An informal coastline tour

2008-02-01 00:00

IN the early summer of 2005 husband and wife team Chris Marais and Julienne du Toit set out on a 70-day journey that would see them traverse the entire length of the South African coastline from Alexandra Bay in the west to Kosi Bay in the east.

In this informal and reflective travelogue they describe their various adventures and quirky encounters with a broad cross-section of South African society, while vividly evoking the atmosphere of the various places they stopped at. At the wheel of his trusty bakkie Marais proves a disarming guide, bright and funny, while his narrative is consistently enlivened by his ability to home in on a pertinent or revealing detail.

Despite its generally humorous, laid-back tone the book does have a more serious purpose - to highlight the various threats facing our coastline.

The closing chapter, written by Du Toit, deals with a subject that is causing much concern and debate - since the late nineties pelagic fishing stocks have been moving steadily eastwards from their traditional west coast haunts. The reason for this is not yet fully understood although both overfishing and global warming have been blamed.

Elsewhere Marais makes no bones about his dislike for the seemingly unchecked property development (“bad taste hard at work with its little face brick fantasies”) that is irretrievably changing the face of our coastline, mostly for the worse. He is equally critical of the proliferation of golfing estates (“Where they see a fairway to heaven, I see a boring expanse of over-irrigated grass”) which he feels a country with our limited water resources can ill-afford.

Having travelled through many of the places he describes I can only concur with his sentiments.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.