"Die weer en die ekonomie het saam gespeel om hierdie ook een van die eienaardigste vakansieseisoene te maak wat verkope betref. Omdat daar soveel lekker sonskyndae was, het meeste van die vakansiegangers die tyd gebruik om op die strande te wees en minder in die winkels rond te loop.
Die oord self was soos normaalweg vol bespreek vanaf 20 Desember tot 03 Januarie. Dit was ook hierdie jaar asof die verspreiding van vakansiegangers in die dorp meer egalig oor die hele tydperk was. In die verlede het alles gewoonlik opgebou na die 23ste Desember en as jy daardie oggend wakker skrik, dan lyk dit of die hele Suid-Afrika op Hartenbos neergesak het om vakansie te kom hou. Hierdie jaar was dit al vroeër besig – reeds van die naweek van 14 Desember, en alles was konstant besig reg deur die seisoen. Dat hier wel meer motors was is ongetwyfeld ‘n feit en ons sal indringend moet kyk na meer parkeerplek in ons kusdorp!
Wat die vermaak betref wat ATKV die jaar aangebied het is ons opgewonde om te kan sê dat ons eerste Studentejol suksesvol aangebied is. Vanaf 02 Desember tot 06 Desember het ons Die Heuwels Fantasties, Jack Parow, Francois van Coke, Brendan Pyper, Bittereinder en Held on till May gehad wat die studente in die aande vermaak het.
Dan het InAfrikaans ook die bygedra tot die vermaak in die Amfiteater met Steve Hofmeyr se konsert op 22 Desember en die twee groot gala-aande op 28 & 29 Desember. Laasgenoemde aande het elkeen ongeveer 10 000 mense getrek, terwyl Steve se optrede ongeveer 6 000 mense gelok het.
Dan het ons ook hierdie jaar ‘n “Meer-Fees” inisiatief gehou om al die ander aktiwiteite te ondersteun en het ons byvoorbeeld vir Willem Botha en Elandré in die Pretpark gehad om twee aande daar op te tree en ook vir Jay, Saarkie, Radio Raps en Arno Jordaan in die Skoffelskuur Saal. Hierdie optredes, alhoewel op kleiner skaal, het ook goeie aftrek gekry.
Alles in oënskou geneem, was hierdie ‘n baie rustige en geseënde vakansie tyd. Daar was regtig min klagtes van ons gaste, geen voorvalle van ernstige misdaad en min beserings en geen noodgevalle op die oord.
Ons het deurgaans vrolike vakansiefoto's en nuusgebeure op ons Facebook-blad geplaas om lesers ingelig te hou en ook as bewys van Mosselbaai se prestasie as "Gelukkigste vakansiedorp in die wêreld".
13 January 2019:
Sorry, Mr UN Secretary-General, they just keep on jumping in front of us . . . photo-bombing ALL the nature shots!
The UN assignment was:
"Since the United Nations has noted and duly agreed that the coastal town of Mossel Bay in South Africa is the worthy winner of the Happiest Holiday Town in the World title, can you please supply us with additional material that focuses on the town's main assets, culture, landmarks and tourist attractions?" - António Guterres, UN Secretary-General.
Easy-peasy, right? Rich, colourful culture and history; origin of modern man; Dias Museum and it's Caravel; prolific marine life, etc. etc?
We set off bravely with the camera last Sunday to capture Mossel Bay's most scenic and remarkable assets as a traveller/tourist will experience it.
Being such a glorious summer's day, the natural route would be all along the pristine coastline with its rivers, sandy beaches and seaside restaurants towards the harbour, museum, St Blaize cave & lighthouse right up to Pinnacle Point . . .
But OOPS - we did it again!
Got stuck within the first 200 metres of our photo-journey as we bumped into so many colourful people of all creeds and kinds, each with such interesting stories and tales, that we soon ended up in the water with them . . . and got dumped head-on on the seabed by a gigantic, neck-breaking wave (shore dumper) that almost left us paralyzed . . .
The same people who "photo-bombed" ALL our landscape photos, are the same people who, moments later, saved and assisted us and summoned an ambulance to transport us to hospital for emergency treatment . . . and that's where our Sunday photo journey ended . . . * (more at the bottom)
But, Mr António Guterres, these pictures are not staged photos of tourists and holidaymakers - they are mostly of ordinary citizens on an ordinary Sunday in sunny Mossel Bay - and maybe the UN will once again agree with us that the residents and citizens are Mossel Bay's most remarkable and main assets and tourist attractions . . . for it is the PEOPLE that make or break any place or town?
