A splash, not a dash

Autumn is definitely upon us. The air has a soft chill in the early morning and the light is gentler on the eyes. A fair breeze followed us along the coast from Buffels Bay this morning, a lively swell battering the shoreline on the trail to Venus Pools. Every now and then an impressive plume of spume reached for the sky and splattered itself across the slabs of flat rocks, filling the crevices and spilling back into the ocean to repeat the endless ebb and flow of the tides. Fine droplets dampened us as the wind carried them up the slope, as if enticing us in for a swim. Perhaps later.

Ostriches and bontebok roamed nearby, browsing unconcernedly as we straggled by. This easy walk is only hampered by a section of slanting slope which makes one feel the need to walk a little sideways to compensate, but apart from that, the track meanders through thick grass and the odd low shrubs. A plentiful supply of buck droppings have formed a soft carpet underfoot that is not at all unpleasant considering the vegetarian diet, and they obviously have established this as the best route to the pools although none were found swimming!

A lone Jackal Buzzard eyed prospective prey high overhead, and a murder of crows cawed raucously from a tree top. A number of herons stood motionless beside a favoured pool, statuesque and watchful. We trundled on.

The rock ledges at Venus Pools are perfect for leaning back and enjoying the views across False Bay and down to the lighthouse at Dias Point. Sea urchins and starfish in myriad colours populate these pools and ensure that no paddling takes place – only the unwary would dare to put down an unshod foot amongst these jewels of the sea. Tiny fish dart in shoals, trapped in the shallows until a high tide can wash them out into the deep yonder – a perfect nursery for tiddlers.

The return trip was into the wind, and by that time it was more than welcome as the day had warmed up considerably. Summer may not be finished with us yet.

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