Tuesday, April 8, 2008

By way of an Introduction

Since sharing my photos is "the name of the game", let me introduce myself by way of a photo. I wanted to demonstrate the African handshake to a few tourists, and our ranger in the Hluhluwe Game Reserve was most obliging. At the same time, he explained the meaning of the handshake.

My favourite place in South Africa (other than Johannesburg, where we live), is Plettenberg Bay. Many years ago, I picked up a (cut) diamond here on the beach - other than beautiful seashells. Apart from that, I think Plett is a very charming town. It's situated on the "Garden Route" (on the southern coast of our country), and attracts tourists and locals alike.

Although these days Plett is mainly known as the "playground" of the well-heeled, originally it was a whaling-station, situated on the the "mini-peninsula" on which Beacon Island Hotel (& Timeshare) now has pride of place.

Luckily today, whales are no longer hunted along our coast and instead, they've become a tourist attraction. Personally, I've seen more whales in the bay at Plett than at Hermanus, the so-called "whaling Mecca" in our country.

Plett has a beautiful lagoon - or should I say "had"? Because last year, a terrible storm destroyed it all - BUT nature has a way of restoring itself (or so the experts say). If left untouched by human intervention, the strip of land/beach (which disappeared) should eventually "return".

This photo was taken on the Robberg Peninsula. It's a Nature Reserve just outside Plett. We were hiking - not one of my favourite pastimes, but now and again and in the company of my husband, I do go, well, more walking than really hiking - so I can see and experience parts of our country I never have the time to explore whilst "on the road" with a group of tourists.

In the company of three female friends (whilst our husbands were "golfing"), we tracked down this "hole-in-the-wall" (NO, not the more famous one along the Wild Coast!!) at Keurboomstrand (also just outside Plett).

This is Look-Out beach - as it once was, before the storm (rough sea) "wiped" it from view/existence.

I present - a photo of the above-mentioned destruction (as painful as it is) because I was right there with a group of tourists. Everybody had heard what was happening along the coast, yet the tourists in my group didn't understand why I was so horrified - simply because they had no idea what it looked like before!! Even without the beach and lagoon, they thought Plett was beautiful. That's the charm of the place. Now the lagoon and sea are "joined". How sad my family from Berlin (Germany) will be to see this when next they come to visit, because Plett is always on our itinerary.

The day after Plett was flooded, the field in front of the polo club looked like a BIG swimming pool. Soon after, the water receded, though.

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