* OK, we admit we haven't (YET) send these pics to the UN's Secretary-General António Guterres, but following the overwhelmingly positive response to our "holiday virus" and "Happiest Holiday Town in the World" contest, we just might do it to help counter the extremely negative and one-sided world view of South Africa.
* Meanwhile, the summer holiday season in Mossel Bay was another BUMPER season and although most businesses claim the number of visitors was more or less the same as in 2017, the spending power was noticeably less and in some cases, businesses had a 15% to 20% drop in turnover. But all agreed it was one of the "hottest and happiest" holiday seasons ever . . .
* This week it was back to school where an innocent class photo of a group of grade R pupils in Schweizer-Reneke was hijacked by the media and politicians to cause yet another sensational "racial uproar" . . . and in the Overberg, several runaway fires, fueled by gusting winds close to 100 kph, gutted more than 31 houses in the Bettys Bay area while residents of Franskraal/Gansbaai had to evacuate their homes where thousands of hectares of vegetation were destroyed in the blaze.
The ongoing fires in the Bettys Bay area were presumably caused by a flare that was illegally discharged on New Year's Eve, while political unrest over housing problems was allegedly the cause of the fires in the Gansbaai and Hermanus areas . . .
Can you blame us for posting mostly "happy" photos of Mossel Bay and its people?
Read more here about the Overberg fires and the increasing occurrence of spinal and other injuries from ocean waves:
* Spinal injuries from ocean waves more dangerous and common than thought
Mossel Bay has a crisis. We are forced to report back that the highly contagious virus we warned against earlier, has NOT been contained and the symptoms have now spiralled out of control.
Mosselbayontheline was summoned to a restaurant today where locals and visitors from as far as Australia, the USA and the UK were desperate to find relief from some of the most severe side-effects of their condition that has caused havoc across the entire Garden Route since the virus erupted in Mossel Bay two weeks ago.
Apparently, an international expert on foreign diseases has recommended fresh wild oysters as a safe remedy for some of the worst symptoms . . .
We spent three hours watching how dozens of people devour plates full of massive oysters, but unfortunately, there was no visible improvement . . . On the contrary, the symptoms got worse and by the time we left, we have only managed to capture groups of giggling, bronzed, scantily clad people who all claimed they did NOT want to go home . . . !
Well, we warned you against the virus and its symptoms, but we never thought it will go this far . .. as Mossel Bay does not have the infrastructure (yet!) to accommodate some 200 000 extra people indefinitely . . .
The good news is that the virus and its symptoms earned Mossel Bay instant fame and an international title as the Happiest Holiday Town in the World . . . but the BAD news is that fresh wild oysters only enhance the symptoms . . .
Yes, this is an ad for Oyster World and an excuse to continue showcasing the happy holiday vibe in the Mossel Bay area!
Update: The virus reached a new peak this morning after the Matric Results were published . . . and Sao Bras was the first local school to proudly share their students' delight!
These were the virus symptoms for those who missed it:
* On a more serious note:
Hundreds of happy visitors will (have to!) brave the congested roads to go home in the next week and we would love to have you back soon. Please drive carefully.
The roads have already claimed one visitor to Hartenbos earlier today when a woman from Beaufort-West was tragically killed in a head-on collision near the Robinson Pass between Mossel Bay and Oudtshoorn.
According to the Oudtshoorn Courant, the deceased was a passenger in a Nissan TIIDA that spiralled out of control and collided head-on with an oncoming Isuzu bakkie.
The driver of the Nissan, an elderly woman, was injured and taken to hospital by an ambulance.
The two women were on their way home to Beaufort-West after a holiday in Hartenbos.
The driver of the Isuzu bakkie was apparently on his way from Merweville to Hartenbos and escaped without injuries. His caravan, that was attached to the bakkie, broke loose in the crash and came to a standstill near the scene of the accident.
* Sadly, Mossel Bay was again negatively (maybe unfairly?) portrayed in the national media today. Die Burger reported about a 16-year-old boy and his uncle who were allegedly attacked on New Year's eve on the beach at Tergniet while watching the fire display.
According to the vague report, the youngster's clothes were ripped off and his uncle's glasses were slapped from his face by two men of approximately 28 and 30 years old.
However, no charges were laid and it was furthermore alleged that the boy and his uncle were illegally lighting firecrackers in a restricted area when the two "attackers" approached them and tried to confiscate the firecrackers. It was only in the ensuing struggle that the boy's clothes and his uncle's glasses landed on the ground.
- If the last allegations are true, it casts a completely different light on the incident and the dangers of illegal fireworks - especially since a woman of Pringle Bay died earlier today as an indirect result of the raging fire in the Overberg that was presumably caused by someone who lit a flare on New Year's eve.
Read more under the photo captions:
- More photos here: