A weekend at Mpekweni

The water is bright. I half close my eyes not wanting to look away but still mesmerised by the glittering surface. The sun is low and its rays still warm my face intensely. Rocking back and forth I think about the genius who invented swing seats; they must have been a child at heart. I can’t help think how great this one is because I can sway back and forth without spilling my beer on the seat beside me. A fish tails right in front of me, I want to fetch the fishing rods from the room but I’m paralysed by sheer laziness; Mpekweni seeps into my muscles. I feel as though I could quite happily sit here for the rest of my days.

The sea roars but the river water remains barely rippled. An egret wades on the other side and I wish I had a decent zoom lens to capture the perfect reflection, instead I decide to just enjoy it. Lush grass under my feet but the beach is a few steps away; I am torn as to which of the two I want to put my feet into. I feel my clock resetting. Why does the sea make such a noise? In this place it’s almost too loud, but I still try to strain my ears to hear beyond it.

I wish I was staying in one of the beachfront rooms.

I have come here to review a this classic old family beach hotel that once was a casino. Opened in 1985 by Sun International but now a family hotel and beach resort, this place is actually wonderful, but I can’t help being grateful I’m here out of season and there aren’t too many kids running around. I’m just sitting down by the river absorbing my surroundings. I love the Eastern Cape beaches, they stretch for miles either side and we almost begin making plans to walk the length of this coastline some day. They put us in a great big suite with more space than my flat back at home, I stand eyeing the jacuzzi bath tub and the rain shower; once again torn between which one I want more. We go fishing at sunset and catch two medium kabeljou which we release before heading up to a big buffet dinner.

After trying to inflict damage on the equally big breakfast buffet we take a canoe and a rod up the pale turquoise river paddling with the wind and commenting on how blissfully easy it is. We complain bitterly the whole way home, my arms ache fighting the wind but I am distracted by the sighting of a Fish Eagle. The rest of the weekend was a mixture of beer, swimming pool loungers, beer, lunch, nap, massage, spa bath (yes I did with bubbles) wine, more buffet, more wine and long beautiful walk along the beach in the early morning light. Really a perfect weekend.

Thank you Mpekweni.



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