At last the sea
Tuesday, 08 July 2008
Port Nolloth originally an old copper belt port, but its now home to a new breed, the hardened diamond diver. Characters larger than life and as you sit and listen to their stories about the coast and look at their weather beaten faces, you can almost count the hard years by the wrinkles on their faces. The newest story that was abuzz in the town was about Budgie who after 20 years of diving out nothing but gravel, was finally selling up and leaving town destitute and had enough, but a few weeks before he was about to leave, he struck the jackpot, a 23 carrot stone worth millions. Diamond fever was rife in town.
Before the fever got to us we headed on down the coast, but slap bang into a security fence. A ninety degree turn, and once again away from the coast we ran, for 15 demoralising km until we finally hit the road to Klein see, some 40 km away. The rain was pelting down and the dry parched earth had now turned into a slush . Sliding and slipping we staggered down the track and on into the blackened sky, the wind hammering the raindrops into our backs. We could hear each drop explode as it hit our Gortex rain gear. A deafening sound in our cocooned environment of high tech gear. Kilometre after kilometre we pushed on. Our feet had now grown to huge 1kg blobs of mud as the slush build with each step. The sea of mud took a right turn and began heading back towards the coast. As we slowly meandered down the long gentle down hill, once again we could hear the drone of the angry storm-enraged sea smashing into the coast.
As we rounded the hill we came across an old church in the middle of the veldt with a heard of every conceivable Bakkie parked around it. The whole farming community was paying their last respects to a local farmer who had passed on.
There ahead lay Klein see a private mining town, in its day a bustling community of some 3000, but due to the diamonds having lost their shine in the area, now the population is down to just over 1000 and a sustainable life of only another 5 years. Our guides assigned to us for the diamond area ahead Rob and Sandra met us at the Klein see Spar. After a short stop and a cheque hand over from the store owner and a photo session we jogged on out.
Heading through the back of town we plodded on, the drone of the sea getting louder until finally, for the first time, we were really running on the shoreline. There is something so special about the sea, I have my spent most of my life in some way being influence by the sea. To me it is home and there is some hidden attraction, the continuous energy and movement is so therapeutical after a good run along the coast you can always go back and face anything.