Unequivocally, Durban is the warmest place to be – it is practically summer all year round with its sub-tropical climate and laid-back, friendly people.
Most mornings (when I am home, of course), at first light, I spend at Durban’s vibrant beachfront: running along the soft, golden beach sand; cycling up to thirty kilometres along the promenade, up and down the piers, around Moses Mabhida Stadium, across the Umgeni River and back again; surfing even in winter, mostly with a spring wetsuit; and recently, my new found addiction, yoga with Lauren from SurfSup Yoga. At dawn this morning I warmed up with an hour’s run along the beach sand before enjoying a soothingly stimulating session of yoga at Snake Park Lawns, on the promenade. Exercising alongside the ocean, while watching the sun rise and sharing it with others that were clearly health conscious, was an experience to behold.
A few hours later, mid afternoon, I returned to the beachfront with my camera where I experienced a completely different world compared to the world at dawn. A promenade teeming with people, from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds, exultant and savouring everything the beachfront had to offer from rickshaw rides to Zulu dancing, and everything in between including the young hammerhead sharks.
Besides people watching, the young scalloped hammerhead sharks had to be the next best thing about visiting the beachfront. Temporarily accommodated in the Point Waterfront canal, the curious sharks will remain there until they are large enough to be exhibited at uShaka Sea World. With the sunlight bringing out their different colours, ranging from pinks to browns, it’s a great pleasure observing them glide through the water. And especially while not many people know of them swimming out there in the open. Until now, perhaps.
Candid photographs of people enjoying themselves proved out of the question. Almost every time someone spotted me attempting to be as candid as possible, they rushed over to pose for the shot, calling out to their friends who all needed to be in the frame. And then, surprisingly, they all begged to be in the photo with me. Using their mobile phones, they snapped photograph after photograph, group photos with me in the middle, photos with me and each one of them separately. I’d never before made so many friends in such a short space of time.
Durbanites are the heart and soul of this warm vibrant cosmopolitan city, and it’s the main reason Durban is the warmest place to be. I couldn’t feel prouder to call Durban my home.
The beach at dawn, a pity I only had my iPhone with me and not my full-frame camera.
The beach in the afternoon, especially captured with my Nikon D810.