A week in paradise is very good for the soul. (OK two weeks, so sue me…)
Our piece of paradise is far out of town. Its been dry here in Matabeleland this year. Very dry. We had no expectation of rain, it never rains in October.
It built up, though, within a day, you know how it always does in the early season. The deep purple clouds, the anvil, the spectacular lightening, the whole nine yards. The wind blew and we said Ya Ya Ya, it never rains in October…
We sat outside (that’s our little rain making ceremony…we leave things out on the garden furniture – camera’s, the tea things…You see if you take them inside, it won’t rain. If you go inside too early, it also won’t rain.) We sat out in that glorious weather, when the clouds are so low you can touch them and the trees shake about, and the lightening crackles and bangs.
Usually it either all pushes off, or it rains somewhere else. Usually somewhere you can see!!!
Sitting out there, laughing and chattering like kids, the camera out of it’s case, the sugar bowl carefully exposed we watched a massive lightening strike, you know the ones where there is no gap in between the clap and the flash, just down the hillside from where we sat.
My hair started to rise (static electricity, guys, not fear) and we gave up on the rainmaking ceremony.
We just made it inside and the rain came down in sheets. It was so cool. Usually in the first rains, I take all my clothes off and run about in the rain (that’s what I hate about living in town – neighbours) but I decided to give the ritual a swerve – lightening is attracted to warm bodies.
…and that folks, is how we began our ‘time out’ in paradise last week.
Its amazing the noise us humans make. There is nothing like the silence that follows a power cut. In one second of time, the stamp mill stops stamping, the fridge, freezer, shabeen music cut off to a soul stretching silence. Raindrops pound on the iron roof and blast the windows.
Our one week in paradise stretched to two…The power went off, on, off, on. It rained, cleared, rained again. The ceiling leaked – we cleaned the gutters, my laptop broke – we took it apart. My gray hair is now a rich purple, the lines on my face (need photo-shop.) In the end, we ran out of food entirely, but the nicest thing about running out of food is that we get to eat condensed milk in coffee. Can anything beat that?
I took pics as promised, but nothing matches up to the real deal. I failed utterly on shots of the the lightening, I was under the bed.
There really is a place called Paradise you know. Its south of Port Elizabeth.
Leaving Humansdorp, traveling to St Francis, I’d just changed into fifth, dropped the reins, given the horses their heads. Shortly after the s bend in the road, just before the flat piece, I came upon three surfer dudes holding huge surf boards, thumbs out.
Thank goodness for ABS.
Sliding the passenger window down I ask, “Where you guys headed?”
“Paradise,” the blond one answers.
“You going anywhere near there?” another asks.
I nod. Hell yeah. For sure.
Luckily I always carry loads of tie downs and carabina’s. Goodness, the fuss over their surfboards.. They stuffed things under them to make sure they couldn’t shift. Checked the tie downs were snug. Took their time. They said movement was not good, it could cause chaffing. I promised them I would keep an eye out, the rear mirrors on the Vigo are good, I told them….man are they good…
I know here I should describe the cut off shirts, the long, sun bleached hair, no shoes. Long board shorts, short tatty Tee’s. Washboard abs…But why the hell should I? I went to Paradise. Why should I share all the details? I won’t even tell you what the front of the cab smelled like: all that hot male, salt, surfer wax…I had been a little worried two of them may choose to sit in the back and watch over their beloved surfboards rather than squash in the jump seat, but no…they made my day.
They directed me left off the tar road and onto a reasonable dirt road (by Zim standards) which may explain why the dark, green-eyed one had flicked an assessing glance at the car before they accepted my lift.
Now if dirt driving is your thing, that road’s fair. It’s easily wide enough for two cars, has no middle mannetjie. The shale which collects up on the edges helps cornering. It’s a little corrugated in places, but the old rule of thumb: 8 or 80 kay works fine as usual…There are a couple of nice deep sand drifts. I love the feeling when that big diesel engine asks “a little more please.” Man, the power when the turbo really kicks in always turns me on…
Drive for about ten kays, swim round a corner and wham, a tiny little blue sign, half hidden behind a tree announces, “Paradise.”
Now here, our little piece of paradise is quite different. Here we don’t have the sea, and the road is worse. But we have the silence, the distant horizon. But like Paradise, hardly anyone even knows it exists…
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