We were finishing up Tobi’s haircut in Livingstone at the end of my last post. We are now Durban bound. Our final night in Livingstone involved swimming in the hotel pool (well, Tobi swam and we watched. It was too cold for our desert blood), eating, and watching a movie. All vacation type things. We arranged our taxi to take us to the airport the following morning for our flight to Durban.
We had to include Durban into our trip because Tobi had heard us talk about it so much, and had seen the pictures of himself on the beach in a baby bed (he was TINY!). We looked into staying at the same place we’d stayed when we were there in 2000 – The Oyster Box – but it had been ‘renovated’ and was over $300/night. So we figured a simple visit to the hotel would be enough of a walk down memory lane.
But I’m getting ahead of myself…First, we boarded another plane. Here we are walking to the plane.
Coming in for our first landing – we had a stop in Johannesburg before moving on to Durban.
Even more developed than we remember 13 years ago!
The thing that was really cool about this trip is that the Louts were meeting us in Durban as well. The Louts consist of Scott & Sarah (Sarah is Neal’s sister), Luke, Grace and Claire. Sarah was with us in 2000 when we visited Durban with Tobi so she remembers the Oyster Box too. Scott works for World Vision and is currently the National Director for the country of Lesotho. They graciously agreed to make the 6 hour drive to Durban with the family so we could hang out there for a few days. We don’t get to do that very much – hang out. So they took off Tuesday morning by road, and we by air. They made all the lodging arrangements and while the family got settled in there, Scott picked us up at the airport. It was great to be together and Neal and I got the long end of the stick regarding accommodation – Scott and Sarah hung with all the kids and Neal and I got our own room!
The first day dawned beautiful and sunny. Grama was anxious for a picture of the kids together so we quickly took this one before heading to the beach. Claire, Grace, Luke & Tobi. Tobi is one year older than Luke but they have always been the same height. And even though it’s out of both of their controls, their height has always been a point of competition. Tobi has finally passed Luke. Those are some good looking kids!
Here’s the place we stayed – quite close to the water.
We ate breakfast here one morning.
It was quite lovely.
Close enough to walk.
So walk we did.
The boys wasted no time getting in.
I can tell you that the Indian Ocean is FREEZING this time of year! And everyone was jumping around in it like they didn’t even notice. And even though there are no pictures of me (I have an aversion to being photographed in a bathing suit), I really did get it.
What follows are pictures of beach fun. Lots of pictures…
Claire bravely battling the waves.
Sans boogie boards.
Check out Luke’s hand on Tobi’s face.
Watching these guys walk with their boogie board/bathing suit rash was pretty comical.
Serious about digging.
Grace adding some artistic touches.
One more wave.
Scott – you can caption this yourself….but I must say you’re looking pretty proud of yourself!
This is how beach chillin’ is done. Complete with McDonalds umbrellas.
We had 2 days to enjoy the beach, and we spent a day visiting our old stomping grounds. Well, I guess stomping grounds is a bit exaggerated, but we were there 3 times in the year 2000, so that should count for something!
I’ve already mentioned the Oyster Box and how it upgraded to a fancy hotel. No worries. The thing we remembered about it was this lighthouse, and that was still there. We had to go through security to enter the hotel, but we did that like we knew what was going on. Then on we went on a self guided tour. It was near this lighthouse that we played in the tide pools and found octopus. Tobi was in a carry baby bed and we’re missing Trae and Tanika, but other than that it was just the same…
I believe Uncle Scott is pointing out downtown Durban from the Oyster Box.
We enjoyed a great make your own yogurt shop before continuing our tour.
Next stop was a little amusement park near the ocean. This looked pretty harmless (non dizzying).
Off they go.
What we didn’t consider was how high this thing really was.
It was really high. And these dudes are looking down – not with their eyes but with their bodies. Neal and I were behind them and I was taking note of the loosely fitted bar that was holding us in. Which is what was holding them in.
I’m not easily afraid, but I must admit I felt quite nervous flopping around up there. And our kids flopping around up there. I would have preferred a nice tight harness or something of that sort.
Happy to be on the way down. Geez that’s high!
Seriously, can you just hold still?!
Next stop was to a really cool, really huge mall. It holds some claim to fame like the biggest mall in the Southern Hemisphere — not exactly sure. But it was impressive. Here’s Claire being part of the OZ family.
Luke should have been part of the cast!
As I said, this mall was impressive. We saw The Croods, rode a virtual roller coaster and just had a fun time. As you can see, the family is pretty cool.
We intended to play more games in the evenings, but we were so tired everyone crashed. Well, I think everyone. Now that I’m thinking about it, the kids were with Scott and Sarah…
We had a great few days in Durban reminiscing and creating new memories. The next leg of our journey would take us to the Lout’s home in Lesotho. I hope to write about that soon.