Central train station, Cape Town

Central train station, Cape Town

Monte Vista, Cape Town

Boatyards, Cape Town

Trawler taking on provisions, Cape Town

Repainting a Japanese trawler, Cape Town

Montagu, Western Cape

Montagu, Western Cape

Burger Farm cemetery, near Montagu, Western Cape

Above the Burger Farm, near Montagu, Western Cape

Western Cape

Western Cape

Swartberg Pass, Western Cape

There is another first memory, one that he trusts more fully but would never repeat, certainly not to Greenberg and Goldstein, who would trumpet it around the school and turn him into a laughing-stock.
He is sitting beside his mother on a bus. It must be cold, for he is wearing red woollen leggings and a woollen cap with a bobble. The engine of the bus labours; they are ascending the wild and desolate Swartberg Pass.
In his hand is a sweet-wrapper. He holds the wrapper out of the window, which is open a crack. It flaps and trembles in the wind.
'Shall I let it go?', he asks his mother.
She nods. He lets it go.
The scrap of paper flies up into the sky. Below there is nothing but the grim abyss of the pass, ringed with cold mountain-peaks. Craning backwards, he catches a last glimpse of the paper, still bravely flying.
'What will happen to it?' he asks his mother; but she does not comprehend.
That is the other first memory, the secret one. He thinks all the time of the scrap of paper, alone in all that vastness, that he abandoned when he should no have abandoned it. One day he must go back to Swartberg Pass and find it and rescue it. That is his duty: he may not die until he has done it.
J. M. Coetzee Boyhood: A Memoir

Swartberg Pass, Western Cape

Prince Albert, Western Cape

Prince Albert, Western Cape

San ('bushman') grave near Prince Albert, South Africa. Poking out of the sand behind one of those bushes I found the handle of a small clay pot, molded by small fingers. I put it back.

Western Cape

Western Cape

Nature's Valley, in Tsitsikamma National Park

Nature's Valley, Tsitsikamma National Park. I'm about to discover the carcass of a shark, rotting away in that cove below

Whale breaching in Plettenberg Bay, Western Cape

The sea near Camps Bay, Cape Town, while the sky was hazy with smoke from a fire on Lion's Head. 1996

The Cederberg, north of Cape Town in the Western Cape, is a vast playground of sculpted sandstone. These days climbers flock there from around the world, but for this week in 1996 I had it all to myself. Staged photograph using the self-timer on my Minolta X700, scanned from a Fuji Velvia slide.