If you compare this photo to the one in my previous post, that was taken last night, you can see that the fires are closer. They must be getting quite close to the suburbs high up the mountainside.
Tag Archives: Strand
There has been a fire around Stellenbosch for the past few days and last night it had spread onto Helderberg, above Somerset West. This photo was taken from my front garden in Strand.
I suppose it’s due to the economy that there has been a slow start to the holiday season this year. Normally by this time our little town would be buzzing but as yet I’ve seen only a handful of cars with out-of-province plates.
This is what Strand beach looked like around 09:30 on Wednesday morning.
As seen below, Saturday was busier but still not as busy as I would expect at this time of year. December 16th is traditionally the date that most people start their vacations so I expect it will get busier during this week.
When we moved from Gauteng to the Western Cape at the end of 1999, we chose to live in Strand; mainly for the small-town atmosphere and the lovely beach front.
The small-town atmosphere is still largely there, despite the huge amount of development going on in the area around Somerset Mall. The beach front though, has changed dramatically; for the worse, most locals would feel. Gone are the small hotels and holiday apartment blocks that accommodated scores of holiday makers in the December summer holidays; they have mostly made way for flashy new high-rise residential apartment blocks, with more being built all the time. There are still a few houses and small blocks, but as the signs in this photo show; their days are numbered.
The new blocks going up are expensive, with apartments being advertised with come-ons like “From only R2,500,000”. Perhaps I’m naive but I fail to see how the word only can be used with a figure like that. I wonder who the residents of these new blocks are and how they feel about the state of the area their shiny towers are in? Beach Road and the beach front facilities, once the big tourist draw cards, are in disrepair. The historic jetty has been unusable for years but rather than being repaired or simply demolished, it has been fenced of in the most unsightly manner possible.
This is the tidal pool on Strand beach. Don’t be fooled by the bright light and blue sky, we’re moving into winter here and it was only 11 or 12°C with a chilly wind when I took this yesterday. The sky behind me was quite grey as there was a front moving in; it started raining just a few minutes after I took this shot.