The 77 metre long suspension bridge over the mouth of Stormsrivier.
We get up at 7.15 am and right after breakfast we set out for Tsitsikamma Coastal National Park. It isnâ€™t 8.45 am yet when we start with our first walk of the day. We want to walk to a view point that looks out over the bay and the restaurant where we stand right now. First we have to cross a tiny beach that leads to a footpath that looks like a sidewalk made of wood with a guard-rail on the right hand side. After about one kilometre we reach a suspension bridge, a good construction, but merely made of rope and wooden planks, so it is somewhat wobbly. The bridge is not high, but gives a nice view on the gorge it tides over. We reach this point at 9.30 am. From here on the real work begins, the track suddenly becomes a lot steeper and it doesnâ€™t take long before sweat is gushing from our backs and foreheads.
The sidewalk ended at the beginning of the bridge, so now we have to climb a track of dirt and rocks. This has one major advantage, the busloads of lazy tourists we overtook and encountered on the planking have also disappeared and all we hear right now is the wind and our own breathing. We must be the first ones to come here today, because I seem to be the one to remove all the cobwebs hanging over the track with my face. We reach a little flat where we have a nice view over the bay and we sit ourselves down on a comfy rock. The path goes on upwards however, and so do we. The view at the end isnâ€™t much better than where we were a little while before, everything is just a little smaller. We have just started our descent when we see Els coming up, the rest of our party will not reach the top today. We have to go down the way we came up, there is no alternative route. When we have crossed the suspension bridge again, we can take a right turn and this path leads to a cave which isnâ€™t really worth the detour.
The restaurant and the bay from the view point.
No paintings or formations of any kind and hardly any electric lights, so thereâ€™s nothing much to see.
A klipdassie up close and personal.
We are down at the restaurant again before the clock strikes eleven. In the little supermarket we buy some drinks and an ice-cream and then we start the Blauwbokkie Wandelpad (Blouduiker Trail), which is a beautiful hike of about two and a half hours, including taking pictures of wild klipdassies in the gardens of some cottages we pass. Soon the trail leads away from the only road in the area up into the hills, from then on we donâ€™t meet a soul for the next two hours. Just the lush vegetation, some streams we have to cross and thatâ€™s it. Every now and then it is not obvious in what direction we must go, but with common sense and some sense of direction we can figure it out.
At a certain point we reach the coast again. A little into the sea lies the Skietklip (shooting rock), a rock on which the waves break and shoot up into the air. Unfortunately the sea is quiet now, with gales of wind it must be very spectacular. Some time later we see dolphins swimming in the ocean and even though we do not have the time, we stop to have a look and shoot it on film. We have to be back at the bus at 1.30 pm, but we miss that curfew by a couple of minutes. We are tired, but we wouldnâ€™t have missed it for the world. Back at the lodge I drink three cans of Coke in 15 minutes, necessary, because we have lost a lot more moisture than we have taken in. We have a quick shower and a swap of clothes get us ready for the next adventure.
On the blueduiker trail we came across this pond.
At ten past three we walk to an adventure organization a bit further in the village.
They arrange canopy tours. A trail consisting of ten steel cables mounted between large trees. We start at an altitude of thirty metres above the forest floor and little by little we go down. The longest ride is 91 metres long and from the tree we are starting from, we cannot see the tree we are going to. Nice. Since we ordered a DVD, to show the people at home what we have done, a cameraman is tugging along. Taking pictures ourselves is undoable. In the program, lunch is included, unfortunately we get our lunch at 5.30 pm when we get back from the tour. And we donâ€™t get the salad we ordered, but a burger and fries. Itâ€™s just the little things...
The Skietklip is a spectacular sight when the weather is rough.
Back at the lodge weâ€™re having drinks in the yard and after another shower and some relaxing, dinner is served at 8.30 pm. Ken, the English owner, did a terrific job again.
At ten we go to bed.