Knysna is a fairy-like town, for those of you uninitiated with the place. Magical and marvelous, it is also kind of other-worldly. I think it’s the knowledge that the sea lies just behind the two ‘Knysna Heads’ yet you can’t quite get there, but have to go around to visit the beach. Almost as if the whole town is inward facing, rather than laid out in a way that directs people to view the ocean. Anyway, luckily they have a splendid lagoon for you to gaze upon, so that makes it all the more easier on the eye.
For the second time (out of two visits to Knysna) I was to stay on Leisure Isle. An island near the sea-end of the lagoon, that hardly makes you feel like you are in a town, or the real, modern world at all. Kids cycling bikes, people walking, men dredging up prawns with their sons at sunset, the slow pace of life… it all resulted in a feeling like you’ve been transported back thirty years – to your childhood. The time was incredible, and better so was the knowledge that I was getting paid to be there. Having photographed a string of places – from a mountain lodge in the Karoo, to a hotel in Port Elizabeth, and a few others including Tamodi Lodge just up the way – it was really satisfying knowing I could relax while casually “at work”. The modern life is not something I envy, or enjoy, for most of its trappings outweigh its benefits. But, some days, like these times in Knysna make you reflect how fortunate us youngsters are to be able to ply away at our trade, in a bed, on a house on an island, for a week or so, in an escape from a cruel Cape winter.
Next year, I certainly want to do the very same thing again, and potentially push ‘repeat’ every year or so thereafter. Eden was touched, heaven was visited, and I shall be coming again soon!