Thursday, February 14, 2013

Rocktail Bay Weekend

Last weekend, we went to Rocktail Bay. It's one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited. The bay is located in the far north-eastern corner of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. We had a secluded camp nestled in the dune forest, a stone’s throw from the subtropical beaches of Maputaland. It's very remote and there was no running water or electricity at all.

Every time we walked over the dunes to the beach, it was completely empty and we had it all to ourselves. When we took our first dip in the ocean, it was like heaven. The water was deliciously cool.  The sun had already gone down, but the light was still beautiful.  

After dinner, when it was completely dark, the stars came out. I remembered the African night sky from my last visit, and all the time I was in the US, I longed to see the stars again. They were even brighter than I remembered. I saw at least 2 shooting stars that night. We started a bonfire and got a drum circle going. I can't always appreciate music but the drums spoke to all of us that night. Their rhythms were addicting.    

The next day... Oh!  What a magical day! (I hate to keep using that word but magic is the only way to describe this kind of perfection.) We went for a boat ride to snorkel at a nearby coral reef. The water is so clear and blue, and we were exploring, looking at all the colorful fish. Then, we got incredibly lucky and spotted wild dolphins. The first time I swam with them seven months ago, I really wished I had a waterproof camera. This time, I had a waterproof cover for a small digital camera. I hadn't really tested it yet so I wasn't sure how it worked. I'm glad to say it worked perfectly. I may not have gotten a master shot, but at least I now have proof that I actually swam with wild dolphins!

On our last day before heading back to Thanda, we spent all morning on the beach. I went for a long walk along the shore and around the rock cliffs. You can only get to them when the tide is out. It was one of most amazing places I have ever seen. The rocks were all ragged and sharp, so we had to wear flip-flops to protect our feet. The waves were crashing and creeping toward us. I was just losing my breath, overwhelmed by the beauty of the area. 

I don't know exactly why this happens, but going someplace new puts everything into perspective for me. Things that might ordinarily look like problems sort of fall away. I don't know if this happens for everyone, but being someplace different makes me appreciate being alive. I know I can't spend every day on Rocktail Beach, but I want to hold on to the feeling that I had there: Every day in this world is a gift! 

No comments:

Post a Comment