These aptly named natural rock pools are a favourite destination for an easy hike over three to four hours for those in not too much of a hurry. The views along this stretch of coastline are worth many a stop, either to watch a whale wallowing nearby or a fishing boat chugging through the mouth of False Bay on its way to the fishing grounds, or simply to breathe in the pure sea air wafting in from the waves that constantly splash over the rocky shoreline. When the northwester blows, we are protected by the cliffs behind us and the towering peaks that characterise the coastline between Buffels Bay and Simon’s Town. Today a light SSE allowed us to enjoy a cool and sunshiny hike next to a glittering sea, with Cape Hangklip looming as the twin guardian of the bay with Cape Point to the south. Faded blue mountains led the eye along the coast towards Kleinmond and Danger Point in the far, far distance. As the crow flies, we were only 30km from Hangklip and I often wonder if it would be quicker by boat than travelling the long and winding road around the bay. Depends on the size of the motor or the number of oars!
The track is varied, with sandy beaches, sections of tarred road and a short bit with an uncomfortable angle, but mostly it winds along a very pleasant grassy slope where tortoises, lizards and even otters are in evidence. The larger animals such as ostrich, baboons and buck are occasionally seen, but few were out today. We were very fortunate to come across a tortoise in distress which had been overturned by a much larger rival, and I fear that if we had not been in the right place at the right time, he may not have survived. Once put back on all fours, he scuttled up the hill at a rate not often seen in tortoise tales, while the aggrieved aggressor sulked quietly under a bush.
The pools were enticingly clear, but none ventured a swim. Perhaps in midsummer! The bottom is covered in spiny sea urchins, so maybe it is better to be cautious unless you like to swim with your shoes on. Fisherman were casting lines from the shore, but in all the times we have hiked here, I have not seen a fish on the end of a line. I suspect they come here to enjoy the serenity and exquisite beauty of the surroundings and buy a fish on the way home.