WATCH: Seeing the Durban Beachfront with new eyes
When you are at home for what feels like an eternity, you start to appreciate the little things. It was only after the national lockdown that people began to appreciate their hometown attractions. Activities like going to the beach, something people took for granted, were missed. It has been three months since I've been to the Durban beachfront. My last visit was sometime in March during a plogging session with friends.
There are not many people at the beachfront when I arrive after 2 pm. Besides a group of cyclists and some joggers, it looks empty. Grinning with excitement, I jump out of my car with my mask firmly fixed on my face. The visit will allow me to get my steps in, and take in some of the beachfront's grand ocean views. I'd expected everything to be the same, but a few minutes into my walk, I realised that everything has changed.
People are wearing masks, maintaining social distancing regulations, and appreciating one of South Africa's most frequently visited spots. As my friend and I start our jog, we cannot help but make a few pit stops along the way, whipping out our cellphones with glee to capture new memories.
The first stop is a tunnelway that leads to Moses Mabhida Stadium. Although it was the route for my segway excursion a year, I didn't notice the hand-painted images of flowers on the tiled walls that stretch from the start of the tunnel towards the end.
In between our leisurely jog, we take breaks to admire the ocean from the many piers scattered along the main strip of beaches.Usually occupied by fishermen and lovers hoping to escape the crowds, the pier is the ideal place to capture the glory of the Durban beachfront precinct, or some solace while enjoying the sound of the waves crashing on the shoreline.
A simple trip to the beach made me realise that visiting a place doesn't mean you have experienced it. I've visited the beachfront for years, but never fully appreciated it. Until now.