If you’ve read my post South Africa’s Most Romantic Cities, you’ll know that we were planning a trip! At the time, we weren’t quite decided where we were going to but now I can tell you that we decided to go to Ballito. We drove down to Ballito and stayed for a few short, but wonderful, days.
Because we decided to travel out of season, the accommodation was much cheaper than it usually is. We chose self-catering accommodation too, which meant that we didn’t spend much on food for the duration of our stay. We drove down to Ballito and back, and of course I prepared quite a few snacks and sandwiches for the road (you can check out some ideas in my blog post Road Trip Food on a Budget). The road tolls cost us just over R100 each way, and of course there was the cost of fuel, but on the open road, driving at a steady 100-120 kilometres per hour we used a whole tank and a half of fuel for the whole trip, which we thought was quite good.
The weather was a tad bit chilly but still warm enough for us to enjoy the beach! The water was fiercely cold at first but not so bad after a few minutes, although the waves and the tide were quite strong, even in the tidal pools! The sunsets and the sunrises were just amazing, and the moonlight shining across the ocean on one particular evening was probably one of the most unforgettable moments of my life. I could certainly get used to the constant sound of waves crashing along the shore – it was quite loud at first but it mellowed out eventually.
I loved walking along the beach when the tide was out. I did get a bit sun burnt, despite plastering myself with sunscreen lotion, but I thought that was a small price to pay for frolicking in the sand for a couple of days! I enjoyed picking up the tiny shells thrown out on the beach by the waves. I collected probably about 2 or 3 dozen small shells, and I picked up a bit of sand in a small bucket too, so that I could create these beautiful beach memories in a bottle when we returned home. Honestly, I felt like a child all over again, but it felt good!
The week after we got back, I bought a few bottles with cork lids at Westpack Lifestyle, and they were reasonably priced at just R7.99 for the smaller ones and R8.99 each for the slightly larger ones. I also bought some nylon weave rope there (about 3 cm thin) which cost R12.00. I used marine silicon glue for this project and because we already had a tube of glue at home, I didn’t have to buy.
I first filled up each bottle with sand from the beach, and I was so glad I’d brought back just enough to fill a few small bottles! I glued the shells on the outside of the bottles and allowed them to set for a couple of days. I also decided to glue a couple of these flat stones that I’d picked up on the beach on some of the cork lids, just because I thought it looked pretty!
I then used the nylon weave rope to decorate the bottle necks and, at hubby’s suggestion, I applied some glue on that too, just to make sure the rope doesn’t unravel. For some, I printed a small photo with ‘Ballito’ written on it, hole-punched it and slid the rope through before tying the final knot.
And voila, a few days later we have a few gorgeous beach memory bottles on a budget to decorate our bathroom.
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