Saturday, June 15, 2024

Eye on Life

Broad interest online magazine

Trails

Venus Pool – always dramatic

A hike to Venus Pool always has its dramatic moments – whether it be a thunderous swell crashing against the rocky shelf sending spume skywards, or simply slipping sideways on the narrow, muddy track at the edge of the shore after winter rains. There is no story attached to the name of this lovely stretch of coastline with its tilted slabs of ancient sandstone seabed that capture the sea, but I would imagine the way the rock pool holds the water resembles the shell from the famous painting. A wild guess and not impossible.

Friday’s hike was too muddy for me and I chose the high road – a narrow but well-established track through the low vegetation a few metres up the slope – and will definitely only use this path in future. It makes sense to climb above the level of the seep! Although nearly at the middle of winter, cold weather has yet to establish itself in the Cape this year and the promised cloud cover fled before the morning sun, leaving us eyeing the tidal pool longingly, but unprepared. The temperature of the water was a balmy 17 degrees, said the surfers hauling their gear out of a line of 4x4s (the reef here is a favourite spot). With no wind, it was an opportunity to really enjoy this trail at its best on a sunny winter’s day. We are sometimes spoilt by the weather, and other times housebound!

I’m currently preferring a 2-hour walk rather than 3, and was fortunate to be able to cut a little off this hike by parking at Bordjiesrif rather than Buffels Bay. It is worthwhile taking this extra bit off for those who don’t want or are unable to do the distance (the easy way is by road!), as it enables you to walk without pushing the boundary and still enjoy the lovely plants and odd animal life along the way. Despite a calm sea, a strong swell was coming into False Bay and we were treated to spectacular plumes of spray, sometimes a wall of water as the sets synchronised to reach a peak. The sea even rose high enough to tip into Venus Pool without actually breaking, obscuring the rocks totally before draining in a foaming whirlpool back through the cracks. Dramatic indeed!

Venus Pool was a popular destination for hikers today – around 25 people lounged happily on the flat ledges, an ideal resting place to contemplate the ocean and restore equilibrium in this mad, mad world.

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