development in paradise

we went away last weekend to what is probably my favourite place in the world.

but now i’m not sure anymore whether it is.

it’s a campsite surrounded by mountains and mountain pools about 250km from cape town. the last 50km are gravel road, including a mountain pass. sometimes the roads are good sometimes the going is slow. there’s no cellphone reception, and there are plenty more stars in the sky than above the city!

 i’ve been going there at least once a year (sometimes more) for the last 15 years – just to get away from it all. now i’m not in such a hurry anymore…

i’ve seen change happen slowly over the last years – you can now book by e-mail instead of by telephone. the trees in the campsite have grown a lot. they’ve built an additional ablution block. they’ve put up a gate with a lock – and you only get the combination when you’ve bought a permit. there are lots more people. the office has a computer monitor with a slide show of photos of the region.

the change from totally-getting-away-from-everything has been slow, and in many cases not noticable. until friday.

on our way there, we came around a bend on the gravel road, and saw a traffic sign. a triangular one with 3 large circles on it. one in red, one in yellow and one in green.

a traffic light ahead on this road?

and wraggies waar – there we came across a stop-go system in the middle of nowhere. they’d narrowed the road to allow construction.

construction that includes paving the road… the beginning of the end…

this means that the road will be better – which means more people will be coming through…

at least they’re not tarring it, but using some sort of grey pavers.

it’s that catch-22 situation of wanting to keep coming back to a beautiful spot, but not wanting anyone else to share the experience, because eventually it will be totally changed.

maybe i will catch myself going back again, but definitely not in november. the white fluff coming off the plane trees is murder!

all the bitching aside, we did have a super weekend though – walking, swimming, bundu-bashing down the river, snoozing, eating, talking, playing like children. great to have got out of the city 🙂

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