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The breeze from the lagoon made the heat tolerable so we just walked around there for the morning, shared a pizza and went back to the hostel
The bus was late so we had some time to sit around and chat with an interesting young man who was a guide and photographer. I got some great tips from him and checked out his beautiful photos.
The Wild Spirits Lodge was a BIG surprise. It’s in the middle of nowhere at the edge of the Tsitsikama National forest. The young lady who greeted us took us for a walk around the place and then …. gave us a hug. Seems it’s a very loving place! We decided to take part in the dinner provided and that was a very good choice. The fish curry and salads were like nothing I’ve ever eaten before and DELICIOUS. We sat at a table with a young Mexican woman, a couple from Seattle and a man with a couple of kids who switched effortlessly from German with his kids to English and Spanish with us. AMAZING.
After walking to the reception area, (which is a log house with a big deck attached and trees growing through it) we made a coffee and walked to “God’s Window” to enjoy the view. Our breakfast of yogurt and muesli hit the spot and we set off to do the “Magical Forest” hike. It was tricky in spots but much cooler in the forest so thoroughly enjoyable. Apparently it’s been unseasonably warm in the area and the 35 degrees we experienced is not normal.
After enjoying a couple of cool glasses of spring water we tried the hike to the water fall. That one involved some rock climbing, dodgy bridge crossing and hanging on to rope but we made it and it was worth it. The water was “REFRESHING”. So much so that you never really get used to it. We enjoyed playing with a chameleon and just absorbing the beauty of the forest as, for a while, it was just the two of us there. A young Englishman (again, a friend of Graham?) helped Sue across the bridge.
Back at the lodge we gobbled up some humus, crackers and olives, and washed a few more clothes. The things we’d washed in the morning were already dry so we figured we’d grab the opportunity. By then we decided we deserved to just SIT, enjoy the quiet and read for a while.
None of the plugs in our room worked so we charged things in the neighbour’s room. Nobody locks anything. This is a completely different side of South Africa! A good thunder storm and sketchy internet access makes for good reading time.
At dinner we met some more nice people, this time from the Netherlands, enjoyed a delicious poitje and salad and headed for bed.
Penny drove us and an Irish fellow named Sean to the beginning of the Nature Valley hike in the Tsitsikamma forest. It was supposed to be a nice, 15 km hike with some hills but not too bad.
Well. I’d hate to see what they call a DIFFICULT hike as this one was no piece of cake. About 5 km down over some “steps” and steep grades, rocks and dirt paths, then another couple of km along and through a river bed over rocks, tree roots and seriously uneven ground. Then onto the road for 1/2 km and onto the beach. That was about 2 km through sand which is also not easy walking. We found the cafe they mentioned and had lunch there. I enjoyed calamari again. Why not? It’s delicious and cheap.
Next was the climb up. That wasn’t as bad as we thought it would be. At least the steps were reasonably decent and there weren’t huge rocks to climb over. There were even some flat spots through a forest that were pleasant.
Five and a half hours after we’d been dropped off we reached the pick up point and phoned for Penny. We were actually pretty impressed as that isn’t bad time considering we took at least an hour for lunch. 40 minutes later Penny still wasn’t there so I called again. (It’s only a 10 minute drive). Apparently she’d left? Okay. Shortly after a young man picked us up. Nobody knew where Penny had got to. Interesting.
My garmin said we walked 22,000 steps and 16 km. I think we get more points for rock climbing and giant steps. A shower never felt so good
Apparently we didn’t learn our lesson yesterday and believed them when they said the Robberg hike in Plettenberg Bay was nice and fairly easy. Well. PARTS of it were. Then there was the rock climbing again. I did okay for a while until there was a part that was pretty much vertical with steps kind of cut out of the rock but really high, with nothing to hold on to and a straight mile high cliff beside it. Nope. It was raining so I was wearing a poncho which I’d trip over if climbing a big step. NOT a great feeling that high up! We went back and found a bunch of shorter hikes with perfectly nice views. We didn’t get to see the seals but we’ve seen lots of them so weren’t too upset by it. We climbed down to see a cave too.
Back at the hostel we were entertained by some of the antics of staff and volunteers. One non shoe wearing fellow who claims he doesn’t even know what size he wears, cut his foot. A guest who happened to be a nurse cleaned it out for him with a fork. Then there were the hoola hoopers and baton twirlers. They’re quite a bunch.
The baz bus was actually on time and we arrived in Port Elizabeth around 10 pm. Tonight’s room was a bit of a splurge. We got a nice big room, our own bathroom AND a big, fluffy towel. 😀