Aletta’s feast

wavesSunday, 13 July 2008

It had been a long hard slog along the coast, deep sand interleafed with really jaggered rock out crops. Occasionally we would be rewarded with a few hundred meters of hard flat beach. Our running had now frizzled out into a plod, our legs burning from the soft sand. The northwester was still trying to wriggle down our necks and sap every last bit of warmth and energy we had left. The rain would follow in intermitted squalls, relentlessly pounding us with these icy needles , most of them trying to find refuge in my right ear.

As we headed over the crest of a dune ahead lay the overnight camp, Noup, an old Diamond diver camp from the 90s. The most warming sight for miles around in the harsh windswept coast. A warm shower was the only thing on my mind as I crouched forward and pushed on across the bay, as the second thought began to surface – food.

Now warm and content, a surprise awaited, the camp owners, Dudley and Aletta had prepared a most welcome dinner, no grovelling in vehicles for something to suppress the hunger. Aletta had slaved over a little gas stove and oven preparing dinner. Behind where we were staying was a large room build out of coastal rock sparsely furnished with a large table in the middle. The whole room was washed in candle light. At the other end lay the banquet of home cooked passion.

Whole wheat bread “Plaas botter” tuna pie, spicy tomato pasta, seafood and cream casserole, braised Chorizo sausage and to end off, plump local dried dates. We ate and listened to stories that Dudley shared of his mining experiences along the coast. Plate after plate we devoured until finally the only thing that stopped me was that I was too tired to carry on eating. A quick good night and I headed to my bungalow like a Gannet doing a spectacular ocean dive.

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