18 May 2012

Day Five - to the pub!

Dear Coco

This is our last day. Very sad that it is coming to an end. My knees, however, would not cope with too many more steep uphills and downhills with a big pack so maybe its just as well. So, after one last look out for the elusive otter (these otters don't seem to be good at habituating to humans like genets do!) we set off over the Klip River. Luckily the sign also has the name of the river in English otherwise we would NEVER have guessed that it was a river. Only 6 kms to go.
We took it slowly. We admired the red colour in the rocks, colour-coordinating with Gilly's shorts. And there were blue rocks to match my shoes and socks (which were supremely comfortable!).
And then this butterfly eclipsed all the colours of the rocks. Alice recognized it as a Painted Lady (Cynthia cardui).
Another Erica appeared - probably Erica densifolia.
The whole party was waiting for us to catch up.
This is the view back down into the river bed. You can just see the huts facing the otter beach.
On to the next lookout point. Richard and Lucy, the stars of the show, who booked and organized the trail. We are just so grateful to them for this wonderful opportunity to experience this very beautiful trail!
The fynbos up here is pretty spectacular. This is the Green Heath (Erica sessiliflora). You and Dougal would have felt right at home. And we also saw some more Bushbuck and dassies,
and a Rain Spider egg sac, and lots of messages written in the sand of the path about getting to the pub. It was interesting to see how the forest and fynbos here seem to blend into each other. This little orchid was growing in a forest patch. It looks a bit like a Disperis.
More showy ericas - probably Erica canaliculata - all too much for my camera's battery, which promtly died. I then turned to my cellphone camera - which had a little juice left in it.
Around the corner - Nature's Valley - and the end of an incredibly wonderful hike - just one more knee-cracker to negotiate,
then it was every man for himself to get to the pub which is on the far side of Nature's Valley. (Although some of us, mostly the oldtimers, had a really fantastic swim on the beach first).
It was worth walking for five days for these!
Lucy, the star of the show. Looking like a million dollars as usual, not like she's just walked for five days.
Jonathan, the GPS navigator. Kate (who had been fantasizing about a burger ever since she left half her food supplies behind).
Gilly adding her dead cozzy to the hiking boot tree.
Paul, the photographer, and Wyndham, who carries superglue and home-made (self-shot) impala biltong in his pack.
Richard won an Otter Trail certificate and a bright pink shooter for picking up plastic bottles and other litter on the trail. And Gareth was on the only one who injured himself on the trail - two rather bruised toes during a river crossing.
And before I could take any more photos of the intrepid group of trailers, my cellphone battery ran out. We drank a toast to Sue, who was unable to join us in the end, and who was responsible for getting most of our very happy and congenial little group together: Lucy, Richard, Jonathan, Katta, Kate and Gareth, and the oldtimers - Alice (just squeaking in), Paul, Wyndham, Gilly, the Alph and me. The shuttle bus then arrived to take us back to Storms River. Fittingly, they had arranged a special Forest Hut for Paul, the most senior member of the oldtimers. After a delicious braai and lots of good red wine, I fell into the most glorious soft bed that felt like sinking into a fluffy cloud.
Night night Coco and Doog,
See you tomorrow
love from the foo zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

No comments:

Post a Comment