We arrived in uMdloti at around 21h30 last night. “The traffic congestion along the N3 section from Pietermaritzburg to Durban was bumper-to-bumper because of a truck that overturned near Cato Ridge,” says The Fossil. “That’s why we arrived here so late!’. Personally, I think he just got lost (we weren’t driving the all-electric Jaguar iPace, so he couldn’t use the car’s GPS and his phone battery was flat – again!).
Anyway, it was raining when we arrived at the pet-friendly Garden On The Beach holiday apartment suite on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast. And this morning is a bit cloudy but warm with a light salty breeze.
Obviously the garden at Garden On The Beach isn’t actually ON the beach. If it was then the garden wouldn’t be fenced and I wouldn’t be able to have my leash off ’cause The Fossil (aka Desmond) is worried that I’d run away (that’s what us Huskies do, right?).
So Garden On The Beach is actually the Garden Above the Beach. Well, across the road from the beach, at an apartment building called Sorgente. That’s at 30 North Beach Road, near uMdloti’s tidal pool and the life saving club· Apartment 101 has a super long lawn with Strelitzia plants and other shrubs on either end.
There’s a balustrade bordering the lawn on the seaward side to stop people falling off the first floor (and dogs from jumping over it) and a long verandah on the other side where dogs (and cats, I guess) can lie on the cool floor tiles while their human pets do their favourite things, like braaing and drinking.
Inside, Garden On The Beach (aka Sorgente 101) has an ensuite main bedroom with a king-size bed, a 2nd bedroom with a queen-size bed, and a 3rd bedroom with two single beds. In the siting room there’s WIFI and DSTV, a fully equipped kitchen, Outside, there’s two on-site parking bays – one undercover in the basement parking, and one open bay parking just three meters from the front door.
This pet-friendly apartment is owned by The Fossil’s friend, Françoise Malby-Anthony – the famous author of An Elephant in My Kitchen and The Elephants of Thula Thula (meaning ‘peace and tranquility‘ in Zulu). Françoise is also famous for having founded the Thula Thula Game Reserve in Empangeni with her late husband, Lawrence Anthony. Lawrence was a great conservationist, an environmentalist, an explorer, and also a bestselling author with book titles like Babylon’s Ark, The Elephant Whisperer, and The Last Rhinos.
The Fossil says that you must read these books ’cause they’re all about saving animals, which is what my Ride4Huskies fundraising journey is all about. And when you buy them, be sure to book a night of six here so you can read them with the sound of waves crashing on the shoreline in the background while your furry friends frollic safely in the garden.
Anyway, I took The Fossil for a walk on his leash and met this friendly Great Dane for a butt sniffing session. uMdloti is a very pet-friendly place and lot’s of dogs walk their humans along the promenade here.
I haven’t seen the sea since my walk to Cape Town two years ago. “The Indian Ocean here is a lot warmer than the Atlantic is, Jaxx,” quipped the know-it-all Fossil.
Across the road from the entrance to Sorgente 101, there’s a weird looking dude in flashy clothing who looks like he’s walking but doesn’t move at all! I wouldn’t like him to walk me!
I’ve gotta go now ’cause The Fossil wants to get the Jaguar iPace from JLR Pietermaritzburg by 15h00 so we can drive back before the rush hour traffic starts. We’re supposed to stay at the pet-friendly Gracelands Beach Lodge in Ramsgate on the KZN South Coast tonight but we’ve had to cancel that ’cause we don’t want to arrive there late at night again.