14 August 2011 by Chris Marais

Eyes Resting on Big Waters

Living in the Karoo, one’s eyes get used to scanning the wide horizons. It’s Big Sky Country, much like the open prairies of New Mexico in the USA, and you’re always on the lookout for a passing vulture, a particularly creative cloud formation or the wonderful way the ridges of Karoo mountain ranges kiss the sky.

But sometimes, just sometimes, it’s so very pleasant to be by the sea and just sit and stare out at Big Waters. I know a guy who lives in Springbok, Jopie Kotze is his name. If you want to know anything about the flowers of Namaqualand, just ask Jopie over at the Springbok Lodge & Restaurant. Jopie is Flower Central every spring in August - September, when his town is full of flower safari-goers.

But ask Jopie where he takes his holiday and he’ll say Hermanus. He books in at a seaside hotel, moves a comfortable chair onto the porch, sits down and stares blankly at the sea. For three weeks at a time. After that, he’s ready for the thirstlands again.

That’s how we feel about our annual visit to Cotton’s Cottages up at Paradise Road in Simon’s Town. A cup of coffee and a rusk on the porch, with the comings and goings of False Bay below us, a day spent with our noses in a book, followed by an evening glass of wine in the same spot as the lights of the historic seaport wink on - heaven on a stick for us Karoovians.

Simon’s Town itself is a playground for naval historians, book lovers and those who like to winkle out eccentric stories. After a week spent exploring the Historic Mile of St George’s Street, we spend one last evening gazing lazily out to sea before returning to the interior and more vulture-spotting.

Category: Culture & History

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