Today I want to share with you one of my all time favorite hidden treasure hideaways on the Garden Route coast here on the south Cape coast of Africa.
It’s called The Island and it’s a chunk of land, connected by only a sand bar, to the Robberg Peninsula, which stretches out into the Indian Ocean at Plettenberg Bay.
Although called impressively The Island, it is nothing more than a little rock feature, and it’s still joined up, but the impression it makes is absolutely stunning as you walk across the smooth white beach sand feeling like you could be on a desert island in the Caribbean and that you may see a pirate at the very next turn.
Having the sea wash up on both sides of the sand bar that joins the island to the mainland, reminds me of Thailand, for sure. And it’s as exquisite here. The scene is actually surreal to behold, and with so few people, it facilitates a mood of remote and private serenity.
Occasional visitors participate in the full hike around the peninsula, which takes two or three hours, and you see them passing by in the distance across the white sands like a caravan of camel herders – without the camels – dotting the landscape on their pathless way over the sands, also stopping sometimes to admire the awesome vista. One can bathe here in the tranquility of the ocean waters as they wash up leisurely on the sides of the sand bar. This would be an impressive location for a film shoot, though perhaps we should keep it quiet hey?
I managed to climb up the Island and catch a view from the top, but before that I discovered this interesting little cave, which would shelter a reclining person or two even in a storm. It felt homely and any Survivor would feel comfortable for some time hanging out here. Of course, you will need to bring your drinking water with you, but the car parking area at the entrance to the national park, is less than an hour walk away. It’s a little bit of a hike, which makes up the longer three hour hike around the peninsula. This is my favorite part, so I don’t worry to do the rest, but rather just come straight to this beach and The Island.
Of course, there are other more established hiker’s bungalows situated just along the little trail, for those who might wish to make a night out of it. One can park and hike a few hours to the cabin right at the shoreline along the side of the peninsula and stay over for a night or two if you choose. The cabin sleeps about four or more and you simply book it at the Parks and Nature conservation authorities in the area beforehand, and then you and a group of friends can go camping at the seashore privately and undisturbed in paradise, with the waves lapping at your door.
Since a massive storm a few years ago which demolished the previous cabin, new and improved facilities have been erected, along with sizable water tanks, so the facilities have been considerably improved. And that’s a brilliant and noteworthy item, since this peninsula is a definite worthwhile travel spot for hikers and explorers, as well as nature and wildlife lovers. The marine sanctuary houses a massive seal colony, as well as whales in season, which is winter here, August – October.
I particularly loved this little cave hideaway that I discovered today. It feels just like home. I could move in and live the island life, live the dream. This is the place of the eternal now – the eternal sunshine of the spotless beach. One could meditate in peace and hear the whisper of divinity on the breeze. Such places really do uplift and invigorate us when we visit them, like a place of pilgrimage at some ancient Ganges bathing ghat. Perhaps they do exist all over the world, and perhaps they are the world, when at its best, according to the eye of the beholder.