On a road trip from Durban to Kosi Bay, which takes more days than I budget for, I seem to bounce from face to face, rather than from place to place.
Just after dawn I find this a group of traditional healers on Addington Beach. They are in the middle of a purification ceremony, but they let me bumble about with cameras – strong faces, looking out to sea as if for a sign of something.
As part of the early-morning ritual of surfers in the waves off Durban, a Kris Kristofferson lookalike is the epitome of ‘Old Dude Cool’ as he strides off to the beach.
Somewhere north of Mtubatuba, my right back wheel begins to judder and I pull over. There’s a little village just off the R618 and a couple of kids gather to watch me change the flat tyre. Suddenly, I hear a few guitar chords and look up to see myself being serenaded by a very friendly little boy. I hand over all my ‘cubby-hole sweeties’ and drive on.
Near the town of St Lucia I come across another musician. This one has made a guitar out of an oil can. Yet somehow it sounds just as sweet as the other boy’s regulation Spanish six-stringer. Hmm.
Up at Kosi Bay, while looking in vain for a palm-nut vulture, I come across a woman who has cut herself an impeccable set of reeds. She looks across at me, half-smiles and wanders off into the deep bush.
Down at Rocktail Bay, on an afternoon soft-light safari, I find this fisherman with his line deep into the Indian Ocean. He already has a delicious-looking specimen lurking in his little backpack, but he won’t part with it. He says he’s hoping for another, to make up the family feast that night...