Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Day Trip Around The Peninsula - Part Five

So now I arrived at the last section of my trip aroud the Peninsula. It is amazing how much material I gathered from a single trip of around 150 kilometes. I am sure if I go back to each location and spend some time there, that I could for the rest of my life write about the Cape Peninsula. So, I stopped in Hout Bay which apparently has more than 60 restaurants, for a breakfast review. I chose the worst one of them all, so I am not even going to go into detail right now....

When you leave Hout Bay heading towards Cape Town, the first settlement you see on your left is Llandudno. Now Landudno is different from any other residential areas in South Africa. It is not only the most expensive suburb in South Africa, but it also has "exclusitivy" written all over it. Just the fact that there is a boom at the entrance to Llandudno manned by a security guard should immediately tell you that not everyone is welcome there. To keep more people out, the residents of Llandudno further made sure that parking was a problem, so heading off to Llandudno beach has to be executed long before sunrise. There is only about 20 parkings, and when the place is full they don't hesitate closing the gate in your face. Llandudnoers don't like crowds. They have money, they don't have to like crowds. Unfortunately Llandudno has a very nice beach, with nice surfing waves. So, people like going there. Then there is of course our own nudist beach, Sandy Bay. But I will get to Sandy Bay later.

So, I decided to turn off into Llandudno. I have a bike, so guessed that parking would not be a problem. I felt a bit awkward being there, you feel as if you don't belong there. Anyway, I drove down to the beach. There is actually nowhere else to go if you do not own property there. At least I wanted a picture of the beach for my blog. When I got to the beach I was not surprized. No parking at all. Fortunately for me I got the only motorbike parking that's available there. I assume that is what the "M/C" was standing for? While I was there I noticed some trucks and found out that they were doing a photoshoot on the beach for a Nike commercial. No wonder, the place is stunning and would sell any brand. I asked a street vendor, just out of curiosity, what a can of Coke costs. "Fifteen", he said. You can buy two cans and get some change for that price at a normal cafe. He didn't appreciate my facial expression after he told me that. But I guess he has the monopoly seeing that there are no other shops in this suburb. Rich people order their groceries over the Internet and have it delivered, why would they need a shop? I went down to the beach, took my pictures and decided to go check out Sandy Bay. Thank God for GPS. If you don't have some sort of aerial view of the place, you will kill yourself with all the cul-de-sacs.

You have to view this in person to appreciate the beauty.

Fortunate to get the only M/C parking. I still had to move out of the way because the driver of the SUV that was standing next to my bike couldn't get his door open.

Finding the beach was easy, I just followed this water nymph all the way to "heaven". (P.S. There are many more of them floating around here)

Another picturesque secluded beach along the Cape Peninsula. Still wonder why my blog is called "Life's a beach"?

Another view of Llandudno from the road leading to Sandy Bay.

Who would not want to live here?

OK,  let me tell you about Sandy Bay. Sandy Bay is the only "unofficial" nudist beach in South Africa. I don't know for how long Sandy Bay has been used as a "nudist" beach, but I remember well when I was kid all the reports in the Sunday newspapers about this "demise of our christian value systems", the amorality it leads to and wharra-wharra. Despite all these reports, we all paged very fast to get to the back page of that same newspaper to see semi-nude models posing in itsy-bitsy-teeni-weeni bikinis or to read about the sexcapades of the rich and famous. Like mixed couples, South Africans are not very comfortable with nudity either. So one can think that a beach where people walk "au naturel" would not be appreciated by the majority, especially not by the old grey beards who taught us what was wrong and right according to their biased interpretation of the Good Book. Because of this South Africans never really got used to the idea of enjoying nature in one's birth suit, and Sandy Bay was evidence of that. Today Sandy Bay is nothing more than a gay cruising spot, and when anyone decides to go for an overall tan you are advised to go in a group and never to wander off into the bushes. Finding a "group" of like-minded people in South Africa would be difficult enough, and why would anyone go to a beach where perverts sit in the bushes with binoculars and "delight" themselves in the nudity of other people? I believe this is all because we are not used to seeing "normal" people naked, because we have not made peace with our bodies and because we still attach "sleeze" to nudity. Why anyone decided that the most secluded beach would be the safest beach for naturalists is beyond me. I guess it was to keep it as far away as possible from "civilization". You cannot even walk fully clothed on Table Mountain anymore without the fear of being attacked or sexually assaulted, why would anyone go walk here? I don't know how in other countries they manage to keep perverts away from nudist beaches and how they control who comes and goes there, but in South Africa this is definitely not working yet. If you look at a list of nudits beaches across the world then South Africa is lacking far behind. Come to think of it, with the pleasant weather and beautiful beaches we could attract even more tourists to our shores...and they don't even have to pack in much to wear.

So, I stopped at Sandy Bay to have a look. I have never been there before and I was not expecting to see a huge crowd frolicking naked in the sun. I did not want to walk all the way to the beach (especially not clothed in black biking gear wearing a helmet when it is 30 degrees outside), let alone take pictures. I did take out my camera and took one shot from the parking area. (There is only parking for one car and about 5 "M/Cs"). It was only after I saw the picture on my big screen that I reliazed I did in fact get one or two nudists in the shot. Fortunately for them the picture was taken way too far for identification possibilties and besides, I don't want to be added to the list of "perverts with telephoto lenses". I am not a naturalist myself (I don't even know the difference between naturalist and nudist), but I would not want to name and shame someone with the guts to actually do the "au naturel" thing...or "dare to go bare" as some put it. If I ever find a "group" of people to join me, I will definitely go check it out myself and then I wouldn't want people with cameras around either.

The message is clear, although someone tried his luck.

I spotted some nude "rock spiders" on the boulders, but the actual beach is way in the backround.

So, even though Sandy Bay is a probably the most famous (or infamous) beach in South Africa, it doesn't come to it's right because of stalkers, gays and perverts not used to anything. Wherever you read about Sandy Bay there is always a warning not to go alone. Maybe the cold water also has something to do with the fact that not too many people hang out there (excuse the pun). It can be really embarrasing for a man to walk out naked from the ice cold water....

Well, after my stop at Sandy Bay I headed home. I will do this trip again, focus on different things and maybe visit Sandy Bay again for a longer stay next time.... ;-) My trip around the Peninsula just made me realize again that this really is a beautiful country and that I am so fortunate to live here.

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