Sauntering around sand dunes and spotting whales at De Hoop Nature Reserve


Main pic De Hoop Nature Reserve (C) Rambling with Rose

Hi there lovelies,

Have you ever just wanted to run away and escape? To explore beautiful scenery and marvel at the wonders of nature far from the daily grind? I’ve had that feeling recently, an ache to go exploring and simply be.

Which is why being whisked away to De Hoop Nature Reserve was the best thing I could’ve imagined! I said goodbye to city life, and bid farewell to responsibility for a little while as the Mr and I spent a weekend in utter paradise with some dear friends. Be warned that the road in to De Hoop is incredibly bumpy (and you feel a tad like 007’s famous drink at the end of it).

De Hoop Nature Reserve (C) Rambling with Rose (482)

De Hoop Nature Reserve (C) Rambling with Rose (473)

De Hoop Nature Reserve (C) Rambling with Rose (470)

De Hoop Nature Reserve (C) Rambling with Rose (467)

De Hoop Nature Reserve (C) Rambling with Rose (427)

After settling in and sunscreening up, our group got to scramble around sand dunes, explore walking trails and beautiful flora, spot whales breaching and calves playing while we picnicked near the shoreline, before dashing merrily around algae-stained caverns at low-tide to watch sea anemones sway gently in underwater currents.

De Hoop Nature Reserve (C) Rambling with Rose (153)

De Hoop Nature Reserve (C) Rambling with Rose (171)

De Hoop Nature Reserve (C) Rambling with Rose (192)

De Hoop Nature Reserve (C) Rambling with Rose (204)

De Hoop Nature Reserve (C) Rambling with Rose (251)

De Hoop Nature Reserve (C) Rambling with Rose (241)

De Hoop Nature Reserve (C) Rambling with Rose (219)

De Hoop Nature Reserve (C) Rambling with Rose (261)

De Hoop Nature Reserve (C) Rambling with Rose (274)

Letting the soft sand cling to our feet and trickle between our toes as the wind whipped our hair about was magic in it’s purest form before we headed back to De Opstal to light an evening braai fire.

De Hoop Nature Reserve (C) Rambling with Rose (78)

De Hoop Nature Reserve (C) Rambling with Rose (346) resize

Trading stories and laughter over a bottle of wine as barn swallows flitted about at sunset; replaced by bats after dark along with the call of a baboon troop, while a sea of stars sparkle above us meant I just had to use my stargazing app and discover the constellations both above (and below) where we were.

De Hoop Nature Reserve (C) Rambling with Rose (354)

The next day we took a bit of a drive and saw buck of all kinds, along with zebra with calves, the odd ostrich, and passed other weekenders riding bikes, which naturally meant we had to take a turn too.

De Hoop Nature Reserve (C) Rambling with Rose (452)

De Hoop Nature Reserve (C) Rambling with Rose (453)

De Hoop Nature Reserve (C) Rambling with Rose (335)

De Hoop Nature Reserve (C) Rambling with Rose (319)

De Hoop Nature Reserve (C) Rambling with Rose (312)

De Hoop Nature Reserve (C) Rambling with Rose (307)

De Hoop Nature Reserve (C) Rambling with Rose (301)

I hate to admit it, but I’ve never actually learnt to ride before, so while our friends merrily followed along one of the bike pathways, hubby got to coach me for just under 2 hours on how to ride – and I was over the moon when I finally stayed on my two-wheeled transport for over 3 minutes (before kissing the dirt yet again … I’m almost certain I saw a buck shake it’s head at me when that happened). Ah well, maybe one day I’ll get to try again and master riding a bike. After that, to somewhat soothe my spirits, we wandered the gift shop and restaurant, and I photographed the ruins of the old restaurant which burnt down very carefully. From the doorway. Of course. 😉

De Hoop Nature Reserve (C) Rambling with Rose (418)

De Hoop Nature Reserve (C) Rambling with Rose (414)

De Hoop Nature Reserve (C) Rambling with Rose (420)

De Hoop Nature Reserve (C) Rambling with Rose (380)

De Hoop Nature Reserve (C) Rambling with Rose (378)

If you ever get the chance to go here, do take it! Because spending time in this coastal paradise and unique biome does a world of good for your soul.

Have you ever gone to De Hoop and done a stargazing experience or marine walk? I’m tempted to do one of the two next time I go. ^_^

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2 thoughts on “Sauntering around sand dunes and spotting whales at De Hoop Nature Reserve

  1. Ooohhh I have wanted to visit De Hoop for ages. So lovely to hear it will be wonderful when I one day make it that far. I think a girls week-end away there sounds like food for the soul 🙂

    Like

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