Road tripping along South Africa’s Western Cape, finished with game drives and indigenous forest tours and stays in treehouses, we returned west toward Cape Town, enjoying scenic pit-stops along the way. One of the best quick detours off the highway: a Garden Route classic – Nature’s Valley.
Some people visit for extended vacations; we stayed for a cartwheel.
And it was beautiful.
Nature’s Valley is a small village and beachfront retreat within the Tsitsikamma National Park at the end of the famous “Otter Trail” (a 5-day hike along the scenic coastline, said to be one of the best in the country).
Our friends from Carmel (see notes on Welcome to Beautiful South Africa for context) recently spent a week on holiday at Nature’s Valley with their three sons, and we wanted to stop in and see the spot. We were on schedule to arrive at our beautiful hotel in Plettenberg Bay by mid-afternoon, so the Nature’s Valley stop was short and sweet and to the point.
Simple beachfront. Lovely and remote and removed from the world.
Insect Jurassic Park. (Not kidding. How can you make this up?)
And beautiful, open dunes buffering the Groot River estuary and lagoon from the Indian Ocean.
Spotting bird tracks in the sand became a momentary hobby…
…but the best scene from the visit was my impromptu cartwheel, landed pathetically-but-happily on a gorgeous, empty beach at the end of the world.
I need more cartwheels and pit-stops in my life.
This post is part of our twoOregonians Tour the Cape series. I’m taking writing rest, skimping on words to expand on living life, checking out of (so-called-)writing-duties to enjoy these metaphorical cartwheels of travel. If you’re curious to read more about visiting this beautiful area in South Africa, check out the Guardian’s article on Nature’s Valley, South Africa: Beaches, Baboons, and Lagoons.