Saturday, February 21, 2009

Misty Cliffs

One day in Cape Town we drove from home to Misty Cliffs, about 35 minutes away, on a beautiful stretch of the peninsula where the water is always intensely turquoise. Pounding breakers and some mountain effect create a salt haze in the air, seen from a distance. Hence the Misty part of the Cliffs.

We timed our arrival for low tide, because we wanted to collect mussels from the rocks. I'd even bought a proper permit at the post office. In previous years I'm afraid I just helped myself.

Apart from the mussels we became fascinated by the other life on the rocks. There were massive colonies of sea anemones, all tight shut and looking like sanded donuts on the rock sides. The tide, when it started to come in, came in fast, and so we saw our mussel area transform from sand to swirling pools, and the inert anemones slowly come to life, one neon tentacle at a time.

Our collection spots, so accessible before, became completely covered by strong sea, so we retreated with a full bucket with sea water to keep the poor mussels cool, and climbed back up to the road to the hot VW bus, our ride when not in the Landcruiser in the desert.

Down the road a bit is Scarborough, another small settlement billing itself as a Conservation Village with summer and year round houses and another lovely beach, and we stopped just ahead of it to explore more rock pools that looked promising.

On a hot summer day there was no one else in sight.

The mussels, once scrubbed and added to a white wine and a mire poix stock, were very good. This is a picture of them just after I added them to the pot.


  1. oh! someone would have had to drag me away from those anemones.

  2. You said "sanded do=nuts" and I was thinking "sugared liquorice."
    I love those world's-end beaches!

  3. Now that you mention it, as I've noticed before that there never seems to be anyone around in your pics of these places of extreme beauty. Why is that, are they that remote?
    Or is it something else?

  4. M.heart - I know, it was hard to leave.

    MIT - yes!

    Frank - um, no, it's not something else and neither are they that remote (the beach pics now, not deserts), as they are within an hour of the centre of Cape Town. But that peninsula is literally lined with beaches and I think people are spoiled for choice. Then again, these were week days, working weeks, school holidays over so, most people are at work and most tourists don't know about these spots. And...maybe I avoid taking pictures where I can see other people. Except there were no other people. So...that qualifies as Something Else after all :-)


  5. Oh, Marie - your photos are just spectacular. So nice to have you back.

  6. Hi Jen :-)

    From you a great compliment. Congratulations on your cheese-shooting gig!


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