The next step was to observe incidences. If they went down in Germany for seasonal reasons, they went up again in South Africa for the opposite reason, and vice versa. Then came the mutations, repeatedly, South Africa was mentioned in this context, which unjustifiably fuelled the fears of many people. Coincidentally, South Africa was able to lift all restrictions today (23 June 2022). The endemic state has already been reached due to the age structure and the social conditions, which used to lead to a larger “infestation” than in Germany.
Starting in the summer of 2021, things started to improve. Now we needed to make up our minds again. The pandemic was not over yet, and we wondered if more mutations would follow. We did not know, of course, but decided that we would finally turn our dream into reality. Just close your eyes and get on with it probably describes my mood at that time best.
Our children had also been very productive in the pandemic and had made us twice grandparents in March and April 2021.
In the meantime, we found a construction company. Jeanette had looked at some of the houses they had built for us and was very impressed with the quality they delivered.
Just in time for the start of construction, I finally flew back to Cape Town for the first time at the end of August with Sarah and Stella, our son’s girlfriend and our granddaughter, then barely 6 months old. The little one really mastered her first intercontinental flight with flying colours! I suppose that is a must when grandma and grandpa build a holiday home on the other side of the world.
On 1 September 2021, all three of us were able to break ground together. That was a very special moment. After all the restrictions and problems with the pandemic, it was now really happening, it was becoming reality.
The longer I was in Germany, the weirder it felt. Once I was back in Hout Bay, everything felt right and good again. As a result, it was a very special moment to see the property again for the first time after about 17 months. I felt a completely irrational joy – IT IS STILL HERE… and it was even more beautiful than I remembered…
When we arrived in Cape Town at the end of August with Stella, who was only 6 months old, it was still quite chilly. Originally, we had rented a cottage in Hout Bay, but then we realised that we just could not stay there with the dampness and the cold that was in the walls. Stella was already starting to cough. Fortunately, the young owner of the guest house was very accommodating when we informed her of our decision. So after 2 nights, we moved to a hotel in town. A heater and heated rooms to the right, left, above and below us increased the comfort level noticeably.
Stella is such a carefree child. When Sarah was writing a term paper for her studies, she would just come with me to pick out tiles. No problem at all.
Trip to Hermanus
We also enjoyed the opportunity to travel to Hermanus so early in the season to go on a whale-watching tour. At this time of year, you can still see the “mating groups”. Many male whales compete for one female. At some point, the poor thing simply turned onto its back to have some peace and quiet. It is a very special experience to see so many whales swimming around each other with all the sounds directly at and under the boat…
Back in Cape Town
Towards the end of our stay, we had a few more beautiful days in Cape Town and Stella discovered the beach with joy.
After two weeks we went back home to Germany, but already in November 2021 the three of us flew to Cape Town again, now with male company. Klaus and our son, Lukas, were on holiday and came along.
Stella, now very experienced in flying, did a wonderful job again, sleeping in the baby basket or on grandpa’s tummy. During this stay, we were able to enjoy the temperatures, which had risen considerably. For the first time, we visited the World of Birds in Hout Bay. The little squirrel monkeys took a lot of pleasure in little Stella and her toys…