9 – 12 AUGUST 2007

Early on Thursday afternoon Mark and Mary met up with Lynn, Linda and Geoff at the fair at TC Robertson Nature Reserve in Scottburgh. A part time employee of the Reserve showed us around, indicating possible walks for us to take, and where the bird hide was – very suitable for sundowners! We all drove a short way along the road to Park Rynie, to Kwelapha Cottage, a lovingly restored 3 bedroomed cottage one block away from the beach. After tea we walked along the beach to Rocky Bay. We had heard about the damage to the South Coast caused by high tides, and it was incredible to witness the immense power of the sea first hand. At Rocky Bay the sand level has been dropped by 1.5 meters, leaving the concrete boat-launching ramp hanging in midair. Much of the sand that was removed from here was deposited a little further along the coast, providing the Rocky Bay Campsite with a marvelous sandy beach.

After a leisurely breakfast on Friday (this was a holiday after all!) the five of us set off for an easy two hour walk up the coast to Scottburgh, again awestruck by the damage to structures along the coast.

Although the sun was shining, there was quite a cool breeze blowing, making sunbathing a bit chilly, but no one was too cold for ice creams. A good swim in the sea did wonders for appetites, and we ended up at Wimpy for a lunch before making our way to the Railway Station to catch the train back to Park Rynie, one stop down the track. Margaret and Chris arrived late on Friday afternoon, and we all walked down to Rocky Bay again, reveling in the beautiful sunset on the way home.

On Saturday we left fairly early to walk south to Pennington. Although it was near to low tide, there has been so much movement in the sand along this coast line that there was no firm sand to walk on, and our calf muscles took a bit of strain. The long, wide curving beach at Happy Wanderers has been completely eradicated, leaving brand new shiny rocks where before was sand, and a newly built timeshare block in imminent danger of falling into the sea.

From Pennington we backtracked to Kelso Station, which was the last station on the Durban/Scottburgh line, and caught the train back to Park Rynie.

Margaret and Chris still had enough energy to go for a bike ride in the afternoon, then we relaxed around a braai fire, serenaded by music coming from a party around the block from us. Later on we went for a walk around the streets of Park Rynie to discover the source of the music, and very nearly lost Margaret down a storm water drain. On Sunday we all piled into Geoff’s double cab and drove to the Empisini Nature Reserve near Umkomaas. We followed the well kept paths through the coastal forest, past a high tree house sleeping about 8 people, and up to higher ground giving views down the gorge. The indigenous vegetation was carefully protected, and trees had identification labels.

Geoff then drove us on a small tour to view the damage done to the Umkomaas coastal road, then home for lunch and to pack up.

The fresh sea air and good company made this a very relaxing and enjoyable weekend. We will definitely repeat it next year.