Destinations

Cape Columbine Nature Reserve; Exploring the weird and wonderful South African West Coast!

Where has this year gone? We are half way through already! I took these photos 8 months ago. I was meant to post this 7 months ago! That was my plan at least, and then 2019 happened. It’s been a busy year. I’ve had some great photography shoots that have taken up much of my time and have left me with little time to blog. I’m lucky that I am doing what I love to do, and photography is something I willingly wake up for every day! But I am ready for a slower month which is what this month will be! I’ll start it off with a post of a beautiful nature reserve on the West Coast of South Africa that I visited last year. For a couple of days, I was blissfully engrossed by the unusual Atlantic ocean coastline, so captivating and very different to the Indian Ocean.

Cape Columbine Nature Reserve

Everything about this trip was ‘spur of the moment!’ I’d done little planning. All I knew is that I would be catching up with friends and family who I had not seen for a long time and it would be go, go, go! On top of that, there is so much to do and see in Cape Town, (and around) that it’s almost stressful! That feeling of wanting to see it all, to get to all those beautiful places and in such a short time and you know it’s impossible! The pressure of not wanting to miss out was immense! Really, Cape Town is somewhere you need to be for at least a month! I did however plan one thing. And that was to go somewhere outside of Cape Town, just me and my kids (hubby couldn’t make it this time) and slow it right down for one night at least. I decided to go to Paternoster which is only a couple hours drive from Cape Town. I had no accommodation booked. I simply chose the most interesting looking road which took me to the entrance of the Cape Columbine Nature Reserve. There I enquired about accommodation and they pointed me in the direction of The Shack, an award-winning backpackers lodge. The name ‘The Shack’ did have me feeling a little hesitant at first, but on arrival with a quick look around, I was reassured that it wasn’t true to its name – and was not a shack at all! It was a quirky, well tended to, clean premise slap bang in the middle of a nature reserve, and right on the beach.

My only goal for the day, other than finding suitable accommodation, was to watch the sun go down over the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a novelty for an East Coaster like me! I came to Paternoster, not thinking much about it other than that there would be some pretty fisherman style cottages and most likely some lovely landscapes. What I did not think of was ‘fynbos, aloes, and seaweed that looks like alien monsters with octopus like tentacles lurking beneath the surface. I found a fascinating place.

We woke up early to explore this unusual world. We found all sorts of treasures and strange creatures and plants. We climbed the boulders that gave us a view of the bay and of bird island. And we sat, entranced by the water that would swell as if it were breathing, then drop, exposing black silky tendrils of seaweed.

I was in Aloe heaven here! I love aloes, and they are everywhere! On top of that, there is the ‘fynbos.’ Put them together and you’ve got a full palette of colour in every direction.

The Cape Columbine Nature Reserve was so unexpected. It’s truly beautiful and somewhere I’d like to go back, as with so many other places! It’s a wild garden, both in sea and on land!

He said, “Above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” – Roald Dahl

Cape Columbine Nature Reserve

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