns and polished concrete floors. My bedroom is on the ground-floor over looking the vegetable garden (which is regularly raided by troupes of monkeys) and has a lovely ensuite shower room with a hand-made sea-cobble floor. 


The first floor colonnade  

Their family consists of two children, Angus and Anna, eight chickens who all have names, a cat and a dog called Buttons - who chases the monkeys!

But it's cool because it's midwinter here and I'm very glad I bought a hot water bottle, warm socks and pyjamas!

George and Claire's children are sleeping over at a friend's house, so we go out for supper in a local restuarant- then it's time to lie out flat. I'm going to sleep well after my sky-wandering last night.


Amazing seaweed amongst basalt pebbles