Bloubergstrand is a seaside resort town along the shores of Table Bay, on the Atlantic Ocean, 15 kilometres due north of the city centre of Cape Town. The name Bloubergstrand literally means “blue mountain beach” in Afrikaans, and is derived from Blaauwberg, a nearby hill.

It is customary on my annual visits to the Mother City to take a walk along the long white, pristine sand beaches towards Melkbos Strand, notably because it is the closest beach to the northern suburbs of Cape Town, where two of my elder brothers have lived for years and the eldest for a shorter period. On occasions I have wandered for miles on my own, finding myself lost in my own thoughts in the process. Sometimes it’s my way of bidding a sad farewell to the city in which I was born, grew up and love so much. On this particular trip, I did a number of walks with my brothers on separate occasions, for no specific reason. Weather conditions can vary from one visit to the next, even within seasons, from sunshine to misty or even windy conditions, which make it popular with enthusiasts who take to the cold Atlantic waters to harness the power of the wind.

Urban expansion in greater Cape Town has accelerated alarmingly in recent decades, particularly along the coastline between Milnerton, Bloubergstrand and Melkbos, spreading inland towards the N7 highway (which runs north) and even beyond, in the direction of Durbanville. The impact of this rapid growth has undoubtedly had a massive impact on the sensitive coastal environment and ecosystems. I still remember the Big Bay area when it was largely undeveloped.

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