ABOUT THE PICTURES. I took some photos using my phone which got lost (don’t worry I have my allowance so I will soon get a new one). We had to use my dad’s phone to take the pictures. On our way to Double Mouth his phone got a little wet. So the images that follow aren’t great but they do give you an idea of why Umtendwe is a good place to visit.
Umtendwe is close to Morgan’s Bay in the Eastern Cape.It is about 40 km from East London on the way to Kei Mouth. It is right next to the sea. There are lovely hiking trails. It is also a great place for camping but if you are not the camping type there are rondavels that you can sleep in. Other people don’t make you food. You need to bring all your supplies. On the way to Umtendwe there is a big Pick n Pay in East London and we bought our food for camping there.
There were lots of camping spots but we chose a shady spot under the acacia trees. The first thing we did was look around and pick up all the thorns! Then we got out our tent and started to assemble it. It was fun. Our tent was about 40 meters from the sea. We could hear the sea all the time when you are sleeping it is very soothing.
Right by my camp site there was an otter pool. If you get lucky you can see actual otters in it. You can swim in it. It would be a perfect safe place for little children. It is like a swimming pool rather than the actual beach with waves.
The beach has great shell collecting spots. It is good for swimming – especially in the morning when there is high tide. The waves are high but they don’t rock you around and crash on you. It was very nice to ride them. Black Rock is a place with a whole lot of rocks that overlook the sea. It is very beautiful. There is a little pool at Black Rock where small children can swim safely with no waves. There are also good snorkling spots on the path to Black Rock. My dad’s friend Paul took me and some other boys (Kwaii, Wazi and Kilo) snorkling. It was amazing. It feels a lot like you are drunk because you don’t have a lot of oxygen but it is still very fun. The goggles I was using leaked a bit which wasn’t great. It is the coolest feeling because you know you shouldn’t be able to breath under water but you actually can. It is like you drank a potion of water breathing. I am going to get a snorkel set and practice in my pool at home.
My dad and I tried fishing there. We went in the morning at high tide – we thought that it would be good to go then because fish would be trying to get food but because it was high tide the lure got caught on the rocks – it’s still there! So we went home and had strawberry flavoured porridge for breakfast. We saw other people who fished later that day who managed to catch things – a big fish – so it is possible to catch fish at Umtendwe.
Treasure Beach is a beach at Umtendwe where in the 17th century there was a ship called Santa Espirito which sank and all the precious jewels and pottery were tossed from the ship. Sometimes if you get lucky you can still find pottery that has washed up on the shore. We didn’t get any but some of the people we were with found a piece. It was white with a little blue Chinese looking design on it. The waves aren’t radical at Treasure Beach so it is good for little kids but I preferred the beach right by our camping spot. I like to ride waves I don’t like to duck down.
If you walk on from Treasure Beach you got to Double Mouth – it is named that because it has two river openings that go into the sea. People fish there. My dad and I hiked to Double Mouth. The first mouth opening is much deeper than you think. We tried to walk across it and it went up to my chin! Me and my dad were both in our swimming costumes so it was okay.
It was a good place to meet nice people. I met Kwaii (10), Wazi (13) and Kilo (7). They usually live in Cape Town. They know a lot more about marine life than me. I come from a town in the North West so I didn’t even know about sea urchins. On a hike we saw a sea snail – we were hunting for mussels. Me and Kwaii we did that canoeing where you have to stand up. We also played on my ipad. They were really good at Plants verses Zombie. They got me three new places in one day! We played the song dumb ways to die a lot. A nice guy called Mocca brought fireworks and we set them off on the beach at night. There is a braai spot right next to the river that connects into the beach and we had a braai on the first night.
We made flat breads on our camping stove. They were very delicious. We made them from flour, yeast, water and a bit of salt. We let it rise and then we made a long sausage shape and then we cut it into segments and rolled them out flat. We cooked them on our gas stove in a my mum’s crepe pan. We filled them with bacon and onion and it was delicious. I discovered that I like mussels. Mocca (the guy who brought the fireworks) collected and we braaied them.
I loved Umtendwe. I would recommend it to anyone who loves to snorkel and see otters. Contact: Umtendwe