Sand between my toes

You have now seen my toes. Consider yourselves privileged.
Earlier this year, the Boss (my wife) and I spent a weekend touring Cape Town. A relative of mine residing there recommended we visit the little known and fairly untouched Boulders Beach, which is approximately half an hour's drive from the definitively naval Simon's Town. The beach took some effort to locate (due to said relative telling us it was called 'Penguin Beach' or something like that), but we found it.

Penguins at Boulders Beach in South Africa.Image via Wikipedia

True to its name, the shoreline is basically composed of boulders, and the water is a crisp shade of teal. The thing that makes this beach even more special is that there are free-roaming wild penguins that inhabit the place.

We spent the afternoon strolling along the beach, eating ice cream and pointing and guffawing at the flightless waddling birds. I mean, they did look like pint-sized waiters with one-piece tuxedos and sore backs. All that was missing were antipasto scallops served on silver trays.

Just kidding. I love the little guys - in fact I sneaked one out of Cape Town, but it suffocated. They just don't make luggage like they used to...

It was not my intention to remove my shoes. I come from a highly respectable family. We're urban dwellers, so we simply don't do that shit. But I had left my Sony® PSP behind, and my wife somehow managed to lure me quite some distance along the coast away from where the car was parked.

With my family's honour and dignity on the line, I did something reckless - I removed my premium Adidas® sneakers, and clambered on through actual sand with my naked toes. I did it for my country. But also because there was no way I was going to get sand in my decks right then.
No, I wanted it between my toes. I wanted to feel the crunch of sand grains under my feet.

That afternoon, I got lost in translation. Living in the city severs your connection with nature it seems. We get preoccupied with our urban lifestyles, and our insatiable desire for a consistent supply of new technology, information, superficial crap and ways to satisfy ourselves. But we're never satisfied, because we're doing it wrong. Wading through the cold Atlantic water, writing in the sand and wiggling my toes in it reminded me of some things I once knew to be true as a kid. The world is my playground. The earth is my university, the humble creatures amongst us my teachers and inspiration. It's good to escape from the city now and then. South Africa is a beautiful country, unique in every way, rich with differing cultures, cool people, braais, vuvuzelas, skelms, gusheshes and everything between.
And I like sand between my toes.

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