Brenton-on-Sea visit to make sand castles

Have you ever missed the sea?

I never thought that I would miss the sea, but having been living slightly inland for the last six months, the first breath of sea air I felt on my face felt like the smell of old books and the first sip of coffee in the morning.

My daughter Lory is an absolute water baby. She is named after a mermaid (Siren) Lorelei in lore and legend, so it would make sense that water is her element.

Seeing as we would be staying in Knysna which is along the coastline, I decided we would have to make a trip to the beach to catch up on our sand castle building skills and just enjoy the waves. I decided we'd take a trip to Brenton-on-Sea beach. You need to drive over a small patch of the mountain to get there and there is a gorgeous scenic picnic spot overlooking the Knysna lagoon as well as some lovely mountain-scapes before you arrive.

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I hadn't been to Brenton-on-Sea beach before but I was familiar with it as an ambassadorial beach for the conservation of the Brenton Blue Butterfly (Orachrysops niobe), a species that was critically endangered. It was only known from two locations and is now thought to be possibly extinct in both of these after the 2017 Knysna fires. The saving grace may be that the larvae of the butterfly have a symbiotic relationship with a certain ant species which help it to burrow underground where it feeds on the root stock of it's host plant (Indigofera erecta) and is cared for and protected by these ants. Quite a fascinating relationship and there are a number of insects that have similar relationship dynamics with different species. Ecology of our natural world is amazing!

If you'd like to learn more about this species and butterfly conservation in general, please feel free to go check this page out:

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We arrived to a really gorgeous view of the ocean from a vantage point and a short boardwalk down to the sand.

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The people around here obviously take a lot of care when looking after this beach. It is spotless and colourfully decorated with a mosaiced stairway and benches.

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It felt very welcoming and I appreciated that there were so many benches looking over the area as I would believe that in peak tourist season this area is probably very busy. We found this little cat face mosaic which elicited a giggle from Lory.

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Who wouldn't want to sit here and look out at that horizon, lost in thought?
It's the kind of place that you could lose a few hours to and just let all your worries melt away.

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Besides the view, the beach itself is lovely, there are areas where swimming is not permitted (assuming due to the rocks and currents), but the shallows seem fine to dip your toes into.

This one section has heavily eroded rocks lining the water's edge which looks like a dinosaur's spine.

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There are little rock pools that form in the rocks, but there don't seem to be many sea creatures that inhabit them. We found a few shells and parts of a sad looking crab.

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Lory had an absolute blast being chased by the waves and making sand mounds. It would be an excellent place for sand sculptures.

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As the afternoon wore on, the sand took on a superb golden warm glow and I would imagine that it would be an ideal spot to watch the sunset. Unfortunately we couldn't stay for it this time, but perhaps another time we will pack a sunset picnic, I think it would be memorable.

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Definitely a beach worthy of putting on your vacation list when next you're around the Knysna coastline. Bring the buckets and spades for the kiddos too.

This post is original content and all photos were taken by myself. This post has been pinned to pinmapple (!pinmapple -34.073383 lat 23.018693 long Brenton-on-Sea Knysna d3scr)

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