A Third Beach Holiday

I remembered two beach holiday in my schooldays: A stay in a cottage in Chaka’s Rock and in a high-rise of ‘holiday flats’ in Durban.

But then Sheila revealed her 1971 diary: Our winter trip to Pennington, where Dad had bought a plot of land and was having a cottage built. Or as South African men often say, ‘building a cottage.’

I remember trees and dirt roads and that we were near a boundary. On the other side of that was ‘Umdoni Park’ said Dad. The cottage was on a corner plot at a crossroad. The road that ran towards Umdoni ended a short way past the corner. A shorter way down that dead-end road a big tree stood on the right with a branch stretching out over the dirt road. On that branch sat a Nerina Trogon. And that’s all I remember from that trip to Pennington.

But Sheila kept a diary. It was a nine-day holiday. We camped in the half-built house; We met six young guys on three 50cc buzzbikes and had a great time buzzing around the empty dirt roads on the sparsely-built sub-tropical coastal village of Pennington,. three-up per bike!

We walked to the beach, we swam in the rock pool, we walked on the beach; we drove further south to Margate and (fill in here from Sheila’s diary in my whatsapp) – to be continued . .


The Narina trogon of Africa utilises a wider range of habitats than any other of the world’s fifty-odd trogon species. It can live in habitats ranging from dense forest to fairly open savannah, and from the Equator to southern South Africa. It is the most widespread and successful of all the trogons.

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