The Dolphin Coast explored, partly.
Up at 6:30am and out immediately – an essential spur of the moment. With camera and banana in hand, I start photographing the red sun rising at Umdloti, from above and then down from the beach.
Shaka’s Rock came next, I gasp the moment I spot the beach fringed by rocky cliffs. At 8:50am I first step on to the sand, the wintery sun warming my bones.
The turquoise blue waves roll, form barrels, clear and inviting before crashing upon the black rocks.
Luminous green seaweed wave in all directions when saturated by pristine white foam; red and purple stained rocks glint beneath the gilding sun.
I pass through Salt Rock and end up exploring Sheffield Beach, another first. Almost as stunning as Shaka’s Rock but with fewer people – three families scattered in different directions play in the rock pools, a man lying under a towel reading a book.
A mansion overlooking the golden beach sand, more golden in the sun’s glow, with the perfect view of the Indian Ocean, soon to be transformed into a palace the way the dozen builders are hard at work.
I decide to head inland and explore Shakaskraal – a place I’d heard of but never set foot/wheel in. The first thing I notice are the off road tracks in to the cane fields. I resist. I don’t know how but I did. I thought it best not to explore foreign, remote land on one’s own. Instead I venture off the main road and discover an innovative photographic studio.