But I love the beaches of this stretch of coastline because there’s so much more to them than just baking and frying. Here are some of my favourite beach pursuits.
1. Let your hair blow in the wind on an early morning or sunset horse-ride along the beach at Buffalo Bay, about 10km west of Knysna.
2. If horses aren’t your thing, or you don’t want to fork out a bean for your activities, you can still feel the sea breeze in your hair on an early morning walk from Buffalo Bay towards Brenton before sunbathers litter the sands. If you’re up for a three-hour walk, remember to turn around after half that time. If you have a friend willing to pick you up in Brenton, you can walk the whole beach – about 7km.
3. Another great place for an early morning walk is Wilderness beach, a wide and beautiful stretch of creamy white sand that is fabulously cinematic. Sorry KZN, your beaches just can’t compete with this. Try to hit the beach at low tide and walk barefoot on the hard, damp sand for maximum pleasure (and minimum calf muscle stiffness the next day).
4. Join ex-teacher and biologist Judy Dixon at full moon and stroll Swartvlei beach by starlight. On your way to Gericke’s Point you’ll discover all sorts of fascinating marine creatures: greedy plough snails who can guzzle a third of their body weight in a single sitting; littorina who are the bungy jumpers of the mollusc world; and a barnacle whose penis is an impressive 20 times longer than his own body. Phone ahead to check full moon dates when walks are planned. Tel 044 883-1015, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the next post I'll share some of my foodie faves in this part of the country.
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