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Nature as art - exploring the geology-rich beaches of the African south coast

Nature as art - exploring the geology-rich beaches of the African south coast

January 2020 · 4 min read · George Local Municipality

In the second half of our tour of this fine beach called Gericke's Point - with The Shape of The Cape and your tour guide Julescape – located along the Garden Route, near Wilderness and Sedgefield village, we can see the beautiful geological features present here. The craggy rocks, well weathered by the sea and wind, have an artistic beauty to them that appeals to the artist within. Nature as art - this beach really displays it.

The rocky features seen here are basically fossilized sand, formed over millennia, which shows you just how unexplored this region really is. For it to have remained so untouched and preserved all this time to still be visible as ancient weathered lines in the sand, or walls of sand, implies that very few people have been around to disturb the geological features. Also it implies that despite hundreds of years of European settlement and thousands of years of indigenous tribal migration along this coast by Koi or San bushmen, this beach has hardly changed.

There may be fewer and fewer places left in the world where one can still see geological features so close to civilization, that remain as they were since before modern history. Here on the south Cape coast of Africa, there is so much space and so few people, say compared to Asia, or even Europe, that one can come across just such amazing landscape discoveries without the slightest endeavor. In fact the main N2 highway that passes by is just a few hundred meters away, but also roughly a hundred meters up above the beach itself, which lies down below the cliff slopes. So you can stop off here very easily on your travels though the region even just for a brief exploration without detracting from your main travel itinerary, if you happen to be passing through.

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This beach has the highest fossilized sand dunes in South Africa. Added to that are the amazingly sculpted knobbly boulders strewn all along the shoreline itself, half submerged in the sea as it washes up along the smooth sandy beach. The scene is idyllic and creates a myriad of fascinating rock pools filled with sea life of all sorts – plant, fish and crustacean. And the scattered rocks are like a mini Thailand landscape, with equally warm water, so that you may feel inspired to wade around at any time of the year, exploring the richly decorated shoreline.

The atmosphere is just so timeless and moon-like, with so few people and no disturbance to the epic geological features. You could spend hours there or the whole day, just exploring like a visitor to an art gallery, admiring the sculptures of abstract art on display. The sculptor – nature herself – really did a fine job, with all the time in the world and all the elements at her disposal. What is left is a work in progress, that may look quite different when it’s finished, if it ever gets to that point, but for now already looks monumental and awe-inspiring in its purity and majesty.

The main featured sculpture on display is, of course, the giant Gericke's Point rock itself, furthest out to sea and surrounded by the best rock pools of all, although you need to keep an eye on the tide, as it comes up and surrounds the rock totally and may leave you high and dry until the tide turns. You can;t miss the giant rock as it stand out with the silhouette of a seated lion, or more like the Sphinx herself. You'll see what I mean when you check it out for yourself.

And then there’s the prolific sea life, in the form of shells mussels, fish, crabs and even octopus that roam around in the numerous rock pools that stretch for miles along this vast coastline and landscape. Bring your camera and underwater snorkelling gear if you wish. You will be in for a treat. It’s something almost like the islands of Thailand but without the humidity.

Life as art - what a talented artist who designed nature thus. Nature as art and artist simultaneously, is present here in this fascinating and scenic display. By surrounding yourself with it, you come to feel how all nature is a masterpiece, a pure beauty, Or is art in the eye of the beholder?

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