Living in the Western Cape of South Africa I have had the privilege of having two oceans less than an hours drive away from my home.
The Atlantic Ocean sits on the east coast of the Western Cape and the Indian Ocean on the West coast region. This past weekend we visited the family beach house on my favorite of the two, the east coast. This particular part of the Overberg region can be described with these two words, Great White. All of those Discovery shows aired during shark week like Air Jaws etc, are filmed a mere 20 kilometers away in Gaansbaai or more specifically Kleinbaai. Even more secluded is the little town of Pearly Beach and our little place where we go to unwind near the ocean.
Around the Overberg there are numerous outdoors adventures to indulge in. From hundreds of kilometers of trail over the Overberg mountains to the obvious shark cage diving opportunities at Kleinbaai. On this particular Saturday morning, however I decided to take a modest trail run through Pearly Beach.
The morning is crisp and cool with a powder blue sky greeting my anticipation of a long run between the coastal fynbos. I start off fast bombing through the cabins and veld, eager to get out onto the trail. Running through the cabins I can’t help but think about the time the meter and a half long Puff adder came out of the bushes to visit, nasty bugers.
Beach and Atlantic to the left, veld and beach houses to the right and not a car or soul in site. This is going to be epic. The plan is to run modest and at an average speed, take care not to roll an ankle and to soak up all of the scenery. The mountains stand tall reaching into the clouds as I turn right heading out of the camp towards the town centre. The gray rocks reflect shiny trickles of light down the mountain my way as the suns rays reflect off of the water covered boulders.
Four kilometers into the run and the anticipation of turning left off of the road-side trail and onto the beach is beckoning. It’s low tide so running on the beach seems inviting. The path between the semi dry and soaked sand is of such a consistency that the earth is soft, but not so that your shoes sink into the shore making the run unnecessarily heavy. The first two kilometers of beach is open and clear with one elderly couple walking their dog… This is heaven.
Over the first rocky section and onto the second beach. Up, down, over and onto another beach. The run crosses a total of five separate beaches each with their own little curvature and character. On the third beach two fishermen are casting their lines. I gesture to the one fisherman asking if anything is biting, “no such luck” is the reply.
Six kilometers into the run and I’m on a great section of trail matching that of a mountain trail. Short breaks left and right, inclines and short descents and lots of loose gravel, trail runners dream. A short little section on the last beach and off to the left is the camp. I run to the cabin and take off my shoes. My wife comes out and tells me to jump into a shower as breakfast will be finished by the time I’m dressed.
The Overberg is beautiful and in my opinion one of the hidden gems on the East coast of South Africa. From now on my trail running shoes will be a regular companion in my pack alongside my hiking shoes as this was an epic run soon to be repeated. As always may you have Goodhikes.