That’s a direct quote from the lady behind the counter in the bottle store, by the way.
Agulhas is packed. Fuller than I’ve ever seen it.
And while I’m happy that (according to several sources) the area is enjoying a bumper holiday season, I don’t really like all these people being around.
The fact is that the local infrastructure can’t cope with this huge influx of tourists. And I’m not just talking about the shops and restaurants, although they are happily groaning under the collective weight of tens of thousands of Gautengers: the food outlets are struggling to get the dishes to their patrons timously and the local supermarkets are finding it difficult to keep the shelves stocked.
This is fair enough though, becuse you can’t restructure your entire business simply for two weeks of the year. The staff are new and untrained, because there’s no demand for them at any other time, and the kitchen size is more than adequate for more than 96% of the year.
But it’s not just food and drink that’s the issue. There’s simply not enough water to go around and thus, there are some draconian restrictions in force. Not that they are being enforced in any way, of course. And this means that Kobus and his extended family who are down from Pretoria (and there are a whole lot of Kobus’s about, believe me) are out unnecessarily washing their massive double-cabs twice a day, before they begin their Groot Trek back up North on the weekend, leaving Struisbaai some breakfast and taxi fare home. But no drinking water.
It’s not just that though. It’s personal too. I don’t want to have to share my beach. It’s not actually my beach, but it is my beach, if you see what I mean. If I’d wanted company, I’d have gone to Hermanus. But I much prefer wandering along the empty coastline with just the oystercatchers and the waves for company. Now I have Kobus and his fisherman friends filling the rocks every day while they discuss the latest vehicle shampooing techniques and plan where to have tonight’s dubbel brandewyn en Coke.
And yes, I’m “a visitor” too, but I like to think that I’m a bit different. I didn’t bring down any car cleaning products and I refuse to use a hosepipe unless I have express permission to do so. I’m nice like that. So thanks for coming, Kobus, and thanks for supporting the local tourist industry and the local businesses.
But your time is up now, the Jukskei is calling you and I want my beach back.