Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Beautiful Bokramstrand

We returned to Bokramstrand twice in the last week with the dogs, whose fun in the water greatly increases our own.

Ben is 11 now and getting old, but he adores the water and fetches kelp, ducking completely underwater to get a good grip.

I love this beach. It has stunning views over Noordhoek Peak (where we hiked weeks ago) and towards Hout Bay, and is usually quite empty. The tides change its layout often and sometimes one has to deal with piles of kelp that have washed up. But the oyster catchers' cries as they skim the blue water remind one quickly that this is an unspoiled beach that remains, for me, the jewel in the sandy crown of the Cape peninsula.

The sea is very cold, but there are pockets of crystalline turquoise water that stay warmer, protected by barriers of rock, and home to nurseries of small fish, and fields of emerald sea weed.

The summer houses are mostly shut up at this time of year, populated, perhaps, at weekends.

Yes, I would like one here. Please.

We packed a picnic and headed here on the day the mercury hit 36'C in the shade of the porch at home. It has never gone that high.

The air was cool here, just 30 minutes away. The rest of the city melted.

Cormorants above and oyster catcher below.

A man and his dog. Or Vince and Ben.

Ben exploring a rock pool.

Whose teeth are these...anyone?

A rare find. The waves that pound this coast do not let sea urchins remain intact, but I think that the gentle rock pools must soften their blows.

There were dozens of these limpet shells, big, and I collected an armful before I realized that they should just stay there and not come to Brooklyn to serve d'oeuvres shells...or...something. So I put them back.

Taking a walk after lunch, dipping into the sea all the way, we came to this big log, one of many that washed up around the peninsula a few years ago. One of the locals appeared, rather patrician, and said that there was a story about the log, and also that Cape clawless otters come here to swim, and also swim in his neighours' pool. This is the second time I've been told about otters in this hood.

He spoke about the francolin, the guinea fowls, how the baboons didn't bother this part of the beach...he made me want to move in at once. I was so entranced by the otter story that I forgot to ask about the story of the log.

We'll have to go back and wait for him and his dogs to come by again, and hear it.


  1. Marie:
    I am absolutely loving your tour of South Africa and commentary. The beaches and mountains looked like home in Oregon, but with a different vegetation. Your photography is gorgeous and all the roadside flowers add to the tour. Thanks for the pictures of the zebra standing in his field and the tortises. Did you ever find out the outcome of the run-over tortise?

  2. Beautiful images and interesting story. Just awesome!

  3. my hart verlang.... veels bedank, are we related to Generaal Ben? Have a wonderful, wonderful time!

  4. Thanks, Amanda...I wrote to the parks people about the tortoise, but should call, to see if anyone can tell me. I don't think it could have lived, but maybe they are tougher than I think.

    Thank you Maureen!

    Oumie - we could be...isn't it weird and wonderful that he landed up in Mexico???

  5. Bokramstrand is beautiful - have never gone there, though have gone to Noordhoek beach. This looks so different. What is parking like to get there? My aunt and uncle's family lived near Kommetjie when I was a child, but we would go over to Fishoek to swim, for the warmer water.

    Simba's Mom

  6. Hi Simba's mom - there has never been another car parked there when we've been. Email me for the details. I don't want to broadcast it :-)!


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