Two contrasting sides of paradise at Robberg peninsula – secret wonderland on Africa's south coast

in TravelFeed5 months ago

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Today I want to share with you two different sides of what is called the Robberg peninsula, a small finger of land that juts out into the sea on this southernmost shoreline of Africa in the town of Plettenberg Bay. The Robberg peninsula is a protected marine and nature reserve for flora, fauna and aquatic life. Tourists and travelers flock to the place all year long to admire the natural surroundings and do the four hour hike around the peninsula itself. The peninsula makes the western border of Robberg beach – a 4.5km long thin strip of white sandy shoreline where surfers enjoy the waves and millionaires build their homes to capture the view and the sea breeze. Robberg beach with peninsula just visible right and the other side of the bay in the far distant backgroundRobberg beach with peninsula just visible right and the other side of the bay in the far distant background

The peninsula itself forms a wall of sorts at the end of the long stretch of beach, and it also acts as a protective barrier against wind and ocean swells. As a result the beach and the entire bay is sheltered and more calm than usual throughout the year. That’s why the whales come to this very bay annually to give birth to their young, during our winter months of July to October. Travelers from all over the world find this the ideal winter holiday resort due to the mild conditions and the opportunity to go whale watching, either from the shore or from a small charter boat.

Seaside paradise available to millionaires and those who know the way thereSeaside paradise available to millionaires and those who know the way there

The Robberg peninsula rises up from the beach sand as a small hill and one can actually simply walk up the hill slope from the beach – if you know the little hidden paths. However, the proper access to the peninsula for the hike is through the gate at the top where one can park the car and pay a small token entry fee to then do the hike around the entire peninsula as it stretches way out into the sea. It’s known as a seal sanctuary and colony so you will be able to see the seals down below in the sea, from the view points up on top of the peninsula.

Hallway to the other sideHallway to the other side 

If you’re lucky, you might even get a glimpse of the occasional shark swimming by under the surface of the clear translucent sea water. They eat the seals and live vicariously among them in the way that nature has designed our plant, where one living entity becomes food for another. Nature – in this regard – is indeed “red in tooth and claw” as one poet once wrote. It’s a strange dichotomy of life and death, beauty and brutality, all wrapped up in what appears to be a double-edged existence for those who take birth on this middle earth between heaven and hell, and where both of those worlds exist for us to walk between.

Awesome place for sea activities any time of the yearAwesome place for sea activities any time of the year

Local fishermen sometimes come to this edge of the peninsula from where they can cast their lines into the sea in the hope of catching some fish to take home. They are required to have a permit or license to fish on these shores, so it’s a regulated practice, considering this is a protected marine reserve. That said, it’s easy for anyone to obtain a permit from the municipality, so there are no barriers, just monitoring.

Rocky shoreline made grey by recent foam washed up on the lesser known side of the peninsulaRocky shoreline made grey by recent foam washed up on the lesser known side of the peninsula

Now, on the other side of the Robberg peninsula you will find, in contrast, no sand or beach whatsoever. The entire shoreline is pure rock and is hardly ever accessed by anyone at all. The sheer steep inaccessible cliffs come right to the water’s edge. And this is where I do much of my exploring, preferring the “road less traveled” perhaps. Despite the lack of overt attractive soft sandy beach or swimming space, I still find this western flank of the peninsula equally attractive, in a perhaps more exotic way. The bold, rugged rocky landscape has its own appeal, particularly with all the little pools.

Awesome brilliance from the spring water flowing down the rock faceAwesome brilliance from the spring water flowing down the rock face

Here you can see some of the amazingly rare and exotically attractive rocky features that I’ve encountered on this lesser known flank of the Robberg Peninsula. Pure spring water pours down the cliff slope at one point, right at the shore line, creating a lush carpet of moss and adding to the shimmer on the rock surface. In winter during heavier rain, water actually streams down more prolifically and is quite drinkable.

The same place looking away from the rock face and toward the seaThe same place looking away from the rock face and toward the sea

And remember that this is right at the water’s edge, where the cliffs come steeply down to meet the Indian ocean. I would imagine that this is a rarity, to find pure spring water flowing right up to the sea shore. It makes the place feel very hospitable, despite being so remote and isolated, as well as rugged and rough upon initial observation.

Magic carpet of electric greenMagic carpet of electric green

The scene is truly picturesque and inspiring to me, but then I presume that such natural beauty is a subjective perspective to be found in the eye of the beholder. Nevertheless, I have captured a few images to share with you here so that you can appreciate the rich colors in the rocks brought out by the spring water.

Rock face as art with nature as artistRock face as art with nature as artist

On the one side of the Robberg peninsula we have the soft white sandy beach that stretches as far as the eye can see, while on the other side we have this contrasting hard and darker rocky cliff face that comes crashing down to the sea, with its waves crashing up against it during very high tides.

More rock art sculpted and colored by natureMore rock art sculpted and colored by nature

The rocks have some particularly attractive patterns in them, especially once they are smoothed and rounded by the water as well as when they’re moistened by the water, which brings out their color so nicely. Add to that the life forms that live upon the rock surface and you have a plethora of multicolor shades that really make this a wonderland for anyone who is able to make their way down this very remote and isolated rabbit hole. I doubt more than a handful of people ever get to see this side of the peninsula in a year.

A treasure trove of delightful colorA treasure trove of delightful color

So I have made it a project to capture the rare imagery and share it here with you, like an explorer who lands on the moon or some other remote part of the earth’s surface. And I’m able to access this area any day of the year that I choose, and indeed I do just that. I make my way to wonderland almost daily, with usually not another human in sight on this side, and bask in the magic of the surroundings, regardless of the season, since every day is magical and temperate here, all year long.

Close-up of the mossy wall animated by the trickling springClose-up of the mossy wall animated by the trickling spring

So if you like the long open stretch of sandy white beach to go swimming or surfing, then the eastern side of Robberg peninsula is there for you, and the millionaires who also make it their home. And if you like to explore the darker side, the more exotic and isolated and dangerous cliffs and rocky pools that also make up paradise on earth, then you will find the immersive experience of the western flank of Robberg peninsula to your liking.

Abundance of color to uplift your worldAbundance of color to uplift your world

I traverse both sides regularly and am at home in both, for both are the two contrasting perspectives of paradise here on earth. All you need to do is cultivate the appropriate perception of your reality and you will see that you are in paradise all the time, if that is what and where you choose to be.

Self-portrait blessed by the ray of the sunSelf-portrait blessed by the ray of the sun

(photos my own)


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