Travel stories of a Beagle
The sun shone relentlessly and made for the first hot day in late spring. I laid lazily in the shade of a mulberry tree, trying to bear the tickle of a fly, which had just landed on my haunches. Uhhhh, I don’t want to move, but this fly really irritates me. No, I can’t bear it anymore! In a flash I tried to catch it, but it had gone already. I imagined, how that parasitic insect was baring its teeth in a nasty smile at me. To hot to get up, I thought and lay down my drowsy head back on the soft grass. And there it was back again! At the same spot! Hap! Missed, damn!
– Hey, Vlou, let’s go for a swim in the sea! Marcelle, called.
- Yeeeees, I’m coming! Feeling excited I got up, but all of a sudden the word “swim” dawned in my brain. Whaaaaat! I don’t want to swim. I hate swimming! Anyway, what means “the sea”?
- Don’t look at me with this stubborn expression on your face, Vlou. You’ll like the sea. The sea will blow your mind. Come, Vlou, let’s go!
Not quite convinced, I lifted my bum grudgingly and followed her. Light-hearted she chose a fast pace through the neighbourhood of Noordhoek, a rural suburb of Cape Town. White chalked houses with thatched roofs and lush, large gardens lined the streets. Numerous horses roamed in pastures bordering the neatly trimmed lawns. A fluffy cloud covered the Chapmans Peak Mountain on the right hand side of us, but otherwise the sky was a steel-blue. A big white 4×4 passed us on the way to the beach. The head of a Great Dane peeked out of the front window.
- Hey, Boetie! See you at the beach! he called.
- Wow, it looks like that must be a fun place, I thought, giving him a brave nod.
Excitement! What a stunning landscape! Rolling dunes led us to a lagoon, that was full of flamingos. I didn’t know that they were flamingos till a tiny Yorkshire terrier with a ridiculous pink ribbon on her head told me. She was walking next to an old lady, snappishly lifting her nose at me. The flamingos stood only on one leg while they were resting in the glittering water. Their feathers were pinkish and they had an oddly shaped beak like a door handle.
Boetie? Why is he calling me Boetie? Doesn’t that mean “brother”? Must be some kind of Afrikaans slang, I thought, shrugging my shoulders.
– I’d rather follow my human. She wants to show me the sea!
– What, you’ve never seen the sea? The Great Dane looked sceptically at me. How can that be? Did your humans never take you for a walk to the sea up to now?
– It’s not that. I’m from Switzerland. There we have mountains and lakes, but no sea.
– Oh, you walked all the way from Switzerland to South Africa? He was flabbergasted.
– No, I flew with an airplane.
- Whaaaaaat, you flew with an airplane?! You can fly an airplane?
I now got tired of this conversation and added: – I’ll tell you another time. Have a good one, Boetie!
I had to smile about that inept friendly, but a little bit addlebrained dog.
Where was Marcelle? I had to squint to see clearly because of the bedazzling white sand of the beach.
– Vlou, come! I heard from far away. The wind had picked up, so I couldn’t hear very well.
- Come, Vlou, look at me. I’m in the sea. Marcelle stood in the middle of foamy waves, which were curling around her waist. Behind her the water stretched endlessly in different shades of blue to the horizon.
- It’s pretty cold, Vlou, but you’ll like it! Just dip your feet in the water.
I was stunned and a bit anxious about this impressive element called the sea. Every time I approached it, a wave would chase me out of the water with a roaring frothy curl. I bounded to the beach as fast as I could.
- Don’t be afraid, it won’t do you any harm as long as you don’t go to deep. Marcelle clapped encouragingly with her hands. Come, just get your legs a little bit wet.
I clamped my jaws together and ran as fast as I could in her direction, jumping over the first wave, and the second, and the … blub .. blub .. blub … An immense wave, much bigger than the previous ones had taken me by surprise. The water washed over my body and turned me upside down again and again. I could almost feel the sand under my feet, when another wave lifted me up again. Salty water entered into my nose and my lungs ran out of air, just then Marcelle lifted me up. Ufff, what a relief!
- You shouldn’t go too far into the sea in the beginning, Vlou. Be careful, she added and released me safely onto the beach.
I was safe, but jealously I looked at a muscular young Labrador, who bravely jumped into the waves to swim and dive for his toy.
– Labradors are built to swim, Vlou. You can’t compare yourself to him. And I’m pretty sure he grew up at the sea, too. So, be fair to yourself, you have other qualities! Marcelle tried to perk me up.
During our extended walk along the Long Beach of Noordhoek I had plenty of time to lift my spirits though. Even more so, when I met up with a most beautiful Ridgeback lady dog and we walked together into the sunset. Bliss xxx