Our annual Knysna holiday has become something of a family tradition. Every September/October school holiday we head to the same place, an intimate resort on the Knysna Lagoon, where, under a grove of indigenous Milk Wood trees, we rest, relax, rejuvenate, paddle, swim and generally, have a jolly good time (although that sounds far too active. Mostly I sit and stare with a G&T in hand trying to figure out My Next Move!).
This year was tinged with sadness as it was Kate’s last Knysna holiday as a schoolgirl and possibly our last one as a family of four – for a while.
Next year she’s heading to university where the September/October vac is often out of sync with the school terms and holidays. I felt so heartsore – as if it was the beginning of the end and we were all losing her. Which, in many ways, we are! We’ve been coming to Knysna, to this piece of paradise and most years to the same chalet, since she was three.
I suppose it’s apt that having started our Knysna holidays as a family of three (Jack arrived five years later), we will now revert back to a triumvirate (with you-know-who in charge!) – for a while.
So this time round we didn’t do our usual gadding about to Plett for wonderful walks at Robberg (Robberg Nature Reserve), meals (The Lookout Deck), shopping and sea swims; to the forest (Diepvalle Forest Walk) for spectacular walks or to the elephants (The Knysna Elephant Park) or the birds (Birds of Eden near Plett) or the monkeys (Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary). We stayed put. It was still special, though. Here are some happy snaps (don’t you love that word?) with extended captions.
Jack is in his element here … one of the loveliest things about these holidays is we always meet up with friends who we’ve made the year before or the previous one! This time Jack had a posse of followers, including two brothers who have been here three years in a row, and some girls too. “Jack, Jack” became a familiar refrain.
Kate just chilled, often resorting to mindfully colouring in (with precision and beauty), to take her mind off what lies ahead: the final term of her school career and those exams.
I love walking across the lagoon at low tide to the beach at Bollard Bay at Leisure Isle. The utter devastation caused by the fierce fires which ravaged Knysna and Plettenberg Bay is still painfully visible.
île de païn at Thesen Harbour Town on Thesen Island is one of our absolute must-dos. We dragged Jack away from the lagoon kicking and screaming but his croissant with bacon and creamy scrambled egg kept him quiet for a good while! île de païn is back in business after it was destroyed by fire two years ago – kaloo, kalay!
Bonding with my firstborn!
Every morning at the crack of dawn, my husband – who at home in Cape Town is anything but a morning person – was on the lagoon, paddling for up to two hours. Here he lets water run out of a canoe before setting off. #truepiscean
On a more sober note, the bleakness of the fire-ravaged Featherbed Nature Reserve on the Western Head is clearly visible.
The view, at dusk, of the lagoon from the Pezula Private Estate on the Eastern Head – breathtaking!
My two specials .,.
Jack and a furry friend this time.
And finally. Circa 2002 when Kate was three. The way we were … I am so grateful for these special family times and will always cherish them and the new ones still to come!