Cape Point has featured in the last few blogs, so we are just going with the flow and continuing the trend. The municipal road leading up to the nature Reserve is the outer perimeter of a circular route from the City, and forms the link between the two coastlines that are separated by the narrowing piece of land that tapers to become Cape Point. It is a popular route with tourists and locals alike as it has many scenic spots along the way, with beaches for swimming, areas for hiking, golf courses, little villages, you name it, a myriad of places that you can stop at and engage in some activity. It is a route that is especially favoured by cyclists, as it is the point where the infamous 109km Argus Cycle Tour starts making its way back to the city, so a sort of “halfway” point. It is also the point where if you happen to be cycling the route on a windy day, you get respite from the South Easter. So its the point where you can stop working so hard cycling into the wind, because it will now be behind you, hopefully pushing you along.
The private road into the Reserve beyond the Entrance gate winds through the landscape, and offers numerous opportunities for hiking, swimming, fishing, picnicking etc. on two coastlines. So depending on what the weather is doing, you can choose the more suitable option. All are adequately signposted and clearly indicated on the little map that you get at the Entrance hut. Of course if you are headed to the lighthouse, then you would just drive past all of these and head straight to the end of the road to the parking area.
My favourite spot is Dias Beach, which is located alongside the cliff on which the lighthouses are situated. Now, it just happens to be the southern most beach on the Cape peninsula within the Cape Point nature reserve. :-). Did you spot that superlative?? What can I say this is South Africa. This beach is visible from the parking area, but once you start going up to the lighthouse you really get to see how magnificent it is. It is situated at the foot of the cliff on which the lighthouses are built, cliffs which extend from below the parking area to almost form a bay or enclave at the bottom of the cliff. It is incredibly spectacular, when viewed from above, and even more so when you are below.
The access is via a winding walking route from the parking area, sometimes on a boardwalk, sometimes on the ground, and sometimes even on the rocks. If you don’t know how, you would probably just look at the view and marvel at how amazing the beach looks from above. If you look carefully, you may notice people on the beach, but who are barely visible because of the distance. So continuing along the path you finally get to a long staircase, yep! a rather long one..(.I should count the stairs, next time I’m there :-),) not for the faint hearted :-). A rather simple timber stair just supported off the rock face that seems to go on forever…………until you get to the top of a sand dune….then theres a walk down the really soft sand to get to the beach…….So, here’s the bonus, it is not uncommon to arrive on this beach and have it all to yourself…its incredible, completely isolated on a piece of paradise. Reaching the level of the beach you quickly realise the reason why there is a huge no swimming sign at the foot of the stair …these waves are thundering in, and the high cliff around the beach help amplify the sound as if to emphasise the warning.The undercurrent is very strong and even just standing in the water this becomes apparent. There are days when the sea is a bit calmer, though swimming there would be extremely risky and detrimental to life and limb.
A wonderfully, serene spot to have a picnic, just contemplate as you observe the waves crashing onto the shore. A look around makes you feel like you’re being observed, the cliffs are just full of birds, just hanging out, they probably figured that it’s a pretty cool spot to hang out too, so just sit out on the rocks and get on with their bird poo graffiti 🙂 :-). The rocks are covered with the stuff!! Time just seems to slip away when you’re down there and at some stage you probably have to face reality and muster up enough courage to face the long climb back up……………first up the slippery sand slope and then tackle the huge number of steps….Well, if ever you get there, here’s a tip from a seasoned visitor to this beach, don’t look up, just look ahead of you and climb away, sooner or later…..perhaps much later you’ll get to the top 🙂 🙂 looking up just makes it feel a whole lot further!! ….the journey continues ……………………………………..
That brings us to todays images of the beach from above and below, not to mention ……that staircase ..:-)