A narrow dirt road
A blue lagoon
The sound of salt, a bent tree
A white stone

The West Coast is a song
Burns like a fever
A hunger in the mind
Thirsty as a river
The light is a veil
Salt on the wind
The landscape is monotonous
It does strange things to the mind

A narrow dirt road . . .

And I listen to the silence
To the shadow of a stone
To the wide horizon
Empty as a bone
And somewhere beyond my mind
Beyond the chalk road like a dream
I hear the memory of their voices
On the wind stream

A narrow dirt road . . .

I hear the wetlands groan
With the incoming tide
I watch the narrow channels
Grow blue and wide
Dreaming this blue water
This fulling of the tide
And the dark hills holding
On either side

A narrow dirt road . . .

The vegetation on either side of the narrow chalk-white road is dark, almost oppressive. There is little to see except dunes and the low horizon of this scrub. The road winds around dunes, falls into sudden dips and struggles up eroded sections. And then, suddenly, there is Langebaan Lagoon, a great length of azure water surrounded by low hills.
The lagoon is tidal, exposing at low water miles of prawn-pocked sand flats. In the past, fishermen came to the lagoon to careen their boats. At high tide they would set anchor, and when the tide went out leaving their boats quite literally, high and dry, they would paint and repair the hulls.
The small church, built in 1905, still stands and the descendants of a colourful handful of adventurers, sailors and deserters live in the small village and still tell of their early beginnings.

  • Barbara Fairhead