Honeymoon woes & tired of your new spouse? Snorkeling should do it.
Wedding Bliss or tired of your new spouse?
Snorkeling should do it.
Garden Route - Storms River Mouth – Marine National Park
Included: A list of awesome Tsitsikamma Adventures for you to do
Roaming to Plettenberg Bay, South Africa for our honeymoon.
Many howling moons ago our first major trip as a married couple was a mere 500 kilometers away. It was quite a significant one though as we were celebrating our new life together. As travels go, this time we didn’t drift too far from home, only about 500 kilometers away. We camped just outside Plettenberg Bay at a caravan park, because we had no money for a luxurious honeymoon.
Exploring above ground
As part of our daily exploration, we visited Storms River mouth, a marine national park situated in the Tsitsikamma forest section of the Garden Route. The Garden Route is a scenic drive along the south-eastern coast of South Africa, surrounded by ocean and mountains.
There is or was an inter-tidal underwater snorkeling trail among the rocks. My other half of a just a few days wanted to show off his snorkeling skills to me. Let me fill you in.
My significant other has spent most of his life with his head underwater. In fact, people have even checked behind his ears to see if he has gills.
I, however, was a different matter. Of course I could swim; I love the sea and have spent numerous times usually holding my nose to hold my breath as I splash around and duck under the waves to pop up on the other side. I had never snorkeled previously so this was different.
How would I manage to suck air through a little plastic tube where water could easily replace my air supply? This would be a new experience. Gallant hubby that he pretended to be, assured me I would manage. He was prepared to teach me in the lagoon at Plettenberg bay and I relented. I practiced a few times in the calm, not quite icy waters of the lagoon and he declared me a suitable snorkeler.
By the time we got there though, the sea was not very cooperative. The Indian Ocean was pounding relentlessly against the rocky shores. The tide was higher than we anticipated and the waves were crashing over the rocks repetitively. The underwater trail was invisible. Hubby reassured me that it would be fine, but if we wanted to do this, we had to leap in immediately before it was too late. Did I want to leap into the unknown where he'd pointed vaguely at a foamy area? I was convinced my husband was already tired of his new wife, and this was all a ploy to get rid of me and he was surely going to succeed. It's always difficult for me to ignore a challenge, so in we plunged.
As I leapt in, I was greeted with a sushi platter of seaweed and other unknown sea creatures, determined to tempt my palate. And to wash it down; a deluge of icy sea water.
I frantically kicked and paddled like a fidget spinner, trying to stay afloat, while I adjusted my mask and snorkel. This was so different to snorkeling in a calm lagoon.
Next to me, my husband left me with a smile on his face, dived down and disappeared into the depths. He most certainly must have gills, because with the gaps around the mouthpiece of the snorkel as he grinned from ear to ear, he surely would have swallowed water, unless of course he was amphibious.
He then proceeded to leap out of the water like a dolphin performing tricks at an aquarium, shouting some incomprehensible words – I’m not sure if it was encouragement or sniggers. Just as well that I couldn’t hear.
I had no choice. Eventually between waves bashing the rocks I thought I could risk putting my head underwater only to find myself churning in a whirlpool of bubbles distinctly like the spin cycle of a washing machine. Our married life was surely going to end abruptly, whether it be from me drowning or throttling him, if only I could just get close enough to lay hands on him.
Happy as a fish underwater
Hubby was thoroughly enjoying himself like a fish underwater and gesticulated that I must dive down. I on the other hand, was purely trying to survive as I was being tossed about! Eventually, after much encouragement I slowly got the hang of it and I was deeply rewarded for my efforts.
Between the waves of milky froth, the remarkable underwater ecosystem exposed itself in moments of clarity and showed me some of its beautiful creatures and colors. The only problem was with all the tumbling and gorging myself on that sushi platter, I was feeling a bit green around the gills.
Would I ever snorkel again? If I had a choice, yes, but only if the sea was flat, calm… and warm.
Want to see where Storms River Mouth is? Take a look:
If you'd like to find out what else there is to do at Stormsriver, click on the button below to read Sula from Skimmingstones's delightful piece:
Awesome Tsitsikamma Adventures for you to do
If you don’t want to put yourself through the same predicament as me, but you’re still wanting some adventure, I have some suggestions. For the adrenalin junkies, seeking an ultimate thrill near Tsitsikamma here are just a few suggestions of activities for you.
Bloukrans Bridge Bungy Jump
Swing like a pendulum after jumping off a 216 meter high bridge.
Otter Hiking trail
The ultimate hike and on the wish list of all hikers in South Africa
Dolphin Hiking trail
Spot a few dolphins or just enjoy the scenery
Tsitsikamma Canopy Tours
Fly like a bird through trees on the zipline
Kayaking, Canoeing or Tubing
Splash around on kayaks, canoes or tubes
Zoot around on segways.
Take a historical tour and journey through ancient yellowwoods and stinkwoods, where elephants walked.
See if you can spot the Knysna Loerie or Tauraco corythaix. If not, there are many other birds to spy.
The Tsitsikamma is a beautiful forested area. Stick to designated camp sites for the preservation of the forest and for your own safety.
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