by Peter Callan
It was January 2007 when my wife, Christine and I discovered Sedgefield. We had come on holiday to South Africa for 3 weeks. After spending 5 days in Cape Town, we hired a car and set off to explore some of the south coast and particularly, the Garden Route.
After travelling through some delightful towns and seaside villages, we set off to visit a friend of ours who had just moved to a town called Sedgefield, near George. Our intention was to stay overnight in the village and move on towards Port Elizabeth, visiting places along the way. We arrived in Sedgefield and couldn't believe how beautiful it was. We met our friend who took us down to the "heads" at the mouth of the lagoon. We had found paradise.
We booked into The Cabanas down on Myoli beach for one night....we ended up staying for the rest of the holiday, 11 more nights. We visited Knysna, George, Storms River Mouth at Titsikamma and many more places, all very beautiful but nothing compared to "Sedge". We fell in love with it, so much so that we decided to look around for a holiday home.
There were several houses that we liked but decided after some advice to buy a stand, a piece of land, with the intention of building a house on it. After looking at several plots we eventually found our dream plot on Cola Beach. It was a little off the front line but up on a hill overlooking the ocean. What a view! We put in an offer that was rejected so ended up paying the asking price. The next step was to engage a builder and architect to process our dream. We set everything up to facilitate the move and returned home to the UK. All our contacts and transactions would be by "sms" and e-mails.
After a long summer in the UK planning our move to Sedgefield and our holiday home, the time to fly out to our new life arrived. It had been quite traumatic building by e-mail and phone but because of all the wonderful help from friends like Sylvia and Wayne, we managed to keep on top of the contruction.
We arrived in September 08 and planned to stay for 6 months for the first visit. That would get our winter in the UK over with nicely before returning to England for the spring. As it transpired, because of the world-wide downturn and our own financial position at the time of the move, we were unable to complete the furnishing of our new house at Cola Beach. We decided to rent a place nearer the village centre and await an upturn in our financial position.
Unfortunately, this did not happen, so we reluctantly placed the house on the market with a view to selling and maybe looking to buy something smaller. We decided that we wouldn't let our situation stop us from having a great time in Sedgefield and we made new friends and contacts with some fabulous people. One of our favourite places was the beach at Swartvlei river mouth. We would virtually on a daily basis, cycle from the village along Kingfisher Drive to the beach and spend many happy hours there swimming and relaxing, soaking up the warm African sun.
Somewhat sadly, in the end we sold our house and decided to return to the UK where we found ourselves a new home in Wales. We often think of our favourite place in the whole world down by the lagoon mouth at the "heads", especially in the late afternoon when the sun is starting to dip to the horizon along Sedgefield beach. It is a wonderous place and one we plan to return to in the near future. If we can't live there, then we will keep going back whenever we can and always return there in our dreams. We hold it close to our hearts and it will always be our "SEDGEFIELD PARADISE".