So, I have this thing for relating travel destinations to games (board or otherwise).
Remember that computer program Myst? In the 1990s, I sunk ages into solving its digital riddles. Analyzing puzzles, traversing other-worldly landscapes, pulling at threads in a storyline until the mysteries finally unraveled. The game appealed to my inquisitive, persistent mind.
Imagine the fun a few decades later (um, can that be true?!), when Ted and I stumbled into the real-world graphics of Myst 2.0 at the Robberg Peninsula, 8 kilometers to the south of Plettenberg Bay, South Africa.
Robberg Peninsula, South Africa
Classic Myst, Circa 1990s
We pulled into Robberg Nature Reserve at 4:30pm.
“Park entry closes at 5pm, visitors must be out by 6pm.”
A race against the clock? Okay, fair warning.
“Three trails, take your pick.” Okay. We’ll shoot for the middle one. An hour and a half – no problem.
Actually, though, it was a problem.
We didn’t realize the treachery of the trail.
What starts as an easy boardwalk morphs into a rocky path – so far so good.
Seals galore playing in the ocean below…
But then the route takes a turn for the crazy: sand dunes and sheer cliffs and rising tides and splashing waves and slippery boulders and rickety wooden steps and who-knows-how-old-concrete and frayed rope railings…
The landscape architect in me was cringing: “But this is a public park! What about health/safety/welfare!?”
My little slip on shoes filled quickly with sand. Ted’s soles slipped their grip on the slick stones. The sun sank lower…the signage disappeared…we wondered how a simple mini-trek could turn out to be so challenging.
Nevermind the rough patches, though. We made it through.
And the memories and scenes of color and beauty at the tip of the world are well worth the trips and stumbles.
WHAT TO KNOW:
Robberg Nature Reserve
Open 7am to 5pm Daily; Open until 8pm during December/January
They say it takes four hours to take the longest hike to the tip of the peninsula and back. We did the medium route in 92 minutes, but our sunset-pace was a bit too fast for comfort.
The short route may be an easy hour’s visit.
Word to the wise: Wear sturdy shoes, be prepared for dicey terrain, and pack a picnic lunch. The spot’s simply too gorgeous to not spend a leisurely hour or two…
For a lovely spot with more Myst-like qualities on the other side of Plettenberg Bay, check out our post on Trogon House and Forest Spa and its boardwalks through the forest and beautiful, mysterious buildings tucked away under green canopies inhabited by wild monkeys…
This post is part of our twoOregonians Tour the Cape series featuring quintessential and offbeat South African experiences, one-of-a-kind accommodations and beautiful B&Bs, respectful wildlife programs, social service projects, and landscape photography from the South African Cape. As always, all opinions, photos, and stories are our own; many thanks to our kind hosts and partners along the way. It was our pleasure to experience such genuine kindness and hospitality!