Dear Mossel Bay & kie (Hartenbos, Klein-Brak, Groot-Brak, Ruitersbos, Friemersheim and everything in between)
Forgive me for I have sinned.
For years I have cast you aside.
I didn’t get you, I didn’t understand you.
Once upon a time you became known to me over a day trip or two from the other side of the Garden Route during the busy holiday periods when the smell of coconut sun cream, teenage desperation, mayhem, parking woes and crowds lingered around your shorelines.
Forgive me for seeing your coastal surface and not scratching deeper beyond your beaches, beyond your peak season; I sincerely apologise for looking in a different direction, driving past and thinking, “Nope, not for me.”
I’m sorry. I really didn’t like you. I couldn’t understand what other saw in you.
But then it changed.
And not gradually, but quite suddenly.
A ‘nope-not-for-me’ place turned into a ‘where–have-you-been-all-my-life’ kind of place in less than 24 hours.
I saw your bay with new eyes; I experienced your people and got a taste of your pride, your passion, your culture, your nature, your peace and quiet and your diverse office views.
I saw you had more, and just when I thought there can’t possibly be more than the ‘more’ I saw, another sight, another destination, another meal, another coffee bean jumped out like a Mossel Bay traffic cop right in front of me and beckoned me closer.
And I gladly obeyed.
I finally understood why you’re such a South African favourite and while holidaymakers thrive on your middle of December-Christmas-New-Year madness I still won’t peek in during peak season; but it is not you, it is just me and my aversion to the masses.
You see, I finally realised that you are more than just a pit stop en route to somewhere else, I finally realised that you are different without the smell of coconut sun cream, teenage desperation, mayhem, parking woes and crowds, after all these years I finally realised that you are a place for me.
Forgive me Mossel Bay for I have sinned; a few days ago I screamed behind you in the 80km/h zone for going too slow but last night, after exploring more on top of the other more, I headed back to my guesthouse and caught myself doing the exact same.
I’ve just started to scratch the surface but I know there’s more. See you in the slow lane again, soon-soon.
Ag no, screw the formalities.
Hugs and fresh snoek kisses,
Stay tuned for Mossel Bay related blog posts coming in the next few weeks.
*I was hosted by Mossel Bay Tourism but all opinions are my own.