28 August 2011

Plett: Witsand at Robberg

Date: 11 August 2011

Location: Robberg Nature Reserve, Plettenberg Bay

Walkers: Helen and Vanessa

**** Route plotted here ****

Previous walk at Robberg here.

No holiday in Plett is complete without a meander around wild and beautiful Robberg peninsula. Last visit we walked all the way to the Point but this time around Vanessa and I opted for the shorter Witsand route.We started at the same place, on the east side. Below us was the full stretch of Robberg beach which we had walked a couple of days previously.

We walked down the wooden steps and then followed the clearly signposted path to the right.

The path took us along the side of the slope, with fantastic views of the bay. We kept our eyes peeled for whales but didn't spot any.

At the Gap we got a glimpse of Gap Beach on the west side of the peninsula.

We continued on our path, up the slope and along...

... stopping to look at flowers and interesting rocks...

... and occasionally looking back to see how far we'd come.

The scenery here always reminds me of Cape Point and False Bay. It is spectacular. I particularly loved the lines of waves coming in.

For a while the path went through thick bush.

From the view points we looked down on a dassie sunning himself on a ridge below us, and further along, far below us, lots and lots of seals. They were playing in the waves and gathering on the rocks.

On we walked...

... until the path dipped down to Witsand.

This dune cuts right through the peninsula. Our route had us turning right and following the sandy path all the way down.

The rocky outcrop called the Island was clearly visible at the other side of the beach.

As we reached the bottom we could see the rocky western side of Robberg.

Cormorants on the beach. We also saw groups of osytercatchers and gulls.

We walked across to the Island but decided not to explore further there this visit.

Instead we headed back towards the Gap. Some other holidaymakers were swimming in the sea - brave things. The water was cold!

The path took us across the rocks, past an old midden in a cave, and then onto a brand new wooden walkway.

We passed Gap Beach again.

And then we followed the path up and round, staying on the west side of the peninsula. There was a last view back to the Island, and then a walk along a straight path back to the parking area.


27 August 2011

Plett: Back to Keurbooms Lagoon

Date: 10 August 2011

Location: from Goose Valley Golf Estate, near Plettenberg Bay

Walkers: Helen and Vanessa

My previous walk down to the lagoon here.

We took a little stroll from our holiday accommodation through the Goose Valley estate gardens, down towards the lagoon. The Robberg peninsula was visible in the far distance.

We passed through the gate and followed the wooden boardwalk.

It was a gorgeous still afternoon.

And it was beautiful down at the water's edge. Soft and silvery.

We meandered along the shores for a while. As we left we could see the houses of Keurebooms River were catching the last of afternoon sunshine.


25 August 2011

Plett: Birds of Eden

Date: 10 August 2011

Location: The Crags, near Plettenberg Bay

Walkers/Birdwatchers: Vanessa, Dorothy & Helen

Birds of Eden is the largest free flight aviary in the world.

This was my second visit to Birds of Eden. We went early on a weekday morning and it was a good choice. It is a very popular place and in my opinion so much nicer when there are fewer people and no over-excited school kids around!

The place is so cleverly designed that you are hardly aware that you are in an enclosed space. The net is very far above, held up by tall girders, with many tall trees in the forest below.

The raised wooden walkways take you right through the forest, and up into the canopy of the trees.

They were busy misting as we made our way along - it was so beautiful and atmospheric. It really felt like we were in a tropical rainforest!

Over 3500 birds live here at Birds of Eden and we saw plenty. I found taking photos of the birds a real challenge though as they do not sit still! And the light in the forest wasn't very good. With patience I am sure one could get excellent shots but today wasn't my day. I did snap the Asiatic pheasants though - they are truly spectacular!

The birds from the parrot family were also very colourful - and obliging. Many used to be pets and are still very tame and easily hop onto your shoulder if you let them.

It is very easy to overlook the less flashy birds, like this cutie-pie.

In the forest we also saw a duiker and a bat.

As we were leaving the forest we encountered the macaws. Huge birds!

In the waterlands area: white egrets and scarlet ibis.

The latter are truly strange creatures.

A folded flamingo.

Feeding time caused some excitement amongst the troops.

Although this dikkop was not fussed. Leave me, I'm snoozing.

The walkway takes one across a little lake...

... with white and black swans...

... to the exit. After a very enjoyable visit Mr Hornbill bid us farewell.